Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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December 20, 2011

Founding fathers would fight for nativity scene

Athens — If you were to ask the question, “What do the Christian Left and atheists have in common?” the answer might be that many of them believe in the modern version of separation of church and state. I believe the difference between them is that the Christian Left is just uninformed about the historical truths, while the atheist is being guided, knowingly or not, by the hand of Satan.

So let us take a moment to help our fellow Christians on the left (and right) gain a little historical perspective, so they can more astutely defend our Courthouse Nativity scene.

In 1947, the United States Supreme Court ruled on the first amendment to the Constitution creating this misguided notion that nothing Christian, such as our nativity scene, could be placed on government properties. Or for that matter, nothing Christian may be allowed into anything governmental.

The first truth we need to be aware of is that the church was to be protected from government intrusion, as was the rule in England in the 1700s. Never was the founder’s intent to protect government from religion.

Read again the amendments word’s… “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” So the first line meant the federal government could not establish a government-run church, and the second meant the government could not in any way stop any person or church from the freedom to exert its beliefs in the public square.

So, just where did the 1947 court get their supporting argument from? It came from a private letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association, where he said, “I contemplate, with sovereign reverence, that act of the whole American people, which declared that their legislature should  'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

In an earlier Supreme Court ruling on this same issue, the court printed Jefferson’s letter in its entirety, and upheld the founder’s ideal and origianl intent.

In 1947, the justices lifted only the words, “wall of separation between church and state,” which allowed them the ability to distort, and untimately abolish the founders’ original intent.

Note the words, “separation of church and state,” are not even mentioned in the constitution, yet these same words are the only ones used by the atheist to remove things such as our nativity scene.

Allow me one very provacative question… “Why wasn’t President Thomas Jefferson impeached for not upholding the Constitution of the United States, as he swore to do at his inaugration, if the modern atheistic version of the first amendment is correct?”

I can just hear now, atheists and maybe some uninformed Christians go…what? You see, if you think Jefferson believed in separation of church and state, then you would have to answer this question: Why did the President attend Christian worship services with 2,000 others in the United States Capitol Rotundra every Sunday? And why did he order, as Commander-in-Chief, the government-paid U.S. Marine Corp Band to play the music for those same church services? Wouldn’t those acts violate the Constitution, according to the modern interpretation?

The reason President Jefferson was not impeached was because Americans in our first 150 years understood our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. In fact, they knew the Bible much better than most Americans today also. So they were well-aware that most of the Constitution was riddled with words and phrases from scripture. Our founders pulled every possible tenet from their Christian faith’s book to design this “more perfect union.”

Addressing one more agrument of the Wisconsin atheist group that the Nativity scene demonstrates a “county endorsement” of Christianity…so what! If you research the 13 original states’ constitutions, you will find that even states were allowed, and did establish official state-endorsed religion.

The reason that the federal government did not take issue with the states doing this is because they understood the Constitution only restricted the national government from establishing a government church, and also understood the 10th Amendment which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

In others words, what the Constitution prohibits the federal government from doing, like not establishing a government-run church, the people of each state may vote to live according to their own conscience.

Do not get me wrong. I would not want a Texas or Henderson County Church of XYZ, but constitutionally, we have that right.

So now I call on all Americans, Texans and Henderson County residents – Take a stand with me to vow to fight this atheistic tyranny. Vow to fight, as our  founding fathers did, when they signed the Declaration of Independence, stating, “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence (God), we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Richard Riehn

Henderson County

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