US Constitution

And it’s relation to God & Religion

Here’s the Preamble:

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We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


It’s seems pretty straight forward to me. The Constitution is about the Justice system, about Defense and about promoting Welfare and our liberties and posterity. All of these things appear to be equal in the framers mind.

So where does God fits in? Some claim that God gives us these rights & that I need to go to Federalist Papers to see that this was the intent of the Framers. I say no - I shouldn’t have to go anywhere’s but the Consitution itself to find out what it means.

God isn’t mentioned in the Constitution & I think this was deliberate. It is curious to me that “Blessings of Liberty” was capitalized - does this mean something? It seems to me that if these liberties are from God then they could have just said “Blessings of Liberty from God” and be done with it.

In the Declaration, they do say:

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… that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;…


But they seem purposely vague about who this Creator is. To some it’s God, and to other’s it may be nature. To Jefferson, who was a Deist, it meant something else.

I know that there was a discussion here about natural rights before but I can’t remember how it ended.

Let’s sort this out once & for all and but done with it.

I think some historical reference is in order as well. The Constitution, so far as I can tell, was built to be a living document. The fact that it can be amended is proof of this. Therefore, to say anything in the Constitution is way x or y is probably false. It is interpreted as x oy y. That is an important distinction… it is INTERPRETED through the powers the Constitution itself has given to the judicial branch. To argue the Constitution shoul dnot be interpreted ignores things such as blacks not even being on the same plane as “men” as early interpretations of the constitution suggest. With out interpretation and growth within the document, while males would be all that could vote, slavery would still be the status quo (or we woul dhave a new government under a new constitution) etc. So where does God fit into it? It is all up to interpretation and to base your interpretation on just the first few sentances is pretty miopic IMO. I am no religious person, but I would not base my judgement on your snippet.

That said, to help interpret, I think one must look to other sources. What WAS the backgrounds of the men who wrote the consitution. What would they have meant by what thy said? Given their attitudes, how would they apply today? 100 years ago a black could not marry a white. Today two men cannot marry. So where will we find ourselves in 100 years and will our children be laughing about how backwards we were? Would Jefferson embrace such ideas given what we know about him? Remember, no one remembers the man who wanted to sit on the bus, but everyone remembers Rosa Parks. It is not always in our interest to keep the status quo… nor is it always in our interst to tear it down. That’s why we have judges and interpretation is the name of the game.

A for who gave the rights… well, it could be God. I contend that we can arbitrarily assign them… (Women had no right to vote, now they do. Sounds pretty arbitrary and base don the times to me.)

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…and to base your interpretation on just the first few sentances is pretty miopic IMO.

Understood but the only place anything close to God is mentioned in the Constituion, i.e., “Blessings of Liberty”, is in the Preamble, so that’s why I quoted it.

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Let’s sort this out once & for all and but done with it.


you funny, Mike. You very funny. :)

Might I offer a book recommendation?

http://www.amazon.com/exec…books:D

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you funny, Mike. You very funny.

I know - I try.

I don’t have time to read no stinkin’ book Tom, enlighten us.

Dude, it is interpretation… there will be no “once and for all”. It is a living document, it is made to change…

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Dude, it is interpretation…

I know that. I was kidding when I said once & for all.

Come on guys…u know as well as I do that there will be no acceptable answer as far as Mr. Soul is concerned. People like him are a dime a dozen. They’re the ones hiding in the bushes ready to poke a stick into your spokes, just because. Nothing constructive is offered, conflict is the reigning key, the stirring up of the cauldren and all for “HEY! LOOK AT ME!”. That’s right, just to get attention and he does.

As far as the ACLU and any left leaner is concerned, it is important not to offend the unbeliever with our beliefs. Fine, however, what about offending the believer with THIER unbelief? What makes them so special that they are allowed to try, singlehandedly, to destroy 200 years of Christian tradition in our nation and government just because someone might be offended? Grow up. People are offended all the time because of something someone says or does. Get over it. The only reason people like this can even have a right to spew thier ignorance is because of the forethought that the mostly Christian founding fathers had in putting our Constitution together.

To silence the ignorant we would have to also silence intellectual thought and speech. I would rather allow the ignorant to rant and rave and filter it out and allow the reasonable to shine, than to silence everyone.

Eyup!

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It is a living document, it is made to change…


This is an interesting point to a non-American. We Brits argue from time to time about the whether a Constitution would benefit our society. At the moment we have no “rights” enshrined in law, only those set by legal precedent (we are subjects of the Monarch after all) which can be overturned on appeal.
One argument for a Constitution is that it would “set in stone” our rights as Citizens, rights that cannot be overturned by Government. If, therefore a Constitution were seen as a document subject to change by those who thought they knew what the original people had in mind, would this not make for a very effective tool in controlling a society?
"You must abide by the Constitution, but WE can rewrite AND re-interpret it!"

Steve

You’re wrong me Mr. Bob Bias. If I stir up people like you then great.

No-one wants to take God out of anything. We just don’t want God inserted into something where it doesn’t belong.

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The only reason people like this can even have a right to spew thier ignorance is because of the forethought that the mostly Christian founding fathers had in putting our Constitution together.

Prove this statement. Jefferson was a Deist.

Why are you bringing the ACLU into this discussion? We’re not talking about them.

Oh yea of little faith…

http://www.eadshome.com/QuotesoftheFounders.htm

Cool site Bob thanks!

I am related to this fellow.

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Charles Carroll - signer of the Declaration of Independence

" Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments." [Source: To James McHenry on November 4, 1800.]


TG :)

Many of that period were Deitists. Many were Masons. To be a Mason does not require one to be a Christian. The prerequisite is that one believe in a Creator.

The period leading up to and following the American Revolution is known as The Age Of Enlightenment. A quick Wikipedia definition for those not knowing is:

“The Age of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century in European philosophy, and is often thought of as part of a larger period which includes the Age of Reason. The term also more specifically refers to a historical intellectual movement, “The Enlightenment.” This movement advocated rationality as a means to establish an authoritative system of ethics, aesthetics, and knowledge. The intellectual leaders of this movement regarded themselves as courageous and elite, and regarded their purpose as leading the world toward progress and out of a long period of doubtful tradition, full of irrationality, superstition, and tyranny (which they believed began during a historical period they called the “Dark Ages”). This movement also provided a framework for the American and French Revolutions, Polish Constitution of May 3 as well as leading to the rise of capitalism and the birth of socialism. It is matched by the high baroque era in music, and the neo-classical period in the arts.”

…more to come…(out of time now).

KingFish

You’re welcome. As I said, he just wants reaction. :) He got it. Enuff said from me. Thats cool though…related uh?

And yea of little intelligence. I can play this same game.

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As the Government of the United States…is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion…

- Treaty of Tripoli, 1797 (George Washington)

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…wall of separation between church and State

- Thomas Jefferson, 1802

Our Godless Constitution

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The Founding Fathers were not religious men, and they fought hard to erect, in Thomas Jefferson’s words, “a wall of separation between church and state.” John Adams opined that if they were not restrained by legal measures, Puritans–the fundamentalists of their day–would “whip and crop, and pillory and roast.” The historical epoch had afforded these men ample opportunity to observe the corruption to which established priesthoods were liable, as well as “the impious presumption of legislators and rulers,” as Jefferson wrote, “civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time.”


But this isn’t the question I asked - show me in the existing Constitution where God plays an important role.

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The United States Constitution serves as the law of the land for America and indicates the intent of our Founding Fathers. The Constitution forms a secular document, and nowhere does it appeal to God, Christianity, Jesus, or any supreme being. (For those who think the date of the Constitution contradicts the last sentence, see note 1 at the end.) The U.S. government derives from people (not God), as it clearly states in the preamble: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union…” The omission of God in the Constitution did not come out of forgetfulness, but rather out of the Founding Fathers purposeful intentions to keep government separate from religion.

Although the Constitution does not include the phrase “Separation of Church & State,” neither does it say “Freedom of religion.” However, the Constitution implies both in the 1st Amendment. As to our freedoms, the 1st Amendment provides exclusionary wording:

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. [bold caps, mine]

Thomas Jefferson made an interpretation of the 1st Amendment to his January 1st, 1802 letter to the Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association calling it a “wall of separation between church and State.” Madison had also written that “Strongly guarded. . . is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States.” There existed little controversy about this interpretation from our Founding Fathers.

If religionists better understood the concept of separation of Church & State, they would realize that the wall of separation actually protects their religion. Our secular government allows the free expression of religion and non religion. Today, religions flourish in America; we have more churches than Seven-Elevens.

Although many secular and atheist groups fight for the wall of separation, this does not mean that they wish to lawfully eliminate religion from society. On the contrary, you will find no secular or atheist group attempting to ban Christianity, or any other religion from American society. Keeping religion separate allows atheists and religionists alike, to practice their belief systems, regardless how ridiculous they may seem, without government intervention.
Quote (BobBlais @ Nov. 01 2005,16:36)
You're welcome. As I said, he just wants reaction. :) He got it. Enuff said from me. Thats cool though.....related uh?

Yep. My mother was a Carroll. Her uncle spent a fortune and half his life tracing our ancestry. Pretty neat stuff.

TG

Hey Bob-
thanks for letting us"left-leaners"rant and rave"and not '
“silencing” us like you seem to want.everyone has an opinion,it seems tolerence and understanding is what we need now.you know, that "200 yrs of Christian tradition "was (is) pretty hard on those who are not priviledged white guys who made up the rules.You don’t know what you’re talking about…
(and personally,i don’t “lean”.i stand tall and proud on the left)

Even if it were true that we have been for more than 2 centuries a Christian nation (and we haven’t, of course), that would not in itself make it right to continue down that path now. We are also a muslim nation, a Jewish nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, a Pagan nation, a First Peoples nation, and, oh yeah, a non-theist nation and an agnostic nation.

I dunno why anyone retails that conservative evangelical claptrap about the oppression of “believers” (by which our friend Bob does not mean goddess worshipers, of course, or anyone but those who hold his view of God). Bob, you are simply a fool if you think would would really benefit by a closer association of church and state. And I know you do! C’mon, admit it! :) You want to use the power of the state to achieve your own religious goals - work for Jesus, tell everyone about Jesus, that sort of thing, right? C’mon, be honest, we’re really nice people here, we admire and respect honesty. :)

edit: I forgot to add: proud member of the ACLU!

Hey TG, my mother’s family are all Adams. You know, John, John Q. :) But he was sort of a conservative, as these things go, eh?