No Prayer and Bibles In School

5. Did our founding fathers intend for prayer and the Bible to be removed from public schools? Is it constitutional?

“Separation of church and state” statement, the one that Supreme Court used to declare prayer and Bibles in school unconstitutional, is not found in the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, or in any of the nation’s founding documents. That statement, was actually found in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut in 1801. Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, 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. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

The First Amendment actually says: “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.”

What did Thomas Jefferson actually mean, in relation to “separation from church and state”, when he wrote his letter to Danbury Baptist Association?
“Separation from church and state” was “merely meant to prevent the establishment of a particular religion or the suppression of a particular religion.” It was to prevent the Church from establishing “a national church” that had complete control of the entire nation. It was also to disallow the government from removing churches from the country. The church and state are separate entities – the church performed the functions of the church, and the government was in charge of government operations. This didn’t mean that the government leaders shouldn’t draw knowledge from the Bible to base their decisions on, or shouldn’t be moral Christians to be a government leader.

Both churches and government are comprised of people, susceptible to immorality. Tendencies to injure another for personal gain, being power hungry, being selfish and greedy, and being emotional and making errors in judgments, are present in everyone, regardless if they are in the church or in the government. They are human. To prevent both parties from trying to control the other, for potential personal agenda, the founding fathers kept the “separation of church and state” so a group of people in one big national or state church entity, wasn’t immoral, and thus become a potential tyrant whose views and policies controlled an entire nation of people. Back then, the founding fathers had differing views in the minor areas of Christianity, and they didn’t want the entire nation be forced to heed to what one particular view, of one particular belief system (for example, we have today different churches: Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians, etc. You don’t want the entire nation be Baptist when other people believed in Catholicism, etc.). So, as Thomas Jefferson, it is between “man and God” to decide in what they exactly believe in, and not a government-chosen, one national church to dictate what you believe and worship about God. Every human has an individual right to choose exactly what they believe in, not to have only one national church that everyone must listen to. There is no freedom without choice.

Our founding fathers formulated the principle of church and state being separate entities from the Bible. In Matthew 22:21, Jesus said, ‘“Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” obviously delineating between “the things that are Ceasar’s” (ie – government) and the “things that are God’s”. In John 18:36, Christ mentioned “His Kingdom not being of this world” (His Kingdom being the church, the world, inclusive of the government). In Romans 13:1-7, the Apostle Paul acknowledge the fact that ‘earthly government is established by God for our good’.

The church is supposed to be in charge of the operations of the church and the government, the government. Again, this doesn’t mean at all that government leaders shouldn’t be Christian men or women or that they shouldn’t used God principles to guide policies. Obviously, our founding fathers were godly men who regularly attended church and use the Bible and God to direct the paths of this nation. Thus, our government leaders should do the same. Our country is at stake.

This is what the founding fathers meant by separation of church and state. A student praying in school doesn’t mean the same thing as Congress making a law. “The First Amendment meant Congress is limited from setting up a national denomination and Congress is limited from prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The First Amendment does not limit faith or the people, only the government.” Thus, the 1962 and 1963 Supreme Court rulings on prayer and bible being removed from schools, is unconstitutional, as the founding fathers’ intentions of the First Amendment was misconstrued.

 

Bibliography

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/can-america-survive-without-christianity

In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

http://www.therepublic.com/2019/03/23/is_american_christianity_really_in_decline/

Americans Worry About Moral Decline, Can’t Agree on Right and Wrong

https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/existence-nature-of-god/can-we-be-good-without-god/

https://www.thedailybeast.com/can-you-be-good-without-god?ref=scroll

https://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/theologically-driven/can-we-be-good-without-god.html

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/penny-starr/education-expert-removing-bible-prayer-public-schools-has-caused-decline

Moral decline due to absence of school prayer

50 years later, how school-prayer ruling changed America

50 years later, how school-prayer ruling changed America

School Prayers & the Founding Fathers

https://www.forbes.com/sites/billflax/2011/07/09/the-true-meaning-of-separation-of-church-and-state/#6c73ea415d02

https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/what-does-separation-of-church-and-state-actually-mean

How to Respond to “Separation of Church and State”

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