Friday, November 28, 2008

Founder's Friday

The dilemma is this:

The founding fathers alluded to a supreme authority that should be recognized and given proper credence; yet also acknowledged clear freedoms to force no man to adhere to that authority. So when we look to define the line between church and state; Where does it fall?


  1. I haven't spent much time here over the holiday, and I want to formulate a longer response, but my quick thoughts are:

    1) The founders obviously believed in God - in fact, the Declaration of Independence states that they believed our rights originated from God.

    2) From a strict textual analysis, the Declaration has no legal authority regarding the governance of our nation, and "God" is not mentioned in the US Constitution - funny how people point to words (or lack thereof) in the constitution when it suits them, but desire a "living" constitution based on evolving standards when that suits them better.

    3) The first ammendment begins "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" (emphasis mine). The US constitution actually does not prohibit individual states from establishing state religions.

    More to come.

  2. I find point #3 fascinating! Never really considered that. But then now that I think about it, at the writing of the constitution, it seems that several states had established religions, didn't they? In fact, that was part of the reason Thomas Jefferson went to bat for the first ammendments to the constitution. I think it was in regard to Baptists and their predicament with state religions forbidding them to preach and assemble freely: same trouble they always seemed to have everywhere else too. I need to refresh my history a little bit, but that really is intriguing.