The Constitution and Religion……..

I am a fairly spiritual person. I don’t do the church thing or worship on any specific day.  I do believe that there is a Creator but I don’t believe he did it all in 7 of man’s days.  It’s utter hubris to think we know how long a day is to the Creator.

And I don’t believe you need to be religious to be moral or a good person.  Right from wrong should be fairly obvious to all of us who live in any type of society where other people are involved.

It comes down to what we are seeing in our country today.  Religious intolerance, hatred and persecution.   Something that the people who wrote the Constitution would look at in disgust.

And, the ironic part is, it’s not against Christians (even though they think it is)……it’s certain Christians persecuting, killing, and burning the buildings of who they call “non-believers”.  Keep in mind that these so-called non-believers are anyone who doesn’t think, act, pray or bow down the way these Christians want them to.

But enough of that diatribe……

I became curious about the religion(s) of the men who wrote the Declaration and Bill of Rights.  I’ve heard they were all Deists, all Protestants, and other rumors, but I decided to research it myself to see what was what.

They were an eclectic group of men, some brilliant, some average, who didn’t always get along but they all had the same basic ideas.  To have a country where people could live in peace and freedom and free from fear of religious persecution and unjust taxes.  It was putting it all together that was a bit problematic.

Having looked at the religious backgrounds of the Founding Fathers and signers of the Declaration of Independence, this is what I found out:

Religious Affiliation # of
signers
% of
signers
Episcopalian/Anglican 32 57.1%
Congregationalist 13 23.2%
Presbyterian 12 21.4%
Quaker 2 3.6%
Unitarian or Universalist 2 3.6%
Catholic 1 1.8%
TOTAL 56 100%

I also learned that 4 of these men were preachers and many were the sons of clergymen.  They were educators, lawyers and farmers with a strong belief in a higher power.  However, Franklin and Jefferson were Deists, something that is rarely mentioned and only vaguely understood in today’s world.

A Deist has:  “the belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe. The term is used chiefly of an intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries that accepted the existence of a creator on the basis of reason but rejected belief in a supernatural deity who interacts with humankind.”  Oxford English Dictionary.  

NOTE that it was on the basis of REASON and not just faith alone that led them to this belief.

During the 17oo’s the main religions in this country were Episcopalian (of or advocating government of a church by bishops, not a pope), Anglican (the main religion in England run by the King) and Congregationalist ( where each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs without a pope).  All of these religions are offshoots of Protestantism which was founded during the Protestant Reformation (i.e. Protesting Catholics), originating in Germany, and was based on the teachings of Martin Luther (Lutheranism).  It was a break from the Catholic Church and didn’t believe in a papal head to their religion nor in icons or other religious trappings.  (This is a massively simplified version of how religious schisms occurred).

With this little bit of background, you would assume that the Founding Fathers would promote religion as one of their top ideas.

They didn’t.

In fact, (and I do mean FACT), many of their letters, and other writings, tell how they felt about religion and government.  The two did NOT belong together.  These men knew that they were leading a country of religious diversity and wanted nothing to hinder it.

It was so important to them that it appears in the very first line of the FIRST AMENDMENT.

AMENDMENT I To the Constitution of the United States of America….

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That it very first sentence in the First Amendment says it all.  The government cannot establish a religion or keep anyone from practicing their religion freely.  It does not mean, however, that you can shove your religion down anyone else’s throat or make them live by your religious beliefs.

The reason for this, and (again) this is historical fact, was the King of England and the Church of England.  The idea that the king ran the church and could persecute anyone he felt didn’t believe the same way he did didn’t sit well with the “Colonials”.  It also had to do with the rest of Europe and the history of religion therein.  A history that had the Inquisition, the auto de fe, and the Crusades, to name a few.  These men wanted NO repeat of the persecutions that occurred during the previous 5oo – 1000 years.

It was also why the Pilgrims came to this country…..to escape religious persecution.

We are a country founded on religious freedom.  We are, also, a country founded by immigrants.  Every single one of us is the descendant of an immigrant.  And that is historical and scientific FACT.

To deny this is ludicrous in the extreme.  Europeans  have only been on this continent since roughly 1620.  (Sorry, but Columbus didn’t land on the continental United States)  The Spaniards have been here since 1565 (St. Augustine, FL).  The Native Americans have been here for thousands of years.  We are still all descended from immigrants.

We are a country in crisis and we have failed our Founding Fathers.

Religious jihadists are trying to put religion into government, into public schools, and into our judicial system.  This goes against the very first line of the Bill of Rights.

This small group of Christian jihadists are trying to force their beliefs on the rest of us who have actually read the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as well as the Bible.  They have snuck their way into the political system and are using that platform to advance their agenda…….putting religion in public schools, putting religion in government, putting religion in the judiciary, denying the rights of individuals because of what the Bible says, etc..

These jihadists want teachers to check children’s genitals before they’re allowed to enter a bathroom.  They ignore the burning of churches, synagogues and mosques.  They rewrite history to suit their own beliefs and be damned the truth or facts.  They deny science and fact while using science for their own benefit.  They ignore the killing of those who don’t believe as they do and condone those murders.  They kill and maim people for loving the “wrong” sex or for being the “wrong” color.  They bomb and kill doctors who perform abortions thereby going against the teachings of Jesus and the very commandment that you shall not murder or kill.

I could go on, but we all know the insanity that these people are promoting.  And we know they are NOT Christians.

They are allowed to believe as they want….that is guaranteed by the First Amendment.  What they are NOT allowed to do is to prevent others from worshiping the way they choose, put religion into government, hurt and demean children, legislate morality, or condone and murder in the name of religion.

We are a country founded on religious freedom.  We are, also, a country founded by immigrants.  Every single one of us is the descendant of an immigrant.  And that is historical and practical FACT.  If you don’t like, too bad.  It’s true.

You can bet the Founders are rolling in their graves.

 

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About avlanchlovngirl

I believe that we are here for a reason. We just don't know what it is. I believe there are no borders or color differentiations. We're all the same under the skin and we all want the same basic things. I hate injustice and tend to take a stand against what I feel is unfair and just plain wrong. So, read on and comment if you'd like. Happy New Year!
This entry was posted in Current Events, Education, Freedom, From the Sublime to the Ridiculous......., Men and Women, My Little Soapbox, Not So Current Events, Philosophy and Religion, Politics 101, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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