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CaptainBob
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PostSubject: Church 'n' State   March 5th 2009, 08:52

We lose freedom just as you would eat an elephant: one bite at a time. If we fail to act, fail to defend, we will suffer the same fate as the elephant---we will have been eaten one bite at a time. Liberty calls. Heed and defend as if your life depended on it. Actually, it does. I wrote the following several years ago and it has been published in two North Georgia newspapers. I believe the read is worth your time. Take care.

Separation of Church and State
Bob Burdick

There's been much ado about religion of late. Actually, religious controversy outdates all who may read these words, but one aspect deserves particular attention: "separation of church and state." Those who embrace this concept cite the First Amendment of the Constitution as backing their stance. But does it?
The First Amendment: "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."
How does one derive an intent of "separation of church and state" from the words in this amendment? When pressed on this, the response is often, "We don't talk or write that way today, but that's what our Founding Fathers meant."
But did they? And how would we know?
One way to know is to simply understand the truth in the adage, "Actions speak louder than words." So what were the actions of these Founding Fathers as they handled the positions of church and state in their daily life. Did they embrace both as one, or did they treat these subjects as separate entities?
One clue would be The New England Primer, a textbook used during the school years of these Founding Fathers. The book opens with "A Divine Song of Praise to God, for a Child," by the Rev. Dr. Watts. Is this separation of church and state? No.
As school kids, of course, they had no say in the choice of this textbook, but later as our Founding Fathers they had ample choice when drafting the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."
The Declaration of Independence is one of America's greatest documents, and our Founding Fathers chose to acknowledge God in the first sentence. Is this separation of church and state? No.
Now move forward to November 19, 1863, and consider a few words spoken that day: "… that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
The Gettysburg Address is recognized as one of the most moving expressions of democratic spirit ever uttered, but it gives no quarter to separation of church and state. Had President Lincoln lived to see the Pledge of Allegiance penned, would he have objected to the inclusion of "One Nation under God?" The obvious answer is, "No."
John Jay, one of the framers of the Constitution, was appointed by George Washington in 1789 to be the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. In a letter to clergyman Jedidiah Morse, John Lay wrote: "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
In a practice that began in 1789, and still continues today, each session of Congress has opened with prayer. And it takes only a glance to see this Nation's acknowledgement of God on our coin and currency. Indeed, In God We Trust.
Our Founding Fathers did not include the words "separation of church and state" in the Constitution or its First Amendment. Furthermore, their actions testify to their intent that no such separation should exist.

Bob Burdick is a retired general contractor. After a career of building with wood, concrete, and steel, he turned to building with words. He is the author of, The Margaret Ellen, A Karen Cobia Mystery; Tread Not On Me; Wrap-Up; and Stories Along The Way, a short-story collection that won the Royal Palm Book Award.
Bob's non-writing interests include Amateur Radio, the shooting sports, and vigorous support for all things AMERICAN.
www.bobburdick.com
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PostSubject: Re: Church 'n' State   March 5th 2009, 09:09

Thank you for sharing that! I read it on your website and I've been trying to explain that to co-workers and others for years. An article like that is worth anyone's time!

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