The American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and similar groups want “under God” taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance, the Ten Commandments removed from public places, prayer prohibited in schools, teachers fired for wearing cross necklaces, etc.
At the same time, the ACLU defends pornography, abortion, polygamy, the North American Man-Boy Love Association, and prints “Getting Hitched in Canada” – a guide for homosexual marriage.
These groups state they simply want the government neutral with regard to “religion.” Their argument sounds reasonable … until one looks up the definition of “religion.”
The “Random House Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language” defines “religion” as: “a set of beliefs.” Webster’s “New World Dictionary” defines “religion” as: “a system of belief.”
The word “belief” is defined as opinions, convictions – thoughts upon which one bases their actions.
Thus, it follows, that as long as a person is doing “actions,” they have thoughts preceding those actions – and that collection of thoughts is that person’s “system of belief” or “religion.”
As long as the government is doing “actions,” the government has thoughts preceding those actions – and that collection of thoughts is the government’s “system of belief” or “religion.”
So there can never really be a separation of “religion” and government – as long as the government is doing “actions,” there are thoughts or beliefs underlying those actions.
The ACLU is not trying to be “religion” neutral, but, in fact, it is promoting a religion – a “non-deity-based” secular-humanism system of belief.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in Abington Township v. Schempp (1963), wrote:
The state may not establish a “religion of secularism” in the sense of affirmatively opposing or showing hostility to religion, thus “preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.” … Refusal to permit religious exercises thus is seen, not as the realization of state neutrality, but rather as the establishment of a religion of secularism.
The U.S. District Court, in Crockett v. Sorenson (W.D. Va. 1983), wrote:
The First Amendment was never intended to insulate our public institutions from any mention of God, the Bible or religion. When such insulation occurs, another religion, such as secular humanism, is effectively established.
Whose belief system?
The question is not whether a religion should or should not be in government, the question is whose religion – whose belief system – will be the basis for the government actions.
The new “non-deity-based” belief system was demonstrated as intolerant when winning Nebraska football coach Ron Brown was turned down for a coaching job at Stanford University because of his faith. The Daily Nebraskan (April 13, 2002) reported:
Pat Tetreault, co-chairwoman of the Committee of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns at University of Nebraska at Lincoln, stated “We shouldn’t be discriminating on religion either, but you get into a slippery slope on whose belief system you value more.”
“Deity” vs. “non-deity” belief systems
Belief in a supreme deity was acknowledged in the “Declaration of Independence”: “All men are endowed by their CREATOR”; in oaths of office: “So Help Me GOD”; on coins: “In GOD We Trust”; in the “Gettysburg Address”: “This Nation, Under GOD”, etc. Even the U.S. Supreme Court, in Zorach v. Clauson (1952), admitted: “Our institutions presuppose a SUPREME BEING.”
Benjamin Franklin’ wrote in his “Maxims and Morals”:
Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God.
Samuel Adams wrote in “The Rights of the Colonists,” 1772:
The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty … may best be understood by reading and carefully studying the institutions of The Great Law Giver and the Head of the Christian Church.
Thomas Jefferson, in his “Notes on the State of Virginia,” 1781, wrote:
… God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God?
Alexander Hamilton stated:
Natural liberty is a gift of the beneficent Creator, to the whole human race; and that civil liberty is founded in that; and cannot be wrested from any people, without the most manifest violation of justice.
Thomas Paine wrote in “The American Crisis,” Dec. 23, 1776:
Heaven knows how to put a price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.
Herbert Hoover remarked at a reception on his 80th birthday, 1954:
Our Founding Fathers did not invent the priceless boon of individual freedom and respect for the dignity of men. That great gift to mankind sprang from the Creator and not from governments.
President Harry S. Truman stated in a letter to John L. Sullivan, 1949:
America is dedicated to the conviction that all people are entitled by the gift of God to equal rights and freedoms … Our greatness is and will be measured by the degree of our recognition of this fundamental truth.
President Ronald Reagan stated at the Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony, 1993:
History comes and goes, but principles endure and ensure future generations to defend liberty – not a gift from government, but a blessing from our Creator.
President Geroge W. Bush, in his State of the Union Address, Jan. 28, 2003, stated:
Liberty is not America’s gift to the world, it is God’s gift to humanity.
America’s founders had a “deity-based” belief system.
- Your rights cannot be taken away by the government if they come from a power “higher” than the government, i.e., God;
- There are no second-class citizens if each person is equal because each is made in the image of God;
- You can live in freedom with few laws if the people keep internal laws because they are conscious of their accountability to God.
Government cannot be religion “neutral.” It will always have thoughts underlying its actions. It will always have a belief system – a religion. The choice is whose belief system will be the basis for the government’s actions.
If our founders’ “deity-based” belief system is removed, then what is based on that belief also ends.
William J. Federer is the author of the best-selling “America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations,” available now from ShopNetDaily.