Congress Hall Cafe
The Bill of Rights is a compilation of amendments sent to Congress by the States in order to secure rights for the states. Many of the states supported their local established denominations with tax revenue (since colonial governments were established by religious groups). The first amendment clause was requested due to the fear that the new general (federal) government would established a church of one particular denomination thus potentially interfering with State/church relations. Additionally, the puritans and other religious groups (source of colonial governments) did not come to America to disenfranchise the church from government; in fact, they came to purify or establish a church/state society ( a city on the hill). The attempt to separate God from government is a direct attack at America’s social compact the Declaration of Independence which declares Americans receive their inalienable rights from their Creator and their moral rectitude from the Supreme Judge. To undermine God given rights is to undermine America.
The Bill of Rights was an act of reconciliation by the Federalist to Anti-Federalist opposition in order to gain the Anti-Federalist support for the new Constitution. The amendments of the Bill of Rights were complied by the States in order to secure specific rights to themselves against the authority of the newly established general government; the States considered themselves free and independent republics (see Declaration of 1776), and one of these rights to be retained by the States is enumerated in the First Amendment and it was the right to determine their own religious destiny.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…”
The limitation of the First Amendment is that “Congress” not the States ”shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion” and Congress shall not “prohibit” the States from the “the free exercise, thereof.” Thereof what? To establish religion. Before and after the adoption of the Bill of Rights, the newly formed American republics had the right and continued the right in the support of state sanctioned Christian denominations; for example, Massachusetts and New Hampshire supported congregationalism, and Maryland supported the Anglican church, and even after the First Amendment adoption. In fact, the church created state governments. The Colonial Founders did not seek separation of church and state but considered state government as the arm of the the church creating a city on the hill as a light to the nations.
Massachusetts Constitution 1780 (Declaration of Rights)
III.”–As the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend upon piety, religion and morality; and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community, but by the institution of the public worship of GOD, and of public instructions in piety, religion and morality: Therefore, to promote their happiness and to secure the good order and preservation of their government, the people of this Commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require…”
The question of the First Amendment is not a question of separation of church and state; it is a question on the jurisdictional powers between Washington DC and the States of the Union. It was understood that the Constitution of the United States was designed for the “general welfare” of the Union while the internal and specific welfare belonged solely to the States (see Tenth Amendment) which included the legislative authority over religion, health and personal safety. The battle over the First Amendment is not a battle of church and state but a war between Washington and the States of the Union in who controls the religious question. The Supreme Court by their “ incorporation” doctrine of the Fourteen Amendment has unwisely put the limitations and restrictions of the First Amendment upon the States. This is a clear usurpation that destroys the original intent of the amendment. This dangerous Court precedent comes in the same shape and form that caused the American revolutionary war. It was the acts of the Parliament of England that insensibly assumed legislative authority over the colonial governments in violation of their legal charters. America’s Constitution creates jurisdiction, and jurisdiction establishes the right of law enforcement and legislation, and when powers exceed jurisdiction it is usurpation and is called tyranny. The American colonist would not be bamboozled into submission to an illegal authority, and standing against usurpation, they took the road of liberty. Today, American should consider their example.
Concerning: Separation of Church and State versus God’s Law
North West Ordinance 1787
“Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
Does the doctrine of separation of Church and State mean the separation of God’s law from civil society? At the founding of America, most States supported a particular religious sect of Protestantism by taxation. Although the early republics were largely homogeneously Protestant, except for a few instances, Protestantism itself was made up of several sects including congregationalism, Anglicanism, Baptist, and others. State taxes were used to build church buildings and give support to pastors to teach the doctrine of one particular sect, for example, the state of Massachusetts supported congregationalism and Maryland’s taxation supported the Anglican communion. However, each State was an admixture of various religious sects and as each sect grew in size and influence the question of fairness was raised, should States use the power of taxation collected from all the people to pay for buildings and the support of pastors of one particular sect? The equitable answer was no, and the States over time disestablished their particular sect thereby allowing each sect to survive on free contributions. However, the States disenfranchisement of a particular sect did not mean the disenfranchise of God’s law. The law of Moses, part of our common law and the province of civil authority, was not a specific tenant of one particular sect, it belonged to all Christians and Jews alike without controversy; moreover, the laws of Moses did not violate liberty of conscience, in fact, is was supported by the conscience of all Christians no matter the sect and by Jewish’ sects as well. This fact is demonstrated in our legal history where biblical law, part of the common law, was part of America’s jurisprudence that supported “Do not steal”, “Do commit adultery” “Do not murder” with penalties for bestiality, incest and homosexuality until 2003 when the Supreme Court overturned all States laws against this sin by the fiction of “substantive due process.” Americans have learned the difference between a religious sects interpretation of Scripture, which is not the province of civil authority, and the laws of Moses which is. Above the heads of the justices of the Supreme Court, and in stone, and in various other places of the Supreme Court building are displays of the Ten Commandment; the very laws revealed to Israel by the voice of God, and the reason that the Ten Commandments are so prominently displayed in this courthouse and in courthouses throughout our nation is to remind judges and the public of our nation’s standard of right and wrong and the difference between good and evil. No one would think of removing from our State’s statute books the commandment “Do not steal” because it would mean the loss of protection of our personal property; nor would we remove the biblical mandate “Do not murder” because the protection of life would be lost. Today, those who vent against the law of Moses in our civil statutes often cite “the separation of church and state” thus following a violative use of the First Amendment by a secularized Court and in doing so are undermining America’s long legal history with the common law and the biblical standard.
The first requirement in the establishment of a political society is the defintion of good and evil and right and wrong. Without this definiton no society can long exist in liberty and freedom. The American Republic was founded on the morality of the Ten Commandments and the more Americans become confused and divided on this important definition of good and evil the more certain of anarchy and dissolution of the America Republic. The work of true religion is to define good and evil and this definition cannot be separated from the people, from their government, or from thier heart without destorying their community. The First Amendment is badly written. Its original intent was that Congress should not set up a church based on one particular denomination like England’s Church of England. However the First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” How foolish! It is the duty of Congress like the states to define good and evil and this is the work of religion. The Ten Commandments on the Supreme Court building testify to this. I believe the First Amendment, a conprimise between the federalist to the anti-federalist, was moved thorugh Congress without dept consideration or with the inpute from the people, and it fails to address the need for Divine Revelation as a moral compass to guide our public assemblies. jb
Society is created by the religion/doctrine of the people. It is religion that defines the values of a nation. It is a myth that there can be religious freedom in a nation for religion or doctrine creates community values which direct the police powers of the state or nation. The question is whose religion, whose values, will control public authority. Additionally, when one religion is overcome by… another religion, for example, as the Christian religion is overcome by the religion of atheism in America, the police powers of the state or nation changes direction. George Washington called government a machine. This machine is the most dangerous instrument in the human community, a machine guided by community values. A machine that dertermines life and death, liberty or imprisonment, property and taxation, the definition of marriage, fines and penalties, and citizens rights and obligations.
It is the duty of patriotic Americans to uphold Christian values in the public square in order to secure the right direction of the police powers of the nation and state. It is a sacred duty to uphold the Sabbath, a weekly public assembly, for reveiwing the laws and of land and magistrates who execute them in order to control the machine called government.
Again, the values of the people direct the police powers of the state. If those values are changed then it redirects those police powers. The undermining of Christian values in the United State has put Christians at risk by the very laws that are to protect them. It is a duty for every patriotic Americans to understand that freedom from religion is a judicial made myth in order to redefine the First Amendment. America is in a religious war over the definition of American values which control the machine of civil society called government. This machine, free from chains of Christian values, will be and is being directed against Christians values and even against Christian themselves. jb
” Constitution of Massachusetts 1780
Art. III. As the happiness of a people and the good order and preservation of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion, and morality, and as these cannot be generally diffcused through a community but by the institution of the public worship of God and of the public instructions in piety, religion, and morality: Therefore, To promote their happiness and to secure the good order and preservation of their government, the people of this commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require, and the legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies-politic or religious societies to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.”
Here is Anglo-Saxon statute from King Edgar.
“And let the hundred gemot (local meeting/court) be attended as it was before fixed; and thrice in the year let a burh-gemot ( castle meeting/court) be held; and twice, a shire-gemot (county meeting/court); and let there be present the bishop of the shire and the ealdorman, and there both expound as well the law of God as the secular law.
As you can see during the Anglo-Saxon era in England there was no separation of church and state and no separation of the legal code into secular and ecclesiastical. Blackstone in his Commentaries mentions of the efficacy of these court. The inclusion of the bishop and ealdorman (lords temporal and spiritual) gave the shire court dignity, a presence of legitimate authority. Blackstone laments the court separating into two contending jurisdictions. He says that the clergy demanded the change, however, it may have resulted from William the Conqueror. What ever may be the case, the division of courts had an ill effect on justice as seen in the famous controversy between Henry II and Becket. Henry II tried to bring the clergy under the secular jurisdiction for criminal acts committed by them, while Becket fought to keep the clergy under ecclesiastical jurisdiction, exempting the clergy from secular justice. History will prove Henry II right as seen in the Catholic church’s negligence in punishing their clergy for outrageous crimes.
Today, I would uphold the approach of the Anglo-Saxon’s in their judicial approach against the modern concept of Separation of Church and State. That is, a court structure of a Tithing, Hundred and Shire settled upon God’s law as the underlying jurisprudence; a Christian community acting our their Christianity versus a secularization of law and a religious cleansing of the people’s institution by judicial activism through the judicial innovation of the “Lemon Test” which removes God’s moral law as fundamental rights of the people, and lately, through the “human rights” process the confessed Christian is being exiled from the political process through the oath of diversity when failing to uphold Homosexual rights ( in a true sense this is the separation of state institution from the Christian community or church.)
Historically, the principle of Separation of Church/God and State would of been completely rejected not only the by the American colonist but also by the founders of the America Union. Like the Anglo-Saxons, the Puritans, Congregationalists and other Christian denominations arriving on the American shores did not seek a secular state free from religious principle, but to the contrary, they were believing in the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth by a tight weaving of religious principle with public infrastructure in the fabric of their community – a city upon a hill.
In summery, relying upon Providence which is the Hand of God working in the formation of the nations, we can expect the Anglo-Saxon and the American colonist vision of God’s kingdom to be established as the immutable principle of the nations. Secular institutions will no longer be separated from true religion which is God’s law upholding justice. You may ask why? Because God will not permit it.
1265 AD Confirmation of the Charters “The King…if we or our son Edward shall have presumed to go in any way contrary…- to said ordinance, or our provisions, or oath, or to disturb the peach and tranquility of our realm…or do injury to any of them…it shall be lawful for everyone in our realm to rise against us and to use all the ways and means they can to hinder us…” sdocs 68
1285 AD The Statute of Westchester (King Edward I)
Forasmuch as from day to day, robberies, murders, and arsons be more often used then they have been heretofore …it is recommended that every man have in his house harness for to keep the peace after the ancient assize; that is to say, every man between fifteen years of age and sixty years, shall be assessed and sworn to armor…an helm of iron, a lance, a knife, and a horse…they shall follow the cry with the country, as they are able, having horses and armor so to do; and if there be any that do not, the defaults shall be presented by the constables to the justices assigned. And after by them to the king…” sdocs 79
Noah Webster “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed….The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States” 155.dc
Rev. Samuel Rutherford, “ That power which is obliged to command and rule justly and religiously for the good of the subject, and is only set over the people on these conditions, and not absolutely, cannot tie the people to subjection without resistance, when the power is abused to the destruction of laws, religion, and the subjects.” 141.Lex, Rex.
“And that of having arms for their defence he (Blackstone) tells us is “a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.” f/const.sam.adam
Sidney “…and he is a fool who knows not that swords were given to men, that none might be slaves…”
Rutherford “…and to take any just power from the king which is his due, is a great sin. But when he abuses his power to the destruction of his subjects, it is lawful to throw a sword out of a madman’s hand, though it be his own proper sword, and though he have due right to it, and a just power to use it for good; for all fiduciary power abused may be repealed.” 84
Hungary King Andrew II sanctioned in the Bull of 1222 that “if we or any or our successors ever wish to revoke this concession in any way, bishops, lords and nobles, each and every one, both now and in the future have our authority to resist and contradict us and our successors without taint of any infidelity.” Holt.79
Gandhi in 1930 in his Purna Swaraj, the Indian Declaration of Independence, he stated,
“Spiritually, compulsory disarmament has made us unmanly, and the presence of an alien army of occupation, employed with deadly effect to crush in us the spirit of resistance, has made us think we cannot look after ourselves or put up a defense against foreign aggression, or even defend our homes and families…”
“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” — Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms. . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” — Jefferson`s “Commonplace Book,” 1774-1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764
“[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually.”. . . I ask, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.” — Virginia`s U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788
“That the People have a right to keep and bear Arms; that a well regulated Militia, composed of the Body of the People, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe Defence of a free state.” — Within Mason`s declaration of “the essential and unalienable Rights of the People,” — later adopted by the Virginia ratification convention, 1788
The said Constitution [shall] be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.” — Massachusetts` U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788
The Constitution preserves “the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” — The Federalist, No. 46
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
London Charter 1131 “Within the walls of the city no-one need be billetted, not [members] of my household nor anyone else, [nor] is any billet to be taken by force. (billet – order allowing a soldier to stay in a home)
Amendment XIII Section 1.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
John Locke “…and thus captives, taken in a just and lawful war, and such only, are subject to a despotical power; which , as it arise not from compact, so neither is it capable of any, but is the state of war continued…” 177
Note: That peculiar institution of slavery that found its way to American shores brought with it a continued state of war between one race who made themselves masters and another race who were reduced to slavery. Ending American slavery and the state of war between slaves and freemen came by Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation and made certain by the guaranteed of the Thirteenth Amendment.
“…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
Locke “For no government can have a right to obedience from a people who have not freely consented to it…and also till they are allowed their due property, which is so to be proprietors of what they have, that nobody can take away any part of it without their own consent, without which, men under any government are not in the state of freemen, but are direct slaves under the force of war.” 185
Note: The biblical principle of eminent domain is “Do not steal” with the case of David buying private property for a public edifice, the Temple. Under a mutual agreement with volunteer consent, David paid a fair value or better for the privately owned threshing floor.
Amendment VI “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy… to be confronted with the witnesses against him…”
Exodus 20:16“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”
Hallam “… how precarious a thread the life of every man was suspended, when the private deposition of one suborned witness, unconfronted with the prisoner, could suffice to obtain a conviction in cases of treason.” b1.40
Amendment VI “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed…”
Let us not forget that justice requires the necessary checks and balances in order to protect the innocent from the certain work of tyranny. How frightening is it to be accused of crime and have the final decision of guilt and innocence depend solely upon a single judge who must decide not only the principle of law but also to the truth of the facts. Are not judges like other men? Are they not subject to personal prejudices, swayed by public opinion, and potentially flawed at some crucial point of law or fact. Sir Edward Blackstone in his Commentaries writes, “(The Jury)… was always so highly esteemed and valued by the people…in the Magna Carta is it more than once insisted on as the principle bulwark of our liberties.” John Miller states that the jury is calculated to counterbalance the natural bias of judges. Alexander Hamilton adds to this saying that a jury is a safeguard to liberty and useful against arbitrary power. James Wilson describes the jury and the judge as a mutual check. Thomas Jefferson calls the jury an “inestimable institution”. The Virgina Bill of Rights is here quoted,”That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by Jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.” Sir Edward Creasy writes, “I will appeal to one authority more to show that the institution of trail by jury in this country has not only given us the fairest system of trail every know, but has also for centuries been of incalculable national advantage as an instrument of national education.” If personal opinions ought wisely to conform to the voices of established authorities and historic experience, then a person in doubt of the liberty established by the jury system will stand self condemned, and in repentance, be submitted to a better opinion.
Hallam “That primaeval institution, those inquests by twelve true men, the unadulterated voice of the people, responsible alone to God and their conscience, which should have been heard in the sanctuaries of justice, as fountains springing fresh from the lap of earth…”233
Hallam on the English common law “It cannot be too frequently repeated, that no power of arbitrary detention has ever been known to our constitution since the charter obtained at Runnymede.” 234
Amendment VII “In suits at common law… than according to the rules of the common law.”
The law of all nations is the”law of nature” which is God’s moral law operating in man through the process of reason or common sense. However, reason can be misguided even corrupted, therefore, the law of nature requires a support which Blackstone declared God has provided His Revealed law, found only in Scripture. This is true religion: revealed law supporting the law of nature. We can say then If any religion including Christianity creates an interpretation of doctrine that is subversive to the law of nature by pulling it below the justice of revealed law then civil authority moves toward tyranny. Additional note, when we say the common law is the work of judges adjudicating customs thus converting customs in written or judge made law, we have to remember that those customs where formulations of a Christian culture. This explains why Blackstone’s “Commentaries” permeate with biblical references. The beauty of the English Common law (before corrupted by secular human rights) is that, as James Wilson says, that is reflected the highest law of the community – custom – which is the mutual agreement of society to a way of life.