- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 30, 2005

I recently exchanged e-mails with a person disagreeing rather strongly with some of my public policy positions. This disagreement was neither unusual nor noteworthy, in and of itself. But it especially irked me when the discussion turned to the standard liberal fallback position: an outraged accusation I had violated the Constitution’s ironclad “separation of church and state” proviso.

But the Constitution doesn’t include the phrase “separation of church and state.” That phrase actually comes from an 1802 letter from President Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association, which was concerned that Anglicanism might become the official (or established) denomination of the new government. Jefferson tried to reassure the worried Baptists no such “establishment” skullduggery was afoot.

The First Amendment’s widely misunderstood Establishment Clause simply means the state will not set up any official state religion, nor prohibit any person from freely exercising his or her own religion. However, this restriction on the government’s intrusion into the private religious convictions of its citizens does not mean all aspects of religion should be kept completely out of state affairs. That secular ideology is entirely foreign to the original intent of the Founding Fathers — who drafted the Constitution, including its Bill of Rights, as a clearly defined limitation on the power of the government to interfere with the freedoms of the people but not as a limit on the people’s power to control the government according to their beliefs.

President John Quincy Adams, the son of the great Founding statesman from Massachusetts who did so much to inspire the Declaration of Independence, stated the truth succinctly on July 4, 1821: “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”

How many Americans today even remember it was the Great Awakening and the fiery sermons of the Patriot pastors that sparked the American Revolution, or that the rallying cry of the Colonial rebels was “No King but Jesus”? No, sadly, most Americans today have been spoon-fed a poison porridge of revisionist lies that claim George Washington and Company were all rationalistic deists seeking to advance the secular ideals of the French Enlightenment. (For more truthful information, see David Barton’s Web site, http://www.wallbuilders.com/resources/.)

It bothers me so many American schoolchildren grow up ignorant of their country’s religious heritage, so deeply rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition even the Supreme Court a century ago saw fit to declare officially “our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian… this is a Christian nation.” (Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 1892)

Fifty years later, liberal icon Justice William O. Douglas wrote for the court: “The First Amendment, however, does not say that in every respect there shall be a separation of church and state. … We find no constitutional requirement makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion and to throw its weight against the efforts to widen the scope of religious influence. The government must remain neutral when it comes to competition between sects. … We cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility toward religion.” (Zorach v. Clauson, 1952)

Still, many Americans mistakenly believe the phrase “separation of church and state” is in the Constitution. It isn’t. Why are many Americans so misinformed? Because three generations of secular humanist educators and atheistic American Civil Liberties Union ideologues have parroted this big lie so often that the dumbed-down, indoctrinated masses have finally begun believing it, simply because nobody ever bothered to explain the true meaning of the First Amendment.

Liberals always claim to believe in the Constitution, even if they wrongly interpret it. But what we see here is not a difference of opinion on some debatable topic, but rather a willful ignorance (real or professed) of long-settled historical facts.

This blatant distortion of our nation’s history is a slap in the face of American taxpayers, who foot the bill for this widespread anti-Christian disinformation campaign.

The public schools should teach our children the truth, not just what they want kids to believe. Those of us who know the truth need to hold liberals accountable for their insidious lies.

NATHAN TABOR

Nathan Tabor is a conservative political activist in Kernersville, N.C., and a contributing editor at www.theconservativevoice.com.

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