"On Religious Freedom Day
... we commemorate the ... anniversary of the passing of a State law that has shaped and secured our cherished legacy of
- proclaimed President
Donald J. Trump
, January 16, 2018.
"Our forefathers, seeking refuge from religious persecution, believed in the eternal truth that
freedom is not a gift from the government, but a sacred right from Almighty God.
On the coattails of the American Revolution, on January 16, 1786, the Virginia General Assembly passed the
Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom ...
This seminal bill, penned by
Thomas Jefferson, states that, 'all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.'"
The 114th Congress issued a Resolution, January 16, 2017:
"Whereas American democracy is rooted in the fundamental truth that
all are created equal, endowed by our Creator
with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ...
protects the right of individuals to freely express and act on their religious beliefs,
as well as the freedom of all individuals to
not be coerced
to profess or act on a religious belief to which they do not adhere ... and to practice their faith
without fear or intimidation ...
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That Congress honors the 230th anniversary of the passage of the
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom."
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom
, which preceded the First Amendment by five years, was passed by Virginia's Assembly on JANUARY 16, 1786.
It was drafted by
commemorated on his tombstone.
Was it the intention of Jefferson
to limit religious expression?
Did Jefferson want
acknowledgements of God by students, teachers, coaches, chaplains, nuns, schools, organizations and communities?
In 1776, a year before
drafted his Statute, another Virginian,
Virginia Declaration of Rights.
It was revised by
and referred to in his
Memorial and Remonstrance
Madison's Virginia Declaration of Rights
"Religion, or the duty we owe to our CREATOR
, and manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction,
not by force or violence;
and, therefore, that all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according
to the dictates of conscience,
and that it is the mutual duty of all
to practice Christian forbearance,
love and charity toward each other."
In 1777, Jefferson wrote in his original draft of the
Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom
hath created the mind free, and ... all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments ... tend only to begat habits of hypocrisy and meanness,
and are a departure from
the plan of the Holy Author of religion
being Lord both of body and mind
, yet chose not to propagate it by
as was in his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by its influence on reason alone."
made a journal entry, June 12, 1788:
"There is not a shadow of right in the general government to inter-meddle with
The subject is, for the honor of America, perfectly free and unshackled.
The government has no jurisdiction over it."
explained in his Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805:
"In matters of
I have considered that its
is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the General Government.
I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercise suited to it;
but have left them
, as the Constitution found them,
under the direction and discipline of state and church authorities by the several religious societies
explained to Samuel Miller, January 23, 1808:
the (Federal) Government of the United States
interdicted (prohibited) by the Constitution from inter-meddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises ...
This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion,
but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the United States (10th Amendment) ..."
r to prescribe any religious exercise, or
to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General government ...
I do not believe
it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines ...
Every religious society
has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, and the objects proper for them,
according to their own particular tenets."
On June 7, 1789,
introduced the First Amendment in the first session of Congress with the wording:
The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship
appointed to the
Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story
wrote in his
Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States
, 1833, Chapter XLIV, "Amendments to the Constitution," Section 991:
"The real object of the
was, not to countenance, much less advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to
exclude all rivalry among Christian sects."
, who had been appointed to the Supreme Court by George Washington, wrote in the Maryland case of
Runkel v. Winemiller
"By our form of government,
the Christian religion is the established religion
all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing
, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty."
America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations
FIRST AMENDMENT TWISTED?
Ronald Reagan stated in a Q & A Session, October 13, 1983:
"The First Amendment has been twisted to the point that
freedom of religion is in danger of becoming
freedom from religion."
QUESTION: How did the interpretation of the First Amendment evolve?
Below is an extended explanation.
Persecuted Europeans fled to the colonies in America. Once here, they set up colonial governments which tended to grant religious liberty only to their own specific denominations.
In the decision
Engel v. Vitale
Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black
"Groups which had most strenuously opposed the established Church of England ... passed laws
making their own religion the official religion of their respective colonies
When the Revolutionary War began, colonists had to learn to work together.
Afterwards, they tolerated each other, though the population was still predominately Christian.
The fear was that one Christian denomination might be given preference over the others and be chosen as the official national denomination, as European nations did.
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens admitted in
Wallace v. Jaffree, 1985:
"At one time it was thought that
this right merely proscribed the preference of one Christian sect over another, but would not require equal respect for the conscience of the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian faith."
Like dropping a pebble in a pond and the ripples go out, individual States began to expand religious liberty at their own speeds:
particular Christian denomination that founded each colony
new & sometimes more liberal Christian denominations,
atheists, pagans, occultic, anti-religious, fundamental Islamists, and anti-Christian.
After the Constitution went into effect, the
13 original States
ratified the First Ten Amendments which were specifically
intended to limit the power of the new Federal government
The First Amendment begins:
"CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF ..."
Let us examine the meaning of
each word and phrase
in the First Amendment:
, the one branch out of the three which makes laws. Article One: "All legislative Powers ... shall be vested in a Congress ... Bills ... shall originate in the House..."
SHALL MAKE NO LAW
"Shall make no law"
could not introduce, debate, vote on or send to the President any bill respecting an establishment of religion.
The founders did not foresee that
would usurp power and effectively make laws from the bench, or that
would effectively make laws through
Executive Orders and regulations.
Had they known that this, they likely would have worded the phrase: "
Congress, Federal Courts and the
President, shall make no law ..."
"respecting" meant "concerning" or "pertaining to." It was simply telling the Federal government to keep its "HANDS OFF" all religious issues.
When the topic of religion came before the Federal government, the correct constitutional response was
to be nothing, as the Federal government was not given jurisdiction on that issue, neither for nor against.
Religion was under each individual States' jurisdiction.
Endangered Speeches - How the ACLU, IRS & LBJ Threaten Extinction of Free Speech
did not mean "acknowledgment." It did not mean the mere
of God, Judeo-Christian beliefs, or prayer.
Establishment was a clearly understood term.
as nearly every country in Europe, as well as most of the colonies, had establishments of religion, where one particular Christian denomination had its organization, hierarchy and staff structure recognized exclusively by the government.
At the time of America's independence,
most European countries
had some kind of "
had established the
-Sweden had established the
-Scotland had established the
Church of Scotland;
-Holland had established the
Dutch Reformed Church;
-Russia had established the
Russian Orthodox Church;
-Serbia had established the
Serbian Orthodox Church;
-Romania had established the
Romanian Orthodox Church;
-Greece had established the
Greek Orthodox Church;
-Bulgaria had established the
Bulgarian Orthodox Church;
-Finland had established the
Finnish Orthodox Church;
-Ethiopia had established the
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church;
-Switzerland had established
Calvin's Ecclesiastical Ordinances; and
-Italy, Spain, France, Poland, Austria, Mexico, Costa Rica, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Vatican City
had established the
The attitude of the original 13 States was that they did not want the new Federal Government to follow the pattern of these other nations and have one particular denomination set up its headquarters in the Capitol building.
Allegorically, they did not want a Federal "Walmart" Church to come into town and put out of business their local State "mom & pop" denominations.
There was a distinct difference between
Christianity and Christianity
"with an established church."
The U.S. Supreme Court's
Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States (1892) cited Pennsylvania's
Updegraph v. The Commonwealth (1824):
general Christianity, is, and always has been, a part of the common law of Pennsylvania; Christianity, without the spiritual artillery of European countries;
for this Christianity was one of the considerations of the royal charter, and the very basis of its great founder, William Penn;
not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; not Christianity with an established church, and tithes, and spiritual courts; but Christianity
with liberty of conscience to all men."
OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF
To make the purpose of the First Amendment unquestionably clear, they went on to state that the Federal Congress could make no laws "PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE" of religion.
Ronald Reagan stated in a Radio Address, 1982:
"Founding Fathers ... enshrined the principle of freedom of religion in the First Amendment ...
The purpose of that Amendment was to
protect religion from the interference of government
in its own words,
'the free exercise of religion.'"
RELIGION UNDER STATES
Like dealing a deck of cards in a card game, the States dealt to the Federal Government jurisdiction over few things, such as providing for the common defense and regulating interstate commerce, but the rest of the cards, especially laws governing personal behavior, were held by the States.
Justice Joseph Story
wrote in his
Commentaries on the Constitution
"The whole power over the subject of religion is
left exclusively to the State Governments
, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice and the
Just as today:
-some States allow the
selling of marijuana
& others do not;
-some States allow
minors to consume alcohol
& other States do not;
-some States have
smoking bans & others do not;
-some States allow
& others do not;
-some States allow
(Nevada & formerly Rhode Island) & the rest do not;
at the time the Constitution and Bill of Rights were ratified
some States allowed more religious freedom,
such as Pennsylvania & Rhode Island, & other States, such as Connecticut & Massachusetts, did not.
it was up to the people in each State to decide
Congressman James Meacham
of Vermont gave a House Judiciary Committee report, March 27, 1854:
"At the adoption of the Constitution, we believe
every State --
certainly ten of the thirteen --
for the support of the Church
as for the support of the Government."
WHEN DID THINGS CHANGE?
theory that species could evolve inspired a political theorist named
, who coined the term "survival of the fittest."
Herbert Spencer proposed that the theory of evolution could influence other areas of academia, including law.
This was notable done by Supreme Court Justice
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
, who developed a theory of
which, according to his biographer:
"... shook the little world of lawyers and judges who had been raised on Blackstone's theory that the law, given by God Himself, was immutable and eternal and judges had only to discover its contents.
It took some years for them to come around to the view that the law was flexible, responsive to changing social and economic climates ..."
Holmes' biographer Liva Baker continued in
The Justice from Beacon Hill: The Life & Times of Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1991:
"Holmes had ... broken new intellectual trails ... demonstrating that the corpus of
was neither ukase (an edict) from God nor derived from Nature, but ...
was a constantly evolving thing,
a response to the continually developing social and economic environment."
Darwin's theory also influenced
Harvard Law Dean Christopher Columbus Langdell
to develop the "case precedent" method of practicing law.
Harvard was the only law school in the nation that taught this method, as all others taught students to study the intentions of the founders.
Langdell introduction of the "case precedent" theory occurred at the time the 14th Amendment was passed in 1868 - an amendment introduced by Republicans in Congress to guarantee rights to freed slaves in the racist Democrat South.
The evolutionary "case-precedent" method provided a convenient way to side-step the Constitutional means of changing the Constitution through the Amendment process, a process which preserved government
"of the people," as it required a 2/3's of the House & Senate, or 2/3's of the States, to call for the Amendment, and 3/4's of States to ratify it.
Activist Justices creatively employed evolutionary "legal realism" and "case precedent" methods to use the 14th Amendment as a tool to
take jurisdiction away from the States over issues such as:
unions, strikes, railroads, farming, polygamy, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and eventually,
freedom of religion.
It was much easier the
change the definition of a few words within the Constitution than to
change the views of the majority of the people.
Freedom of religion
was under each individual State's jurisdiction until the administration of
Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Roosevelt was elected President
His 12 years in office concentrated power in the Federal Government on an
with its accompanying cronyism and entrenched interests.
After FDR, the 22nd Amendment was passed limiting all future Presidents to only two terms.
In 1937, FDR nominated Democrat Senator
to be an
Associate Justice on the Supreme Court.
He had never served as a judge before in his life.
Black concentrated power
in the Federal Government by writing decisions taking jurisdiction away from the States, specifically in the area of religion.
Black did this by simply inserting the phrase "neither a State" in his 1947
Everson v Board of Education
"The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this:
Neither a State
nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another."
conveniently ignored numerous references in State Constitutions regarding religion, such as
North Carolina's Constitution
in 1835, Article 32:
, who shall deny the being of God or
the truth of the Christian religion
, or the Divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office ..."
(in effect till 1868, when requirement became belief in "the being of Almighty God");
, 1851, Article 34:
"That no other test or qualification ought to be required, on admission to any office ... than such oath of office as may be prescribed by this Constitution ... and
a declaration of belief in the Christian religion; and
if the party shall profess to be a Jew, the
declaration shall be of his belief in a future state of rewards and punishments."
(in 1867 requirement became "belief in the existence of God.")
In a word,
Justice Hugo Black
took the handcuffs off the Federal government and placed them on the State governments.
Interestingly, Daniel Dreisbach, professor in the Department of Justice, Law & Society at American University in Washington, D.C., revealed that
it was not until AFTER he issued his Everson opinion did Justice Black instruct his law clerk to look up the debates of the First Congress which passed the First Amendment.
America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations
After Hugo Black's opinion,
Federal Courts began evolving the definition of "religion"
away from that originally used by George Mason and James Madison in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776:
"Religion ... the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it."
Once religion was taken out of states' jurisdiction and put under Federal oversight, a rapid progression occurred, as seen in several cases.
"ETHICAL" CONSIDERED RELIGION
In 1957, the IRS denied tax-exempt status to an "ethical society" stating it did not qualify as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt "church" or "religious society."
The case went to the Supreme Court, where
Justice Warren Burger
Washington Ethical Society v. District of Columbia
"We hold on this record and under the controlling statutory language petitioner (The Washington
qualifies as 'a religious corporation or society' ...
It is incumbent upon Congress to utilize this
broad definition of religion
in all its legislative actions bearing on the support or non-support of religion, within the context of the 'no-establishment' clause of the First Amendment."
"SECULAR HUMANISM" CONSIDERED RELIGION
In 1961, Roy Torcaso wanted to be a notary public in Maryland, but did not want to make "a declaration of belief in the existence of God," as required by Maryland's State Constitution of 1867, Article 37.
In the Supreme Court case
Torcaso v Watkins
Justice Hugo Black
included a footnote which has been cited authoritatively in subsequent cases:
"Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others."
Justice Scalia wrote in
Edwards v. Aguillard
Torcaso v. Watkins,
367 U.S. 488, 495, n. 11 (1961), we did indeed refer to
'SECULAR HUMANISM' as a 'religion.'"
"SINCERE AND MEANINGFUL BELIEF" CONSIDERED RELIGION
During the Vietnam War, Mr. Seeger said he could not affirm or deny the existence of a Supreme Being and wanted to be a draft-dodger, claiming to be a conscientious objector under the Universal Military Training and Service Act, Section 6(j) that allowed exemptions for "religious training and belief."
United States v Seeger,
(1965), U.S. Supreme Court Justice
test of religious belief
within the meaning in Section 6(j) is whether it is
a sincere and meaningful belief
occupying in the life of its possessor a place parallel to that filled by the God of those admittedly qualified for the exemption."
The Real Intent of Jefferson on Separation of Church & State / How the Birth of Jesus affected the Calendar (DVD)
"BELIEFS ABOUT RIGHT AND WRONG" CONSIDERED RELIGION
Another draft-dodger case involved Elliot Welsh. The U.S. Supreme Court, in
Welsh v. United States
(1970), decided that belief in a "deity" is not necessary to be "religious":
"Having decided that all religious conscientious objectors were entitled to the exemption, we faced the more serious problem of determining which beliefs were 'religious' within the meaning of the statute ...
Determining whether the registrant's beliefs are religious
these beliefs play the role of religion
and function as a religion in the registrant's life ...
his beliefs function as a religion in his life
, such an individual is as much entitled to a 'religious' conscientious objector exemption under Section 6(j) as is someone who derives his conscientious opposition to the war from traditional religious convictions ..."
Welsh v. United States continued:
"We think it clear that the beliefs which prompted his objection occupy the same place in his life as the belief in a traditional deity holds in the lives of his friends, the Quakers ...
A registrant's conscientious objection to all war is
within the meaning Section 6(j) if this opposition stems from the registrant's moral, ethical, or religious
beliefs about what is right and wrong
these beliefs are held with the strength of traditional religious convictions.
"ATHEISM" CONSIDERED RELIGION
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, (W.D. WI) decision in
Kaufman v. McCaughtry
, August 19, 2005, stated:
"A religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being...
Atheism may be considered...religion
'Atheism is indeed a form of religion ...'
The Supreme Court has recognized atheism as equivalent to a 'religion' for purposes of the First Amendment ...
The Court has adopted
a broad definition of 'religion' that includes non-theistic and atheistic beliefs
, as well as theistic ones ...
Atheism is Kaufman's religion
, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even
though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being."
INSTEAD OF AMENDMENTS, CHANGE CONSTITUTION WITH "CRUCIBLE OF LITIGATION"
Overlooking that the Constitution is only to be changed by Amendments voted in by the majority of the people, the Supreme Court admitted in
Wallace v Jaffree
(472 U.S. 38, 1985) that the original meaning of the First Amendment was modified "in the crucible of litigation," a term not mentioned in the Constitution:
"At one time it was thought that this right merely proscribed the preference of one Christian sect over another, but would not require equal respect for the consciences of the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian faith such as Islam or Judaism.
But when the underlying principle has been examined in the
crucible of litigation
, the Court has unambiguously concluded that
the individual freedom of conscience
protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith
or none at all
Federal Courts used the novel
"crucible of litigation"
to evolve the definition of "religion" to include "
a sincere and meaningful belief
beliefs about right and wrong
," and "
Now, so as
not to prefer one "religion"
Federal Courts have prohibited God.
effectively ESTABLISHED -- by its own definition -- the religion of atheism in the exact the way the First Amendment was intended to prohibit.
This was warned against by U.S. Supreme Court Justice
in his dissent in
Abington Township v. Schempp
"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."
referred to this decision in a radio address, February 25, 1984:
"Former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart noted if religious exercises are held to be impermissible activity in schools, religion is placed at an artificial and state-created disadvantage.
Permission for such exercises for those who want them is necessary if the schools are truly to be neutral in the matter of religion. And a refusal to permit them is seen not as the realization of state neutrality,
but rather as the establishment of a religion of secularism
U.S. District Court,
Crockett v. Sorenson
, W.D. Va,. 1983:
"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.
stated in a Ceremony for Prayer in Schools, September 25, 1982:
"In the last two decades we've experienced an onslaught of such twisted logic that if Alice were visiting America, she might think she'd never left Wonderland.
We're told that it somehow violates the rights of others to permit students in school who desire to pray to do so. Clearly, this infringes on the freedom of those who choose to pray ...
To prevent those who believe in God from expressing their faith is an outrage."
It may be just a coincidence, but the ACLU's agenda is similar to the Communist agenda, as read into the Congressional Record by
Congressman Albert S. Herlong
, Jr., of Florida, January 10, 1963 (Vol 109, 88th Congress, 1st Session, Appendix, pp. A34-A35):
"Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of 'separation of church and state.'"
stated in a Radio Address, 1982:
"The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray."
Judge Richard Suhrheinrich
ACLU v Mercer County
, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 20, 2005:
"The ACLU makes repeated reference to 'the separation of church and state.' This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome.
The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state.
Our nation's history is replete with governmental acknowledgment and in some case, accommodation of religion."
Committee for Public Education & Religious Liberty v. Nyquist,
413 U.S. 756, 760 (1973), the Court stated:
"This Nation's history has not been one of entirely sanitized separation between Church and State. It has never been thought either possible or desirable to enforce a regime of total separation."
The Court stated in
Lemon v. Kurtzman,
403 U.S. 602 (1971):
"Our prior holdings do not call for total separation between church and state; total separation is not possible in an absolute sense."
The Supreme Court stated in
Lynch v Donnelly,
"The Constitution does not 'require complete separation of church and state'... The concept of a 'wall' of separation is a ... figure of speech ... but the metaphor itself is not a wholly accurate description of the practical aspects of the relationship that in fact exists between church and state."
Associate Justice William Rehnquis
t wrote in the U.S. Supreme Court case
Wallace v. Jafree
, 1985, dissent, 472 U. S., 38, 99:
"The 'wall of separation between church and state'
is a metaphor based on bad history
, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.
It is impossible to build sound constitutional doctrine upon a mistaken understanding of Constitutional history ... The establishment clause had been expressly freighted with Jefferson's
for nearly forty years ...
There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the framers intended to build a wall of separation ... Recent court decisions are in no way based on either the language or intent of the framers ...
But the greatest injury of the 'wall' notion is its mischievous diversion of judges from the actual intentions of the drafters of the Bill of Rights."
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart
Engle v Vitale
, 1962, dissent:
"The Court ... is not aided ... by the ...
invocation of metaphors
like the 'wall of separation,' a phrase nowhere to be found in the Constitution."
In the U.S. Supreme Court decision,
McCullum v Board of Education
, it stated:
"Rule of law should not be drawn from a figure of speech."
Justice William O'Douglas
Zorach v Clausen,
"The First Amendment, however, does not say that in every and all respects there shall be a separation of Church and State ...
We find no constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion and to throw its weight against efforts to widen the effective scope of religious influence ...
We cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility to religion."
told the Annual Convention of the National Religious Broadcasters, January 30, 1984:
"I was pleased last year to proclaim 1983 the Year of the Bible. But, you know, a group called the ACLU severely criticized me for doing that. Well, I wear their indictment like a badge of honor."
Groups hostile to traditional values, such as aggressive LGBT activists or fundamental Islamist brotherhoods, use the newly evolved interpretation of the First Amendment to take liberties away from a majority of Americans -- liberties the First Amendment was intended to guarantee?
is quoted in the
article, "Eisenhower on Communism," October 13, 1952:
"The Bill of Rights contains no grant of privilege for a group of people to destroy the Bill of Rights.
A group -- like the Communist conspiracy -- dedicated to the ultimate destruction of all civil liberties, cannot be allowed to claim civil liberties as its privileged sanctuary from which to carry on subversion of the Government."
worded it differently on the National Day of Prayer, May 6, 1982:
"Well-meaning Americans in the name of freedom have taken freedom away. For the sake of religious tolerance, they've forbidden religious practice."
stated at an Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast, August 23, 1984:
"The frustrating thing is that those who are attacking religion claim they are doing it in the name of tolerance and freedom and open-mindedness.
Isn't the real truth that they are intolerant of religion?"
intend to outlaw the acknowledgment of God and limit students, teachers, coaches, chaplains, schools, organizations, and communities from public religious expression?
intend to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to violate their consciences and support abortion?
Did he intend to force cake bakers or wedding photographers who believe in natural marriage to violate their consciences or be put out of business?
President Donald J. Trump proclaimed January 16, 2018:
"Our Constitution and laws guarantee Americans the right not just to believe as they see fit, but to freely exercise their religion.
Unfortunately, not all have recognized the importance of religious freedom, whether by threatening tax consequences for particular forms of religious speech, or forcing people to comply with laws that violate their core religious beliefs without sufficient justification ...
I addressed these issues in an Executive Order that helps ensure Americans are able to follow their consciences without undue Government interference ...
No American - whether a
nun, nurse, baker, or business owner - should be forced to choose between the tenets of faith or adherence to the law."
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY, Americans remember the passage of Jefferson's
Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, which stated:
"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical ...
That therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity ... unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which ... he has a natural right ...
That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion ... is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty
because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own ...
Be it enacted by General Assembly that
no man ... shall be
or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief,
but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities."
addressed the Alabama State Legislature, March 15, 1982:
"The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values;
it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny."
The Real Intent of Jefferson on Separation of Church & State / How the Birth of Jesus affected the Calendar (DVD)
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