Historical Interpretation of the 1st Amendment

In a recent post linked here the blogger made an argument that we should keep a loose association between religion and government. Read the article here, and the reasons why she is wrong below.

Begin Response:

This is a good reasoned argument for the status quo.  However, there are no stationary properties in government.  Government is constantly moving either toward liberty or toward tyranny.  It is not static, as such there can be status quo for only a short period of time.  So the question becomes, when did we start having this loose interpretation?  We actually had a very strict interpretation of the constitution in this area for most of our existence and it is that interpretation that has made this country the most free and the most prosperous nation in the history of the world.  Of course it was a strict interpretation that said America was founded as a Christian nation and that the 1st amendment was an assurance that no one denomination would hold the power of government. i.e. we do not have The Church of England here in America.  We have Christians of different backgrounds who can work together on a Biblical foundation. Not that we should remove all vestiges of God on our public properties.  That claim is absurd on it’s face when you actually visit the historic places around the nation and read the inscriptions placed on our monuments.

The very fact that these exist validate the fact that our nation has not always held the same view of the 1st amendment that we have today.  If one wanted to review just a quick look into the issue of the various 10 Commandment cases, they would find that the current debate has been altered and the subject of the debate has moved to the ideas exposed in this article rather than the ideas that have been historically discussed.Here is a short history on the 10 Commandments in American history, as given in testimony before the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY.


Also, if one wanted to know when the shift in thinking began, they might review this document that traces the Establishment Clause (so called) cases that have been prosecuted in the US.


Upon review of this document, one will also find that these attacks on the basic understanding of the 1st amendment started around the same time that legalize child killing through abortion came into being.  This tends to give credibility to the arguments made in this article that law is based on the morality of the culture.  So it could be concluded that the morality of a culture can only be established in religion, and specifically at least here in the United States the Christian religion.One other points that is never discussed, is the fact that at the time of ratification of the 1st amendment, many states had a state sanctioned religion. This was never intended to be carried to the states, but only applied to the federal government.

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