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Re: In God We Once Trusted

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  • Stephen
    BlankThe True Intent of the Founding Fathers with Regard to Separation of Church and State President Thomas Jefferson s letter to the Danbury Baptists My
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 15, 2004
      Blank
      The True Intent of the Founding Fathers with Regard to Separation of Church and State

      President Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists
       
      My comments are in green.  Stephen

      First, the Danbury Baptist Association, concerned about religious liberty in the new nation, wrote to President-elect Jefferson ...
       
      TO:  President Thomas Jefferson, October 7, 1801:
       
      "Sir, Among the many millions in America and Europe who rejoice in your Election to office; we embrace the first opportunity which we have enjoyed in our collective capacity, since your Inauguration, to express our great satisfaction, in your appointment to the chief Majestracy in the United States; And though our mode of expression may be less courtly and pompious than what many others clothe their addresses with, we beg you, Sir to believe, that none are more sincere.
       
      Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty -- That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals -- That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions - That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor:
       
      But Sir our [Connecticut] constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient [Connecticut] charter together with the Laws made coincident therewith, were adopted on the Basis of our government, at the time of our revolution; and such had been our Laws & usages, and such still are; that Religion is considered as the first object of Legislation; and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights: and these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgments, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondered at therefore; if those, who seek after power & gain under the pretense of government & Religion should reproach their fellow men -- should reproach their chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion Law & good order because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.
       
      Sir, we are sensible that the President of the United States, is not the national legislator, and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the Laws of each State; [ here we see that the Danbury Baptists had no doubt as to the meaning of The First Amendment ] but our hopes are strong that the sentiments of our beloved President, which have had such genial affect already, like the radiant beams of the Sun, will shine and prevail through all these States and all the world till Hierarchy and Tyranny be destroyed from the Earth. [ a hope that, despite the well-understood Constitutional guarantees,  that President Jeffrson would indeed abide by his oath of office .... and that States will follow the same wisdom as the Feds ]
       
      Sir, when we reflect on your past services, and see a glow of philanthropy and good will shining forth in a course of more than thirty years we have reason to believe that America's God has raised you up to fill the chair of State out of that good will which he bears to the Millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence & the voice of the people have cald you to sustain and support you in your Administration against all the predetermined opposition of those who wish to rise to wealth & importance on the poverty and subjection of the people.
       
      And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator. "
       
      Signed in behalf of the Association.
       
      Nehh Dodge
      Ephram Robbins The Committee
      Stephen S. Nelson

      Though it is, by no means, a crucial point, one might note that President-elect Jefferson's had not yet been innaugurated when he replied.  Therefore, his correspondence is not official correspondence ... but, again, that's not a key issue. 
       
      President-elect Jefferson's reply:

      "To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.
       
      Gentlemen
       
      The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
       
      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.
       
      I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem."
       
      Th Jefferson
      Jan. 1. 1802

      The issues Jefferson addressed were as follows:
       
      (1) despite the Baptists' clear understanding of the First Amendment, they wanted additional assurance that the U.S. would not adopt an exclusive Christian denomination as an official national religion (i.e. that the new President Jefferson was not a tyrant!),
       
      (2) the Connecticut Baptists recognized Jefferson;s power of persuassion -- the bully pulpit -- and were hoping that Jefferson could use his sway to get Connecticut thinking along the same lines, (but certainly not to pass laws on Conencticut's behalf) because the inadequate ancient Connecticut Constitution had primacy in these matters. 
       
      Again, it was well understood that -- with respect to the written law -- the Federal Government was a non-issue..  In effect, the Danbury Baptists wanted hope (with respect to Connecticut adopting a similar provision for freedom of religion as an inelienable right) and absolute assurance, from the President-elect, that States would be protected from acts of federal tyranny (despite knowing the plain letter of the law).

      Main Source:
       
      National Forum Foundation
      600 Bel Air Boulevard, Suite 166
      Mobile, AL   36606
       
      © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 
      National Forum Foundation

      From: Stephen
      Subject: Re: In God We Once Trusted

      The Biggest Lie of all time called "The Separation of Church & State" has sunk so deeply into our thinking that we now find it shocking when we see first-hand proof that it's a fraud:  a ludicrous doctrine that was invented, whole cloth, back in 1947.  To rationalize this lame "doctrine", the Supreme Court made reference to an unofficial lette (above)r, written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists. 
       
      First of all, why would one suppose a personal letter to a religious organization should carry any weight in regards to constitutional interpretations?  Moreover, the letter was directed at the opposite notion (i.e. that it is GOVT that should keep their grubby hands out of ecclesiastic affairs, not the other way around").  Furthermore, this was an issue for the states, not the feds.  I mean, the language of the U.S. Constitution was as plain as day.  Jefferson had no reason to make reference to that settled matter.  And there's more ...
      Jefferson is considered the author of the Declaration of Independence, but his influence on the U.S. Constitution was indirect, at most ... so why would they quote HIM?  What a scam!! 
       
      Let's overturn this absurd doctrine before it chokes the life out of us all. 
       
      Fortunately, the Commonwealth of Virginia got it right ..... and despite the fact that George Mason was the real author, Jefferson, being a Virginian who was close to Mason, undoubtedly had a role there...  
       
      First, here is an excerpt (Sec. 16) from their Constitution. 
       
      Below it is an article about Virginia's legal requirement to place the sign "IN GOD WE TRUST" in every public school. 
       
      There is indeed hope to get this nation straightened out yet. 
       
      Won't be easy, but we can do it if we care enough to take some risks and keep pushing, daily. 
       
      Stephen
       
      P. S.  also below is a link to some great quotes ... enjoy!

       
      Section 16. Free exercise of religion; no establishment of religion.

      That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator
      , and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. And the General Assembly shall not prescribe any religious test whatever, or confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination, or pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this Commonwealth, to levy on themselves or others, any tax for the erection or repair of any house of public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry; but it shall be left free to every person to select his religious instructor, and to make for his support such private contract as he shall please.
       
       
      John AdamsWe have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.
       
      http://snyders.ws/alan/quotes/
      Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure, than they have it now, they may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.
      The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity, and humanity.
      It is the duty of the clergy to accommodate their discourses to the times, to preach against such sins as are most prevalent, and recommend such virtues as are most wanted.

       
       

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    • Stephen
      BlankCORRECTION: Though it s really immaterial, I want to be accurate about such things. When commenting on Jefferson s innauguration, I was off by one
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 15, 2004
        Blank
        CORRECTION:  Though it's really immaterial,  I want to be accurate about such things.  When commenting on Jefferson's innauguration,  I was off by one year.  TJ was elected in 1800, and innaugurated in 1801, so he had been President for just a bit less than one year when he replied to the Baptist group in CT.  My apologies ...
         

        From: Stephen
        Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 8:13 PM
        Subject: Re: In God We Once Trusted

        The True Intent of the Founding Fathers with Regard to Separation of Church and State

        President Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists
         
        My comments are in green.  Stephen

        First, the Danbury Baptist Association, concerned about religious liberty in Connecticut, wrote to President-elect Jefferson ...
         
        TO:  President Thomas Jefferson, October 7, 1801:
         
        "Sir, Among the many millions in America and Europe who rejoice in your Election to office; we embrace the first opportunity which we have enjoyed in our collective capacity, since your Inauguration, to express our great satisfaction, in your appointment to the chief Majestracy in the United States; And though our mode of expression may be less courtly and pompious than what many others clothe their addresses with, we beg you, Sir to believe, that none are more sincere.
         
        Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty -- That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals -- That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions - That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor:
         
        But Sir our [Connecticut] constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient [Connecticut] charter together with the Laws made coincident therewith, were adopted on the Basis of our government, at the time of our revolution; and such had been our Laws & usages, and such still are; that Religion is considered as the first object of Legislation; and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights: and these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgments, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondered at therefore; if those, who seek after power & gain under the pretense of government & Religion should reproach their fellow men -- should reproach their chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion Law & good order because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.
         
        Sir, we are sensible that the President of the United States, is not the national legislator, and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the Laws of each State; [ here we see that the Danbury Baptists had no doubt as to the meaning of The First Amendment ] but our hopes are strong that the sentiments of our beloved President, which have had such genial affect already, like the radiant beams of the Sun, will shine and prevail through all these States and all the world till Hierarchy and Tyranny be destroyed from the Earth. [ a hope that, despite the well-understood Constitutional guarantees,  that President Jeffrson would indeed abide by his oath of office .... and that States will follow the same wisdom as the Feds ]
         
        Sir, when we reflect on your past services, and see a glow of philanthropy and good will shining forth in a course of more than thirty years we have reason to believe that America's God has raised you up to fill the chair of State out of that good will which he bears to the Millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence & the voice of the people have cald you to sustain and support you in your Administration against all the predetermined opposition of those who wish to rise to wealth & importance on the poverty and subjection of the people.
         
        And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator. "
         
        Signed in behalf of the Association.
         
        Nehh Dodge
        Ephram Robbins The Committee
        Stephen S. Nelson

        Though it is, by no means, a crucial point, one might note that President-elect Jefferson's had not yet been innaugurated when he replied.  Therefore, his correspondence is not official correspondence ... but, again, that's not a key issue. 
         
        President-elect Jefferson's reply:

        "To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.
         
        Gentlemen
         
        The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
         
        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.
         
        I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem."
         
        Th Jefferson
        Jan. 1. 1802

        The issues Jefferson addressed were as follows:
         
        (1) despite the Baptists' clear understanding of the First Amendment, they wanted additional assurance that the U.S. would not adopt an exclusive Christian denomination as an official national religion (i.e. that the new President Jefferson was not a tyrant!),
         
        (2) the Connecticut Baptists recognized Jefferson;s power of persuassion -- the bully pulpit -- and were hoping that Jefferson could use his sway to get Connecticut thinking along the same lines, (but certainly not to pass laws on Conencticut's behalf) because the inadequate ancient Connecticut Constitution had primacy in these matters. 
         
        Again, it was well understood that -- with respect to the written law -- the Federal Government was a non-issue..  In effect, the Danbury Baptists wanted hope (with respect to Connecticut adopting a similar provision for freedom of religion as an inelienable right) and absolute assurance, from the President-elect, that States would be protected from acts of federal tyranny (despite knowing the plain letter of the law).

        Main Source:
         
        National Forum Foundation
        600 Bel Air Boulevard, Suite 166
        Mobile, AL   36606
         
        © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 
        National Forum Foundation

        From: Stephen
        Subject: Re: In God We Once Trusted

        The Biggest Lie of all time called "The Separation of Church & State" has sunk so deeply into our thinking that we now find it shocking when we see first-hand proof that it's a fraud:  a ludicrous doctrine that was invented, whole cloth, back in 1947.  To rationalize this lame "doctrine", the Supreme Court made reference to an unofficial lette (above)r, written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists. 
         
        First of all, why would one suppose a personal letter to a religious organization should carry any weight in regards to constitutional interpretations?  Moreover, the letter was directed at the opposite notion (i.e. that it is GOVT that should keep their grubby hands out of ecclesiastic affairs, not the other way around").  Furthermore, this was an issue for the states, not the feds.  I mean, the language of the U.S. Constitution was as plain as day.  Jefferson had no reason to make reference to that settled matter.  And there's more ...
        Jefferson is considered the author of the Declaration of Independence, but his influence on the U.S. Constitution was indirect, at most ... so why would they quote HIM?  What a scam!! 
         
        Let's overturn this absurd doctrine before it chokes the life out of us all. 
         
        Fortunately, the Commonwealth of Virginia got it right ..... and despite the fact that George Mason was the real author, Jefferson, being a Virginian who was close to Mason, undoubtedly had a role there...  
         
        First, here is an excerpt (Sec. 16) from their Constitution. 
         
        Below it is an article about Virginia's legal requirement to place the sign "IN GOD WE TRUST" in every public school. 
         
        There is indeed hope to get this nation straightened out yet. 
         
        Won't be easy, but we can do it if we care enough to take some risks and keep pushing, daily. 
         
        Stephen
         
        P. S.  also below is a link to some great quotes ... enjoy!

         
        Section 16. Free exercise of religion; no establishment of religion.

        That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator
        , and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.
         
        No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. And the General Assembly shall not prescribe any religious test whatever, or confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination, or pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this Commonwealth, to levy on themselves or others, any tax for the erection or repair of any house of public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry; but it shall be left free to every person to select his religious instructor, and to make for his support such private contract as he shall please.
         
         
        John AdamsWe have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.
         
        http://snyders.ws/alan/quotes/
        Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure, than they have it now, they may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.
        The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity, and humanity.
        It is the duty of the clergy to accommodate their discourses to the times, to preach against such sins as are most prevalent, and recommend such virtues as are most wanted.

         
         

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