Congress Hall Cafe
DISCOURSE ON THE NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY AND GOVERNMENT
Question or statement: Thomas Jefferson writing to Danbury Baptist coined the phrase “separation of church and state.”
Joel’s Response: Thomas Jefferson as President (at the time of writing to the Danbury Baptist) understood that the states would deal with local issues like religion while the General government was to referee between the states for domestic tranquility. Thomas Jefferson Second Inaugural Address “In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the constitution independent of the powers of the general government. I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it; but have left them, as the constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of state or church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies.”
Question or statement: James Madison – “[T]he number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State. (Letter to Robert Walsh, March 2, 1819).
Joel’s Response: The backdrop of the concept of Church and State is England. England has a national church which allowed only those of the Anglican Communion to gain access to the offices of public trust, and the US Constitution did away with that with the “no religious test” requirement of the US Constitution which would have excluded specific Christian denominations members from access to public office at the federal level. However, this did not mean the removal of religious faith. The “Oath and Affirmation” of the US Constitution is a common law concept which requires faith in God because both the Oath and Affirmation is a pledge of a good conscious before God. This is way presidents put their hand on the Bible when taking the oath competing it with “So help me, God.”
Question or statement: The settled opinion here is that religion is essentially distinct from Civil Government, and exempt from its cognizance; that a connexion between them is injurious to both;
Joel’s Response: This is a fallacy. To have civil government separated from the faith, values, and moral goals of a community is a dangerous proposition that invites tyranny by unsympathetic public agents with a different value system. The injury that occurred in early America was not about Christian values but religious oaths that did not allow someone from one sect access into the government of another sect. William Penn’s solution was to make a general oath that gave access to all Christian sects sharing the same values access into government, but this is far cry than today’s use of separation of church/community from government. Today, we have a new religion, secular humanism, enforcing their values while crying foul when Christians seek to enforce their values using the mantra “Separation of Church and State.” This is psychological warfare in order to force and keep Christians from shaping and maintaining their culture while another religion raises, shapes and maintains their own at the destruction of the America Republic.
Question or statement: Religion does not need the aid of the law.
Joel’s response: The function of civil government is the punished of crime, and crime is based on the definition of good and evil being defined from God’s law as codified in the Ten Commandments. No Christian is confused on the meaning or purpose of “Do not Steal” and the other laws, a province of civil government.
Question or statement: From the Declaration of Independence Christian sects were to support themselves to their advantage.
Joel’s Response: Again, states had the right to disfranchise church state relations to accommodate other sects in giving access to offices of civil government, but this did not disenfranchise God’s law. The biblical crime of homosexuality remained so until 2003 when the Supreme Court overthrew that law. The biblical crime of bestiality is still a crime. The biblical crime against adultery is still a crime in some jurisdictions. The biblical crime against incest remains in place. Etc etc etc. To restore God Law is not to restore a sect’s interpretation of doctrine but the law of God.
Question or statement: Problems and injustice arose when church use government to enforce there doctrine.
Joel’s Response: Again, this is the confusing the issue. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson were dealing with colonial governments erected by churches supporting a particular sect’s interpretation of scripture. This is different then civil government upholding God’s moral law as codified in the Ten Commandments which were placed in the court house across the Union.
Question or Statement:The Treaty of Tripoly states:
“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 Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan 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.”
Joel’s Response: The Treaty of Tripoli does not say the United States of America is not a Christian nation. It says that the United States of American is not founded on the Christian religion that is in is anyway in enmity or at war or has declared hostilities against the laws and religion of Muslim nations. This is in contrast to the European Christian nations who were at war and had a history of hostilities with Muslim nations, for example, Spain forcing out Muslims in 1492.
John Adams “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. . . . I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature.”
Question or statement: George Washington: “All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.”
Joel’s Response: Liberty of conscious is not the same as religious freedom. Liberty of conscious says you cannot force belief, but some of our state constitutions until 1960s required a belief in God to gain access into civil government.
George Washington: ”Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
Question or statement: Requirements of American citizenship
Joel’s Answer: Civil Society is formed out of the state of nature through a social compact creating a civil society [John Locke]. A social compact is an agreement among members. Civil rights are not natural rights but privileges belonging to members of the social compact. The power of the membership is the right to determine the principles of the society and those who may join in the compact [i.e. citizenship]. The American Union encompassing the states and general government thereby creating a federal system was conceived out of a social compact called the Declaration of Independence, and this compact declares the rights, liberties, and limitations of the American citizen, specifically inalienable rights as granted by the Creator and a moral rectitude according to the Supreme Judge. I believe that the requirement of membership or citizenship in America ought to be by upholding the principles of the Declaration, with an active requirement to defend every members rights according to its terms.
Question or statement: It is okay to embraced Christianity as a personal religion but avoid establishing the formal documental foundation on a religious basis.
Joel’s Response: Religion is the foundation of government. Religion/doctrine is the source of community values of the people, and it is those values which determine the laws of the community. To say the Christian religion and community is to be separate from civil government is to say that the values of the Christian religion is to be excluded from the law making process which is saying those who formed the American Union have no say in the laws of the Union, a position of pure tyranny. It is not the duty of civil government in America to legislate interpretation of scripture but to legislate right and wrong based on Christian values.
Question or statement: Religion informed the thinking of the Founder but not more than the Enlightenment such as Bacon and Locke.]
Joel’s Response: Bacon and Locke where Christians. The Enlightenment of the European Continent under the likes of Voltaire who at his deathbed reportedly recanted his secular position lead to the French revolution with mass murder and this is different than the American Enlightenment lead by Christian revivals which lead to the American Union.
“In particular, Lutz and Hyneman demonstrate that the Bible was the most frequently quoted source between 1760 and 1805, and he concludes that future research on the development of American political thought should include increased attention to “biblical and common law sources” (Relative Influence, p. 190)”
Question or statement: The founder were freemasonry rooted in the enlightenment principles of the perfectabiility of man via virtue, education and reason and does not conform to the Christian Doctrine of the fallen state of man where the perfection of mans nature must be through a spiritual renewal via the blood of Christ.
Joel’s Response: The principle book on the common law read in America by the Founders was by William Blackstone. In short, reason is the light of God in man but since reason is weakened by prejudice and falls into error, God by his providence delivered a Revealed law which is found in Scripture to give a foundation which reason can depend on. This basis of the common law. There is two-fold dynamic in Christianity. The Bible supports education. Paul says to teach, train, rebuke for good works (2Tim.3:16) Also, the blood of Christ is a biblical concept relating to spiritual action of cleansing the conscious of sin, sin which dulls the conscious causing a loss of shame for sinful acts. Both education and blood of Christ work together for good works.
Question or Statement: The Founder incorporate the principles of the enlightenment.
Joel’s Response: Disagree, here are just few example of biblical principles incorporated into the US Constitution.
Preamble – US Constitution.
“We the People” is the highest instituted authority based on majority rule.
This is a biblical principle found in Exodus 19:7-8 “Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which Lord commanded him. All the people answered together, and said, “All that Lord has spoken we will do.” God Himself in order to establish a constitution (covenant) with Israel had to receive the approval of the majority vote of the people.
For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us. Isaiah 33.22
Note: This encompasses the judicial – Article III, legislature – Article I and executive Article II.
Article I The Senate is a legislature of elders of the community, a representative body of the people. We find this in Exodus 19:7-8 “Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which Lord commanded him.”
Article II of the US Constitution forming the executive is found in Deuteronomy 17:18-20
Article II of the US Constitution requires the President to faithfully execute the law and suffered impeachment if he violates the law. This is found in of Dt:17:18-20 “(king) is to make himself a copy of this law in a book… keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them…that his heart not be lifted up above his brothers…”
Article III of the US Constitution is found in Deuteronomy 17:8-20
Article III establishes a Supreme Court of original and appellate jurisdiction over inferior court. This is found in Dt.17:8-20 “If there arises a matter too hard for you in judgment…being matters of controversy within your gates…You shall come to the priests who are Levites, and to the judge who shall be in those days. You shall inquire, and they shall give you the verdict.”
Additional: The Common law that came to America was developed by English Christian jurists who applied precepts of the Bible, and these precepts are the foundation of citizen rights and protections of the common law. Mostly incorporated into the Bill of Rights.
Right of Search Warrant by a Judge (Dt19:18)
Right to a public trial (Dt.17:5),
Right to an appeal (Dt.17:8-9),
Right to a impartial judge (Lev.19:15),
Right to present evidence (Ex.22:13),
Right to a fair trial (Ex.20:16),
Right to require two witnesses for the death penalty (Dt.17:6),
Right to put up a defense (Ex.32:9-14).
Public Trial (Dt. 21:19)
A right to thorough investigation (Dt:19:18)
Question or statement: The future of restoring America.
Joel’s response: In the American republic the decision of the majority is the decision of all. The best an individual can do in America is to persuade the majority to uphold or implement the values you believe in. In summery, I believe America was better under God’s law than without. That America is better under leadership that can uphold God’s law, so restoring the oath is necessary. That the weakness of America was not so much the federal constitution but the state constitutions, nevertheless, these constitutions are never completed and the people must be vigilant under them. Google – Article VIII Union of Holy Assemblies – you will find my proposal to the US Constitution – as sure as the power of Providence..