|Jesus Ppicture in question|
Here is my response:
To the viewer, it’s Jesus. That’s why the ACLU and the Freedom from Religion Foundation have requested it be removed.
Second, the Founding Fathers were largely deists, not Christian. They believed in God, but not necessarily in the Christian view. James Madison, the fourth president, led the fight for religious freedom after being appalled by the sight of Baptist ministers being forced to preach from their jail cell. They had been arrested for not being Anglican.
The Founding Fathers demonstrated their decision to support freedom of religion in several ways:
1) The Constitution itself divorced religion from the political equation: “No religious Test shall ever be required as a qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." (Art. 6, Sec. 3).
2) The First Amendment of the Constitution forbids the creation of any laws “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The only oath spelled out in the Constitution, the presidential oath of office, contains no reference to God or the Bible.
3) In 1797, near the end of George Washington’s second term, he approved a treaty with Tripoli that declared "the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." John Adams shepherded the treaty through Congress without dissent over the wording. Nor did the public object when the treaty was published.
4) In a letter to a Baptist group in 1802, President Jefferson described "a wall of separation between church and state.” That term has become commonplace in court decisions, reflecting the idea that religion has no place in government action.
5) Jefferson emphasized that government had no right to promote any religion or interfere with private belief. He underlined that belief by responding to a question from visitors to the White House by saying why he should care what his neighbor believes.
6) Even though the vast majority of Americans are Christian – about 78 percent at last count -- the Constitution guarantees that they cannot impose their religious beliefs on others. The 14th Amendment also prevents states and cities from creating restrictions that would deprive minorities of their Constitutional rights.
7) The government was not based on the Ten Commandments or any religious teachings. Instead, our Founding Fathers drew on concepts developed by the Indians, their knowledge of European government and some original ideas.
Many of those who believe this country is a Christian nation often cite Supreme Court Justice David Brewer who in an 1892 case, Holy Trinity Church vs. United States, wrote in a personal opinion that "this is a Christian nation."
Third, despite the reader’s contention, God is not being removed from everything. God is clearly evoked on our money and in our Pledge of Allegiance. The difference is that people cannot be forced to believe in God or subjected to prayers and religious beliefs of others.
Pray all you want in school, home or the street. Just don’t impose your prayer requirement on anyone else.
Fourth, Prayer hardly is the panacea for any perceived problems. Society is not in decay. We actually live in a far better world than any previous generation. There are fewer murders and fewer crimes. We still have wars, but they do not compare to the massive destruction of World War I or World War II.
Besides, morality is an extraordinary flexible target. Every generation bemoans the decline in morality. That, however, assumes we all agree what is moral or immoral. We do not. I don’t personally like the increased use of profanity, but don’t see that as a moral issue. Most English profanity derives from perfectly good Anglo-Saxon words condemned after the French conquered England in 1066.
Not that long ago, society argued that racial intermarriage was immoral. I certainly hope that’s not the case now.
|Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish Justice|