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March 30 2014 1 30 /03 /March /2014 10:44

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By John R. Houk

© March 30, 2014

 

I began this post as a short introduction to Dougindeap’s comment on the post “Disputing Separation Church/State Part 2” left on my NCCR blog. However as I kept going and going (sorry about the length) I realized I just had to simply add this to the already part’s I had begun which prior to this post had reached Part Five. The way I handled this current post is by responding to Dougindeap’s Part Two comment in stages. If you wish to read Dougindeap’s Part Two comment before commencing my thoughts simply scroll down to the end of these thoughts where it is in entirety.

 

Dougindeap there is a context to the quotes. I sense that you cannot accept the context; which is the Founding Fathers’ belief in Christian Morality. There is only a controversy to the Founding Fathers’ stand on Christian Morality in Left Wing historical revisionism in the lack of understanding to the Christian gravitation toward American Deism. Many if not most of the Founding Fathers embraced a Christian Deism in varying degrees, but those degrees for the majority was the nearly universal context of Nature’s God – the Creator of Nature – being the Judeo-Context of God pertaining to a moral society. The few Deists that embraced the extreme deism from the evolution of the French Revolution was very low in rejecting morality as derived by Christianity. The great American Pamphleteer in Thomas Paine is an example of this small minority of American Deists that placed more stock in the goodness of man over the Biblical Truth of humanity’s Fallen Nature.

 

Dougindeap says,

 

In assessing the nature of our government, though, care should be taken to distinguish between society and government and not to make too much of various founders’ individual religious beliefs. Their individual beliefs, while informative, are largely beside the point. (Thus, whether you offer one or one hundred quotations of the sort you have presented, matters not one wit.) Whatever their religions, they drafted a Constitution that establishes a secular government and separates it from religion as noted in earlier comments.

 

The Founding Fathers’ religious beliefs in Christian Morality were viewed as necessary to prevent those in government from morally degenerating. Thus preventing the government from corrupting was and is the point for Christian people to step into positions to keep government good. Without goodness in government society becomes morally bankrupt which lends to worse government and eventually the very elitist despotism that led the American Founders to rebel against British Crown rule. Indeed the Constitution kept the government out of religion with a secular government, BUT the Founders expected Christian Morality to be the measuring stick that kept government good.

 

Dougindeap your comment implies the word “blessing” had many meanings beyond what a Christian would consider a blessing derived from the 1828 edition of Noah Webster’s Diction. So I looked it up:

 

BLESS'ING, ppr. Making happy; wishing happiness to; praising or extolling; consecrating by prayer.


BLESS'ING,n. Benediction; a wish of happiness pronounced; a prayer imploring happiness upon another.


1. A solemn prophetic benediction, in which happiness is desired, invoked or foretold.
This is the blessing wherewith Moses--blessed the children of Israel. Deu 33.

2. Any means of happiness; a gift, benefit or advantage; that which promotes temporal prosperity and welfare, or secures immortal felicity. A just and pious magistrate is a public blessing. The divine favor is the greatest blessing.

3. Among the Jews, a present; a gift; either because it was attended with kind wishes for the welfare of the giver, or because it was the means of increasing happiness.

Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee. Gen 33. (Webster's 1828 English DictionaryBlessings; http://sorabji.com/1828/. [Noah Webster's1828 American Dictionary of the English Language is regarded by many as the finest English dictionary ever published. The dictionary is available in many forms.])

 

Dougindeap you have to explain to me what in this definition is weighted to a non-religious meaning.

 

Dougindeap says,

 

The Constitution’s establishment of a secular government is entirely consistent with the fact that some founders professed their religiosity and even their desire that Christianity remain the dominant religious influence in American society. Why? Because religious people who would like to see their religion flourish in society may well believe that separating religion and government will serve that end and, thus, in founding a government they may well intend to keep it separate from religion. (Bold Emphasis Blog Editor)

 

As I pointed out the bold print above is or at least was true in one direction; i.e. keeping government out of religion, but not the other direction of keeping religion out of government. This is a truer statement: Secular in government and religious in moral foundation of government. And when the Founding Fathers would say “religious” or “religion” they were speaking of Christianity and NOT Secular Humanism. AGAIN, this is the context of the Founding Father quotes AND this makes those quotes extremely relevant.

 

Dougindeap uses selective Left Wing historical revisionism in using the most Christian of the Founding Fathers in John Adams and the ratification of the Treaty of Tripoli between the USA and the Barbary Pirates. You can find a concise evaluation of the Treaty of Tripoli at Ministers-Best-Friend.com. You should read that entire evaluation; however after the Dougindeap quote from his comment I am offering an excerpt to get the truth out there about Left Wing revision history.

 

Dougindeap says,

 

Lest there be any doubt on this score, note that shortly after the founding, President John Adams (a founder) signed, with the unanimous consent of the Senate (comprised in large measure of founders), the Treaty of Tripoli declaring, in pertinent part, “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” No need to resort to reading tea leaves to understand that. This is not an informal comment by an individual founder, but rather an official declaration of the most solemn sort by the United States government itself. Note that the Constitution provides that treaties, apart from the Constitution itself, are the highest law of the land.

 

Ministers-Best-Friend.com’s excerpt:

 

 

INTRO: In this Law Commentary we seek set the record straight about the paragraph quoted from Article 11 – assumeded (sic) - of the Treaty of Tripoli ratified by Congress on June 10, 1797during President John Adams’ administration. If there is one thing about the Treaty of Tripoli which anti-Christians cannot escape, it is the fact that no matter how you cut it, the supposed “non Christian section” (Article 11) of that treaty cannot be validated.

 

Wanting to disprove America’s Christian heritage, the Treaty of Tripoli cannot logically or historically be referenced as any “evidence” against the USA as a Christian nation whatsoever. The current modern Treaty of Tripoli so prevalent on the internet and many books and booklets, is totally fraud, a deliberate document of deceit, absolutely false, a complete forgery, and …

 

 

Furthermore, that one of only few presidents to ever be accused of atheism in a Presidential campaign - President Thomas Jefferson (holding “unusual Christian beliefs by any account”) that he led this effort to correct the forged document that made it “seem” the USA was not founded upon Christianity, is all the more compelling when carefully considered.

 

 

Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, and James Monroe, all worked to correct the “forged and fraudulent” Treaty of Tripoli floating in the Arabic world at that time.

 

Nevertheless, because this topic arises so often among people who have never actually studied the subject matter in the first place, an expose’ of the facts surrounding that treaty is long overdue. Let the record speak for itself.

 

The section in question, Article 11 of that treaty reads as follows:

 

“As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” [Note: “Musselmen” means Muslim]

 

(source): Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America , Hunter Miller, Documents 1-40 :1776-1818 Washington : Government Printing Office, 1931. – Treaty of Tripoli

 

 

Short version of explaining the misunderstanding about the “Treaty of Tripoli”

1) There is no original Treaty of Tripoli in existence anywhere and there hasn’t been for well over 200 years.

 

2) The U.S. ratified Treaty of Tripoli cited today as “the original” was an English version copy of an Arabic version copy of the Arabic original (now missing).

 

3) There is NO Article 11 in the Arabic version of that treaty, experts now agree that Article 11 was spuriously inserted into the English copy, and most probably by the America diplomat Joel Barlow, who helped negotiate the treaty and who was himself a skeptic of Christianity.

 

4) When the tampered English translation version was presented to Congress for ratification in 1797, in spite of Article 11 inserted and included, they had to pass the treaty anyway out of political expedience and immediate urgency to quickly stop the carnage of militant pirate attacks upon American merchant ships in the Mediterranean Sea. Because of the situation at hand, there would be no time tore-draft such a treaty and run it through the diplomatic channels again.

 

5) Eight years later when America gained a military upper hand on the situation, this Treaty was renegotiated in 1805-6, and the “non-Christian” Article 11 phrase was conspicuously removed and absent!

 

6) Those who attempt to use the Treaty of Tripoli as so called evidence proposing that this nation was not founded on the Christian religion, typically ignore the Treaty of Paris of 1783, which formally ended the Revolutionary War.

 

This Treaty, negotiated by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams among others, is truly a foundational document for America, because by this treaty Britain recognized the independence of the United States as a nation. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 begins with the words, "In the Name of the most holy and undivided Trinity... It having pleased the Divine Providence” *

 

No qualified historian or explanatory references of any Congressional records have ever questioned, in the least, the validity of those revealing words of that treaty, as they do concerning the falsified Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli. *(Treaty of Paris, 1783; International Treaties and Related Records, 1778-1974; General records of the United States Government, Record group 11; National Archives)

 

7) The Treaty of Tripoli argument used against Christian America on the part of secular humanists (their “strongest” isolated claim that America was not established upon Christianity) is one based on a shallow examination of a the document. Its claimed “non-Christian part” is readily admitted by non-biased experts to have either been fraudulent or some entry that is unaccounted for. By any standard, the argument lacks credibility due to its obviously spurious nature.

 

 

Joel Barlow was a known Christian critic, and it was Barlow who translated the original treaty from Arabic into English, which is the version that President John Adams and the US Congress ratified.

 

It is no surprise then, from the definitive study on the Treaty of Tripoli in the Hunter Miller Notes, Government Printing Office 1931 under “NOTE REGARDING THE BARLOW TRANSLATION”, that we read:

 

“As even a casual examination of the annotated translation of 1930 shows, the Barlow translation is at best a poor attempt at a paraphrase or summary of the sense of the Arabic; and even as such its defects throughout are obvious and glaring. Most extraordinary (and wholly unexplained) is the fact that Article 11 of the Barlow translation, with its famous phrase, "the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion," does not exist at all.

 

There is no Article 11. The Arabic text which is between Articles 10 and 12 is in form a letter, crude and flamboyant and withal quite unimportant, from the Dey of Algiers to the Pasha of Tripoli.

 

How that script came to be written and to be regarded, as in the Barlow translation, as Article 11 of the treaty as there written, is a mystery and seemingly must remain so. Nothing in the diplomatic correspondence of the time throws any light whatever on the point.”

 

4

 

It’s interesting to see that the controversial “Article 11” was in some form of ascribbled (sic) letter.

 

If Barlow didn’t outright insert it himself, a likely explanation is that the Dey of Algiers wrote this note on the Treaty face to alleviate any worry of the Pasha of Tripoli about entering into a Treaty with an “infidel” (non-Islamic) nation like the United States.

 

The translator assumed this was part of the Treaty and translated it along with the rest of the document. More than likely the clauses of the original document (missing forever) were not numbered, so the translator would have numbered this as Clause 11 between Clauses 10 and 12, as he progressed in trying to organize it.

 

Concerning the true original text of the Treaty, it is documented that none now exists: “--- (T)he first source of the texts of those collections was clearly a now missing copy, as is shown by the fact that they include a certification of the text as a copy – “The 1930 Annotation in 2ND Part Treaty with Tripoli 1796: Hunter Miller's Notes, U.S. Govt .Printing Office

 

So the truth is that the original treaty was written in Arabic and presented to the Barbary Muslim nations in that manner, yet the Arabic treaty has no strange Article 11 in READ ENTIRETY (Blog Editor: Yes this is an excerpt and still there is much more. Read the entire post for the full benefit.)

 

The excerpt is lengthy but is very important for my fellow Conservatives to know that the Left Wing history revisionists are either misinformed or deliberately misleading people on John Adams claiming the USA is in no way founded on Christianity.

 

Dougindeap says,

 

It is instructive to recall that the Constitution’s separation of church and state reflected, at the federal level, a “disestablishment” political movement then sweeping the country. That political movement succeeded in disestablishing all state religions by the 1830s. (Side note: A political reaction to that movement gave us the term “antidisestablishmentarianism,” which amused some of us as kids.) It is worth noting, as well, that this disestablishment movement was linked to another movement, the Great Awakening. The people of the time saw separation of church and state as a boon, not a burden, to religion.

 

When the U.S. Constitution became the Law of the Land in 1789, the First Amendment (1791) and Church-State Establishment was interpreted to be reserved for each individual State which the Federal government would stay aloof but by NO MEANS mandated disestablishment of any of the State Constitutions that specified a State Church.

 

Nor did disestablishment come about as a consequence of the 1787 Constitution 217 or because of the ratification of the First Amendment in 1791. Nor was disestablishment spurred forward as a downstream consequence of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Rather, disestablishment was a state-law affair that had already been percolating in some states when they first adopted constitutions in 1776 and which continued on until completed in 1833. Each state that once had an established church has a unique story to tell on its path to the adoption of religious voluntaryism.

 

… As to the First Amendment, it was well understood at the time of its ratification that the religion clauses (indeed the entire Bill of Rights) were adopted out of a felt need to restrain the new national government. 219 Thus the Establishment Clause, by its terms and its design, was to preserve—as a matter of residual state sovereignty—full authority in the states concerning how the law was to deal in any frontal way with the thorny matter of religion. 220 Indeed, it is not too strong to say that during the early republic, the First Amendment was of little use as a standard around which to rally the forces in support of disestablishment. 221 Rather, disestablishment was a state-by-state affair, and hard work at that. It was a veritable slog with the path forward marked by local concerns and local personalities, as opposed to an issue that some continental-spanning crisis had elevated to a matter of national importance. 222 (Dissent and Disestablishment: The Church-State Settlement in the Early American Republic; By Carl H. Esbeck; BYU Law Review; 11/1/04; Pg. 1449, 1450)

 

This historical fact pointed out by Esbeck further demonstrates that Christian Morality was the measuring stick for government. The First Amendment simply delegated the specifics to the several sovereign States of the early American Republic. The only guarantee was that the Federal government would make no law interfering or establishing a Christian Church on the Federal level.

 

Dougindeap’s point about a disestablishmentarian movement is correct but not because Americans were demanding secularism to overrule Christian Morality that was still considered the bedrock of good government. Rather the disestablishmentarianism movement proceeded because the Second Great Awakening (See Also HERE) spurred the growth of Protestant Denominations that essentially eclipsed and/or challenged the two most influential Denominations prior to the Second Great Awakening. The two mainstay Denominations were the Episcopal Church (formerly Anglican prior to the Revolutionary War) and Congregational Church. The Second Great Awakening spurred the Methodist Church and the Baptist Church to surpass the former majority Denominations in membership. AND THIS is what spurred disestablishmentarianism in the USA. Individual faith became more important than State institutionalized Established Churches which were typically either Episcopalian (the most preeminent) or Congregationalist. This was not a lack of interest of Christianity in government but rather a greater interest in individual Denomination members doing their part to promote good Christian men for Public Office. Of course this meant that prayer still occurred in schools supported by taxes. This meant the continued use of Public Institutions to give honor to God Almighty in the demonstration of Christian affirmation on Court Buildings, Public Buildings, City Buildings and so on to promote the general welfare of the blessings of the Christian God upon American citizens and government.

 

The American religious impulse had become popularistic, personalistic, and democratic. 241 The work of the faith was less focused on the institutional church and more on each individual; lesser attention was given to correct doctrine while greater emphasis was placed on practical living. 242

 

 

If a religious establishment is measured by the legal authority to assess taxes for church support, then disestablishment occurred in the remaining states in the following order: North Carolina (1776), New York (1777), Virginia (1776−1779), Maryland (1785), South Carolina (1790), Georgia (1798), Vermont (1807), Connecticut (1818), New Hampshire (1819), Maine (1820), and Massachusetts (1832−1833). Disestablishment in Virginia, 245 and to a lesser degree its occurrence in Connecticut and Massachusetts, has been written on extensively. (Ibid. pp. 1456, 1458)

 

Dougindeap finishes his comment on an Alex de Tocqueville quote observing that Americans had declared to him “…that they all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state.” The de Tocqueville quote continues: “…I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point.”

 

Frankly I suspect Dougindeap was setting me up for an oft used quote attributed to de Tocqueville in the seminal work “Democracy in America,” but in which scholars have discovered is not actually in the de Tocqueville book:

 

America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” (Found on a webpage that has a series of de Tocqueville quotes melded together as if they were written as one thought promoting Christianity as America’s foundation - http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/cdf/onug/detocq.html)

 

The America is great because America is good quote has been used so much it has become a lexicon adage about America attributed to de Tocqueville. Prominent politicians and American leaders including a couple of U.S. Presidents have repeated the adage. Sadly the phrase is not found in “Democracy in America”.

 

John J. Pitney, Jr. wrote about the spurious quote:

 

… Nowhere do they appear in Democracy in America, or anywhere else in Tocqueville.

 

The authenticity of the passage came into question when first-year government students at Claremont McKenna College received an assignment: Find a contemporary speech quoting Tocqueville, and determine how accurately the speaker used the quotation. A student soon uncovered a recent Senate floor speech that cited the "America is great" line. He scoured Democracy in America, but could not find the passage. The professor looked, too - and it was not there.

 

Further research led to reference books that cautiously referred to the quotation as "unverified" and "attributed to de Tocqueville but not found in his works." These references, in turn, pointed to the apparent source: a 1941 book on religion and the American dream. The book quoted the last two lines of the passage as coming from Democracy in America but supplied no documentation. (The author may have mistaken his own notes for a verbatim quotation, a common problem in the days before photocopiers.) The full version of the quotation appeared 11 years later, in an Eisenhower campaign speech. Ike, however, attributed it not directly to Tocqueville but to "a wise philosopher [who] came to this country ...."

 

 

It's a shame that politicians are using a knockoff product when the real thing is so fine. Democracy in America offers profound analyses of the roles of religion, morality, and voluntary action, though its insights are subtler than the purple prose of the counterfeit.

 

 

Of course, after decades of repetition, it has in fact become an old adage. It just isn't Tocqueville's. (THE TOCQUEVILLE FRAUD; John J. Pitney, Jr.; The Weekly Standard; article found at Tocqueville.org; 11/13/1995)

 

So de Tocqueville’s legend did not actually pen, “America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Nonetheless it does not make it any less true!

 

Here are some actual quotes that can be found in de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”. These quotes show the observation that Church/State separation only flows in one direction, viz. government separated from Christianity but not Christianity being separated from government (not necessarily in order):

 

“Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must nevertheless be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of free institutions. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief. I do not know whether all the Americans have a sincere faith in their religion, for who can search the human heart? but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or to a party, but it belongs to the whole nation, and to every rank of society.”

 

***

 

“… Society has no future life to hope for or to fear; and provided the citizens profess a religion, the peculiar tenets of that religion are of very little importance to its interests. Moreover, almost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same.

 

It may be believed without unfairness that a certain number of Americans pursue a peculiar form of worship, from habit more than from conviction. In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America; and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.”

 

***

 

“… Religion perceives that civil liberty affords a noble exercise to the faculties of man, and that the political world is a field prepared by the Creator for the efforts of the intelligence. Contented with the freedom and the power which it enjoys in its own sphere, and with the place which it occupies, the empire of religion is never more surely established than when it reigns in the hearts of men unsupported by aught beside its native strength. Religion is no less the companion of liberty in all its battles and its triumphs; the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims. The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law and the surest pledge of freedom.”

 

***

 

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live.

 

I have known of societies formed by the Americans to send out ministers of the Gospel into the new Western States to found schools and churches there, lest religion should be suffered to die away in those remote settlements, and the rising States be less fitted to enjoy free institutions than the people from which they emanated. I met with wealthy New Englanders who abandoned the country in which they were born in order to lay the foundations of Christianity and of freedom on the banks of the Missouri, or in the prairies of Illinois. Thus religious zeal is perpetually stimulated in the United States by the duties of patriotism. These men do not act from an exclusive consideration of the promises of a future life; eternity is only one motive of their devotion to the cause; and if you converse with these missionaries of Christian civilization, you will be surprised to find how much value they set upon the goods of this world, and that you meet with a politician where you expected to find a priest. They will tell you that "all the American republics are collectively involved with each other; if the republics of the West were to fall into anarchy, or to be mastered by a despot, the republican institutions which now flourish upon the shores of the Atlantic Ocean would be in great peril. It is, therefore, our interest that the new States should be religious, in order to maintain our liberties."

 

***

 

Contented with the freedom and the power which it enjoys in its own sphere, and with the place which it occupies, the empire of religion is never more surely established than when it reigns in the hearts of men unsupported by aught beside its native strength. Religion is no less the companion of liberty in all its battles and its triumphs; the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims. The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law and the surest pledge of freedom. 

 

It is clear from these quotes that the Frenchman de Tocqueville admired that government did not interfere in the realm of religion/Christianity, but he also observed that Christianity so embedded in the American did indeed fortify America and that this indeed made America good. Even though did not say it would be a great analytical summation to say of de Tocqueville observations, “America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

 

JRH 3/30/14

********************************

Dougindeap Comment to: Disputing Separation Church/State Part 2

(NCCR)

 

By Dougindeap

March 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM

 

You offer a string of contextless quotations with the evident aim of showing the religious views of various founders–as if that is the way history is understood or the Constitution is interpreted. Hardly.

 

While the religious views of various founders are subjects of some uncertainty and controversy, it is safe to say that many founders were Christian of one sort or another and held views such as you note regarding religion. In assessing the nature of our government, though, care should be taken to distinguish between society and government and not to make too much of various founders’ individual religious beliefs. Their individual beliefs, while informative, are largely beside the point. (Thus, whether you offer one or one hundred quotations of the sort you have presented, matters not one wit.) Whatever their religions, they drafted a Constitution that establishes a secular government and separates it from religion as noted in earlier comments. Indeed, that aspect of the Constitution was noticed and discussed in the debates about its ratification, since some were disappointed the Constitution did not acknowledge a deity. Imagine their surprise at all you would now make of the Constitution’s allusion to the “blessings of liberty.” Suffice it to say that the term “blessing” has religious and non-religious meanings and usages. See Webster’s Dictionary (1828).

 

The Constitution’s establishment of a secular government is entirely consistent with the fact that some founders professed their religiosity and even their desire that Christianity remain the dominant religious influence in American society. Why? Because religious people who would like to see their religion flourish in society may well believe that separating religion and government will serve that end and, thus, in founding a government they may well intend to keep it separate from religion. It is entirely possible for thoroughly religious folk to found a secular government and keep it separate from religion. That, indeed, is just what the founders did.

 

Lest there be any doubt on this score, note that shortly after the founding, President John Adams (a founder) signed, with the unanimous consent of the Senate (comprised in large measure of founders), the Treaty of Tripoli declaring, in pertinent part, “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” No need to resort to reading tea leaves to understand that. This is not an informal comment by an individual founder, but rather an official declaration of the most solemn sort by the United States government itself. Note that the Constitution provides that treaties, apart from the Constitution itself, are the highest law of the land.

 

It is instructive to recall that the Constitution’s separation of church and state reflected, at the federal level, a “disestablishment” political movement then sweeping the country. That political movement succeeded in disestablishing all state religions by the 1830s. (Side note: A political reaction to that movement gave us the term “antidisestablishmentarianism,” which amused some of us as kids.) It is worth noting, as well, that this disestablishment movement was linked to another movement, the Great Awakening. The people of the time saw separation of church and state as a boon, not a burden, to religion.

 

This sentiment was recorded by a famous observer of the American experiment:

 

“On my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention. . . . I questioned the members of all the different sects. . . . I found that they differed upon matters of detail alone, and that they all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state. I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America, I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point.” Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835).

____________________________________

Disputing Separation Church/State Part 6

By John R. Houk

© March 30, 2014

_____________________________________

Dougindeap Comment to: Disputing Separation Church/State Part 2

 

Edited by John R. Houk

 

© Dougindeap

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