[Home] || [Previous] || [Next] || [Contents]

A Secular Theocracy?

Is America a "Christian Nation," or did the Deists and Freethinkers at the Constitutional Convention have their way and establish a secular nation which "separated" Christian principles from Civil Government? The "Religious Right" would have us believe that America was founded on Christianity. Madalyn Murray O'Hair does not like this idea, but a look at the Organic Law of the country casts doubt upon the ACLU vision of the past. Consider the following:

First, it is not disputed that the States had established Theocratic governments. Christianity was the established religion.[1] They repudiated "pluralism." Atheists were not permitted to testify in trials, because an oath was held to be a religious test, and a religious test was held to mean nothing to an atheist. And as we have already seen, the same men who signed the Constitution returned to their home states and drafted constitutions which excluded non-Christians from public office. Consider another example:

Pennsylvania Frame of Government, Section 10. And each member [of the legislature], before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz: "I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governour of the universe, the rewarder of the good and the punisher of the wicked, and I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration."[2]

All the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were sent to Philadelphia covenantally bound by such oaths to support Theocratic Christianity. These oaths repudiated pluralism, and all the delegates had taken these oaths.[3] Any act by them purporting to establish a secular government would have been a violation of their public oaths of office, and should simply be considered null and void.[4]

Further, any unstated Secularist desires of the Framers were negated by their public proclamations, which reaffirmed their commitment to Christian Theocracy. The law is not determined by hidden, secret, subjective reservations, but by public, objective declarations. Before, during and after the Convention, the allegedly Secularist delegates continued publicly to defend Christian Theocratic practices, such as legislative prayer (Franklin),[5] and test oaths (Madison).[6]

Throughout the 19th century, the Supreme Court and the Founding Fathers affirmed that Christianity was the established national religion. There was no hint that a secular state had been established, that religion (i.e., Christianity) had been judicially separated from public or civil institutions. The legal and public pronouncements of the Convention and its delegates, combined with a "mass of organic utterances"[7] make clear that the Constitution in itself could not have altered the Christian Theocratic character of the nation, even though some of the Framers may have secretly hoped to do this.[8] America was not constitutionally a "pluralist" nation (though socially it was rapidly becoming one).

David Barton's book, The Myth of Separation, especially chapter 4, "The Court's Early Rulings - We Are A Christian Nation," and chapter 5, "Other Organic Utterances," is a catalog of primary source documentation concerning the religious foundation of American law. The idea that Christian principles should not be the basis for legal and political action and that the Christian religion should not be enforced by law is conclusively shown by Barton's compilation to be completely foreign to the public declarations of the Framers of the Constitution. What has happened is this: the oath of office, having been secularized, is no longer respected. People who have taken an oath to "support the constitution" have supported whatever ideas they felt like supporting. And far too many people have felt like supporting a secular theocracy.

The Secularist Hypothesis

Many noted Constitutional historians and scholars, such as Leo Pfeffer, have argued that while the States had Christianity as their established religion, the U.S. Constitution created a Secular nation. The Supreme Court has generally adopted Pfeffer's thesis.[9]

Even some ultra-conservatives are beginning to agree with this thesis. Gary North, noted "Christian Reconstructionist"[10] scholar, has argued that the core leadership of the delegates to the (secret) Constitutional Convention were Deists or Unitarians who sought to establish a secular state and end the Theocratic tradition of the states' religious test oaths.[11] North calls the Convention a "coup d'etat."[12]

The First Amendment has certainly been interpreted as requiring a secular state. The "no religious Test" provision of Article VI has similarly been used. In particular, it was the Everson Court which is said to have broken decisively with the older Theocratic Christian understanding of the Constitution.[13] That Court held that Founders such as Madison and Jefferson had already moved the nation so close to secularization that the Constitution legally finished the job. They cite Madison's pre-Constitutional "Memorial and Remonstrance" and Jefferson's "Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom" in Virginia as evidence of a secularist, anti-Theocratic agenda.

A closer look at these two documents will show that the Court's anti-Theocratic bias is not based on our nation's "Organic Law." The desire to take a Christian oath, is not "unconstitutional."

A Closer Look at Madison's "Remonstrance"
Madison's "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments" is regularly cited in defense of the privatization of Christianity and the separation of Biblical principles from civil law.[14] The post-Everson Court has relied heavily on Madison, but this reliance has been misplaced. His is a remonstrance against taxation, but not against Theocracy. Madison defines "religion" in terms quite unlike the modern Supreme Court, calling it "the duty which we owe our Creator"[15] He builds his argument against taxation upon thoroughly un-pluralistic, Christian premises:

12. Because, the policy of the bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who enjoy this precious gift, ought to be that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind. Compare the number of those who have as yet received it with the number still remaining under the dominion of false Religions; and how small is the former! Does the policy of the Bill tend to lessen the disproportion? No; it at once discourages those who are strangers to the light of [revelation] from coming into the Region of it; and countenances, by example the nations who continue in darkness, in shutting out those who might convey it to them. Instead of levelling as far as possible, every obstacle to the victorious progress of truth, the Bill with an ignoble and unchristian timidity would circumscribe it, with a wall of defence, against the encroachments of error.[16]

So much for the idea that "all ideas have equal worth."[17]

Since there is such a thing as truth, and we can know it, Madison says a generic Christian test oath is appropriate: "Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe . . . ."[18]

A Closer Look at Jefferson
With the offering of the "Statute for Religious Freedom" in 1785, Madison simultaneously offered other bills written by Jefferson. These bills include "A Bill for Punishing Disturbers of Religious Worship and Sabbath Breakers," "A Bill for Appointing Days of Public Fasting and Thanksgiving," and "A Bill Annulling Marriages Prohibited by the Levitical Law, and Appointing the Mode of Solemnizing Lawful Marriage."[19] There is no question that the Court's "Lemon" Test would invalidate all of these Bills offered by Jefferson and Madison.[20] There is thus no question that the Court since Everson has misconstrued the Constitution and the Founders' intent.

Although the Constitution did not delegate power to the Federal Government to legislate in the area of Religion, The People did not "support" the work of the Convention. The Constitution was not ratified until a Bill of Rights was added.[21] The states were jealous of their religious liberty. The First Amendment barred the national government from touching the Theocracies which the states had established.[22] Thus, the oath to "support the Constitution" should be interpreted in light of the initial lack of "support" for it, and its subsequent amendment.

The bottom line: the Constitution took effect securing Theocratic Christianity.[23]

The Secularist Reality

But it doesn't really matter what the Founders intended. Christianity has in fact been judicially repudiated as the foundation of our law; it has been purged from the State's schools, and the courts are unanimous that this is now a secular nation. Whatever a Christian might think about America's "organic law" and the work of the Founding Fathers, in 1907 the Modern Age may be said to have dawned when Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes remarked that "the Constitution is what the judges say it is."[24] If I take an oath to "support the Constitution," am I pledging support for what the Founders said they had written, or am I bound by oath to "support" what 20th century jurists declare the Constitution to be?[25]

While the state constitutions were explicitly Christian and clearly Theocratic, the Federal Constitution was not worded as clearly, and makes no reference to Christ. Although its philosophy of "delegated powers" and the First Amendment did not allow the Federal Government to interfere with Christian Theocracy in the states, its ambiguity has been exploited by Secular Humanists[26] and inadequately defended by Christians, and has led to disaster.

Secularism's disaster consists mainly in the exclusion of Christian values from American culture. The State's schools are the most chilling example. After removing a 10-second generic prayer and 10 verses of the Bible from Public Schools,[27] the Court declared "unconstitutional" a passively posted copy of the Ten Commandments (provided with private funds) in a school hallway.[28]

As much as anything, this decision tells me I cannot, as a Christian, "support the Constitution." If "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not steal" are not part of the legal order of the Constitution, I can have no part of it. It is no legal order at all. If the Constitution cannot protect the 10 Commandments, it does not deserve your support.

While God claims total jurisdiction and immediate authority over every area of our lives, the Tempter-Court has said, "Ye shall be as gods" (Genesis 3:5). The Court has deceived students by giving them each day the unmistakable impression that God's claims can be ignored with impunity.[29] The Court has also deceived itself; Jesus the "King of kings," says "let the children come to Me." By claiming "neutrality," the post-Everson Court has in fact disobeyed His command, and contemptuously repudiated His authority. In so doing, they have repudiated the Founding Fathers.[30]

James Madison, called the "Architect of the Constitution," is said to have claimed,

We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.[31]

Since 1988 I have lived and worked at an urban halfway-house for homeless drug addicts, picking up the pieces of human destruction left by a Constitution which forbids the reading of the Bible and the posting of the Ten Commandments in our nation's schools. I meet hundreds of people a week, most of whom cannot "govern themselves," "control themselves," or "sustain themselves according to the Ten Commandments of God" (to use Madison's words), or, to use Biblical language, "cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand."[32] I am constantly reminded, in graphic and concrete expressions of brokenness and bondage, how far our nation has strayed from God's Paths, and it is very draining.

I can't help wonder if the Supreme Court and Law School Academicians really understand what keeps school children from becoming homeless adults, and what really creates a prosperous social order where rights are secure. The answer is Godly character, not faceless checks from impersonal bureaucracies.[33]

When hostility toward Christianity reaches such a fever pitch that children cannot even be reminded of the Ten Commandments, then we have a social order which is committing suicide. The Stone Court did not deny the truth of the plaque below the Ten Commandments posted in the school hallway, which read, "The secular application of the Ten Commandments is clearly seen in its adoption as the fundamental legal code of Western Civilization and the Common Law of the United States."[34] It simply ruled that this claim was a ruse to get "religion" into the schools. In so ruling, the Court cut the Constitution off from Western Civilization and our Common Law heritage, and sent it hurtling into Nihilism.[35] Many teachers would like to shape the character of their students in such a way that when they grow up they would respect the lives, the property, and the liberties of others. But with the judicial repudiation of God's Law, these moral values seem to be "unconstitutional" in schools. Distinguished Harvard Psychologist Robert Coles is quoted in the Readers Digest as saying,

Many schoolteachers are afraid to bring up moral and spiritual questions for fear that they violate the Constitution. It's a tragedy, intellectually as well as morally and spiritually. This might relate to the educational problems among some children.[36] A large number of the schools' assumptions are materialist and agnostic; there's a culture conflict between families and schools. That conflict may have some bearing on what children learn and what they don't learn, and how children behave[37] in school.[38]

The statistics are by now common knowledge: children are more likely to be carrying guns or condoms to school than they are homework with the caliber of learning of a previous century.[39] The Founding Fathers were unanimous in their belief that ignorance and immorality were destructive of good government. That is why the organic law of this country required the teaching of religion in the public schools.[40]

It is not that the Supreme Court is unaware of Barton's book or of the Christian history of this country. They simply do not believe that they are bound by the Founding Fathers. Period. Consider a Supreme Court case which ruled that a privately-donated Christmas manger scene on county property was "unconstitutional." The majority of the Court was clearly offended at the idea that the county would even passively admit that Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God. Justice Kennedy noted a few historical examples of government recognition of the claims of Christ, but he was in the minority. The majority virtually spat in the eyes of the Founders:

The history of this Nation, it is perhaps sad[41] to say, contains numerous examples of official acts that endorsed Christianity specifically. Justice Kennedy [dissenting in this case] evidently believes that contemporary references to exclusively Christian creeds (like the Trinity or the divinity of Jesus) in official acts or proclamations[42] is justified by the religious sentiments of those responsible for the adoption of the First Amendment. See 2 J. Story,[43] Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States 1874, p 663 (1858) ([which says that] at the time of the First Amendment's adoption, "the general, if not the universal sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state"). This Court, however, squarely has rejected the proposition that the Establishment Clause [of the First Amendment] is to be interpreted in light of any favoritism for Christianity that may have existed among the Founders of the Republic.[44]

This is the "Supreme Law of the Land?" These are the authoritative interpreters of the Constitution, and they frankly admit that they are not bound by what they know the Framers of the Constitution intended?

What does it mean to "support the Constitution" when you know what the Framers of the document intended, and contrary to their intention you go ahead and write your own law?

Something is really really wrong here;[45] I cannot blithely stand up and swear to "support" the document written by the Founding Fathers when (a) it is no longer in effect as the Supreme Law of the Land under the current regime, and (b) the members of this Court have done the same. The once-solemn oath is now a game; a cover for tyranny.

If I am to take the oath seriously, I cannot honestly say I "support" a Constitution which permits the courts to usurp the place of God. If the Founders really expected Christian ethics to buttress the Republic, they fatally erred by not drafting an explicitly Theocratic Constitution. An effective (and therefore "support"-able) Constitution accurately assesses man's sinful propensities and guards against them. The Constitution guards against nothing.

It gets worse. Their mistake (if that's what it was[46]) has permitted the destruction of the very foundation of law and order, and brought chaos to the lives of millions.[47]

This tragedy is explored in the next section.

[Next]  [Table of Contents]  [Home Page of Vine & Fig Tree]


1. More important (but less defensible), they had ecclesiastical establishments in some cases, with one Christian denomination favored over others. ("Favored" = "receiving tax revenues").  [Return to text]

2. Sources and Documents Illustrating the American Revolution 1764-1788 and the Formation of the Federal Constitution, 166 (S. Morison, ed., 1923). Cited in Barton, Myth, p. 23.  [Return to text]

3. The oaths they had taken were not dusty old laws no one knew about. After the Revolution, the state governments created by the British Crown were no longer in effect. Many states had subsequently written new Constitutions with religious test oaths. Even though the trend toward secularization had begun with the "Enlightenment," Christianity had not yet been disestablished.  [Return to text]

4. Especially an act conducted by delegates in a closed-door convention which, in any case, exceeded the authority which was delegated to them by the state legislatures. Alas, such acts were subsequently ratified.  [Return to text]

5. Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783, 787n.6, 103 S.Ct. 3330, 3333n.6, 77 L.Ed.2d 1019, 1025n.6 (1983).  [Return to text]

6. See below, text at notes 130-134.  [Return to text]

7. Holy Trinity Church v. U.S., above note 56 at 143 U.S. 471, 12 S.Ct. 516 (1892).  [Return to text]

8. I don't believe it is possible to find a single Founding Father who did not publicly express the inextricable dependence of the new government upon Christianity. John Adams knew that government could not survive without Christianity:

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

J. Adams, 9 The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States 229 (C. Adams, ed., 1854) (cited in Barton, Myth, p. 247).

Robert Winthrop, a great Christian statesman, brought the point home in a pithy way in 1852:

Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible, or by the bayonet.

R. Winthrop, Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions 172 (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1852) (from his "Either by the Bible or the Bayonet.") (cited in Barton, Myth, p. 254.)  [Return to text]

9. In a number of celebrated church-state cases, Pfeffer was not just an amicus, but a downright "kindred spirit" of the Court. In addition, Pfeffer argued at least a dozen key church-state cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including the Torcaso case, which is at the heart of this case. L. Pfeffer, "How Religious is Secular Humanism?" 48 The Humanist 13 (Sept-Oct 1988).  [Return to text]

10. North was for years the editor of the Journal of Christian Reconstruction, published by the Chalcedon Foundation, which was identified as the "think tank" of the "Christian Right," W. Estep, Revolution Within the Revolution: The First Amendment in Historical Context 1612-1789, 11-15 (1990); Bill Moyers, Transcript: "God and Politics: On Earth as it Is in Heaven," Public Affairs Television (broadcast date: Dec. 23, 1987), and 97 Newsweek 60 (Feb. 2, 1981). Plaintiff was tutored by R.J. Rushdoony, founder of the Chalcedon Foundation and author of the voluminous 800-page study of the Biblical blueprints, Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) which was largely responsible for giving birth to the prodigal "Religious Right." G. North, "Intellectual Schizophrenia," 1 Christianity and Civilization 12 (1982) (quoting Reagan-appointee Robert Billings: "If it weren't for his [Rushdoony's] books, none of us would be here.")  [Return to text]

11. G. North, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism, (1989). A massive, 800-page historical study of Article VI from a hard-core Theocratic (but non-anarchist) perspective. North earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of California.  [Return to text]

12. Id., ch. 8, "The Strategy of Deception," 413-441; ch 9, "From Coup to Revolution," 443-487. North's organization, the Institute for Christian Economics, published a dozen or so articles by Plaintiff. Political Polytheism reflects the thinking that was a significant factor in Plaintiff's discerning whether or not he could take the Attorney's Support Oath.

North's thesis is correct. The point of this part of this website is to show the importance of the oath, in that had the oath been understood, the "coup" could have been prevented. The oath is still an argument against the imposed secular theocracy.  [Return to text]

13. Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 67 S.Ct. 504, 91 L.Ed. 711 (1947). There is no disputing the claim that the frequently-cited Everson decision set the foundation for modern First Amendment jurisprudence. P. Kauper, "Everson v. Board of Education: A Product of the Judicial Will," 15 Arizona Law Review 307 (1973). The only dispute is whether the Court was true to the Founding Fathers' original intent (or whether they even need to be). R. Smith, "Getting off on the Wrong Foot and Back on Again: A Reexamination of the History of the Framing of the Religion clauses of the First Amendment and a Critique of the Reynolds and Everson Decisions," 20 Wake Forest Law Review 569 (1984).  [Return to text]

14. Reprinted in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 63, 67 S.Ct. 504, 535, 91 L.Ed. 711 (1947)(Appendix to opinion of Rutledge, J., dissenting).  [Return to text]

15. Ibid., 330 U.S. at 64, 67 S.Ct. at 535; compare U.S. v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163, 183, 85 S.Ct. 850, 13 L.Ed.2d 733, 746 (Holding that belief in a "Supreme Being" is not a necessary component of "religion," quoting a Secular Humanist source, "Thus the 'God' that we love . . . is . . . humanity.")  [Return to text]

16. Ibid., 330 U.S. at 70, 67 S.Ct. at 538 (emphasis added).  [Return to text]

17. See below, text at note 3.  [Return to text]

18. Everson, above note 129, 330 U.S. at 64, 67 S.Ct. at 535.  [Return to text]

19. D. Dreisbach, "A New Perspective on Jefferson's Views on Church-State Relations: The Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom in its Legislative Context," 35 Amer. J. of Leg. Hist. 205 (1991).  [Return to text]

20. Lemon v. Kurtzman, 411 U.S. 192, 93 S.Ct 1463, 36 L.Ed.2d 151 (1973). We filled about ten pages with more examples of laws which lack requisite "secular purpose" (pp. 11-22, 31-34, and 44). Under Lemon standards, all of America's founding charters, "a mass of organic utterances," and virtually the whole of American history up to 1892 (Holy Trinity) (and for some years beyond) is "unconstitutional." Three hundred years of constitutional history is wrong; we are right. This is the arrogant conclusion of the Secular Court.  [Return to text]

21. Nowak, Rotunda, and Young, Constitutional Law, 833, (1986). See also L. Pfeffer, Church, State and Freedom, 126 (1967) ("The 'public clamor' for a bill of rights was so great that Madison and the other proponents of the Constitution could persuade several states to ratify only after promising to work for the addition of a bill of rights."), and Rutledge, J., dissenting in Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Tp., 330 U.S. 1 at 39, 67 S.Ct. 504 at 522-23, 91 L.Ed. 711 ("[Madison] pledged that he would work for a Bill of Rights, including a specific guarantee of religious freedom, and Virginia, with other states, ratified the Constitution on this assurance [note omitted].").  [Return to text]

22. R. Cord, Separation of Church and State: Historical Fact and Current Fiction (1982). Similar to Barton's book, Myth of Separation, Cord's work is cited by then-Justice Rehnquist, dissenting in Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 104, 105 S.Ct. 2479, 86 L.Ed.2d 29, 74 (1985), and by Justice Scalia, concurring in Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches School Dist., 508 U.S. ___, 113 S.Ct. 2141, 124 L.Ed.2d 352, 366 (1993).  [Return to text]

23. Click Here for an excerpt from the U.S. Supreme Court case of Holy Trinity Church v. U.S. The issue in the case was whether a certain immigration statute could be interpreted to exclude a British clergyman desiring to enter the U.S. The Court ruled that it could not be so interpreted, because this is a Christian nation. The whole tenor of the opinion is that the U.S. is under God's Law, responsible to obey it and honor Him. The case is an important cultural landmark. It was apparently overruled in U.S. v. Macintosh, 283 U.S. 605, 51 S.Ct. 570, 75 L.Ed. 1302 (1931). See below, "Christian Theocracy: An Unconstitutional Religion," text at notes 1-6.

Although legally Christian Theocracy was secure, the Christless Constitution insured its destruction.  [Return to text]

24. The Autobiographical Notes of Charles Evans Hughes 143 (D. Danelski and J. Tulchin, eds., 1973). See also Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1, 17-19 (1958) ("Article VI of the Constitution makes the Constitution the 'supreme Law of the Land.' . . . [But i]t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. . . . It follows that the interpretation of the [Constitution] enunciated by the Court . . . is the supreme law of the land . . . .") and J. Whitehead, The Second American Revolution 20-21 (1982) (citing same). S. Levinson, "'The Constitution' in American Civil Religion," 1979 Sup. Ct. Rev. 123, 137n.54 adds Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486, 521 (1969), and U.S. v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 704 (1974) in this connection.  [Return to text]

25. Or what 21st century jurists will declare it to be? This is not a flippant question; it is one of the most significant questions being asked by scholars today. See generally, S. Levinson, "The Constitution," above, note 24, at 133-148 (Suggesting answers to the question, "What is 'the Constitution' whose authority binds us together in a common polity?" Id., at 133.) and Levinson, Constitutional Faith (1988), ch. 1. It can be argued that Judge Robert Bork was denied a seat on the Supreme Court because he answered this question the wrong way. Am I willing to take a solemn self-maledictory oath in response to a question that even a great intellect like Robert Bork cannot successfully answer?  [Return to text]

26. The Holy Trinity case notwithstanding, the Pfeffer-North thesis is for Plaintiff a compelling one. The Founders were complex individuals, and the forces which shaped the Constitution are more than the cold logic of any legal text. Theologically, Plaintiff is far removed from the largely Masonic Founders (cf. above, note 82), and the political gap will become apparent, below, text at notes 212-228 & 237. Plaintiff cannot "support" any constitution which is not explicitly Theocratic.  [Return to text]

27. Engle v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 82 S.Ct. 1261, 8 L.Ed.2d 601, 86 ALR2d 1285 (1962)(forbidding recitation of "denominationally neutral" prayer in state schools); Abington School Dist. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 83 S.Ct. 1560, 10 L.Ed.2d 844 (1963)(forbidding reading of ten verses of the Bible in state schools).  [Return to text]

28. Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39, 101 S.Ct. 192, 66 L.Ed.2d 199, reh den 449 U.S. 1104, 101 S.Ct. 904, 66 L.Ed.2d 831 (1980).  [Return to text]

29. Or if not with impunity, at least with "critical" "objective" "neutrality."  [Return to text]

30. Daniel Webster cited this Scripture ("Let the children come to Me.") and sermonized on it at length before the United States Supreme Court in the 1844 case of Vidal v. Girard's Executors, 43 U.S. 127, 175, 11 L.Ed. 205, 225 (1844), challenging the construction of an apparently secular school. The Court, speaking through Justice Joseph Story, ruled that any plan to build a non-Christian school which would not teach the Bible and would instead propagate "Deism, or any other form of infidelity" would be impermissible. "Such a case is not to be presumed to exist in a Christian country . . . ." (43 U.S. at 198, 11 L.Ed at 234).  [Return to text]

31. Cited in Barton, Myth, p. 120, and H. Alexander, How to Read the Federalist, 35 (1961). No original source for this quotation has yet been found. It may have been in a speech. Click here for discussion.  [Return to text]

32. Jonah 4:11; cf. Deut. 17:11,20.  [Return to text]

33. See below, text at note 211.  [Return to text]

34. Stone, above, at 449 U.S. 41, 66 L.Ed.2d at 202. Prof. Harold J. Berman of the Harvard Law School has written,

[E]ven fifty years ago . . . if you had asked Americans where our system of law came from, on what it was ultimately based, the overwhelming majority would have said, "the Ten Commandments," or "the Bible," or perhaps "the law of God." . . . In the past two generations the public philosophy of America has shifted radically from a religious to a secular theory of law. . . .

H. Berman, "The Interaction of Law and Religion," 8 Cap. U. L. Rev. 345 at 349-50 (1979).  [Return to text]

35. See Whitehead, The Second American Revolution, and Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, (1976) at 110.  [Return to text]

36. That is, the kids don't know how to read, write, compute, or discern, but do know how to use a condom, a submachine gun, and a coke pipe. -k.c.  [Return to text]

37. You mean teaching children that they don't have to restrain themselves from killing, stealing, raping, and lying will have an effect on their behavior? Naaah!  [Return to text]

38. Robert Coles, "Points to Ponder" 139 Reader's Digest 99-100 (no. 832, August 1991). (Originally appearing in Time Magazine.) What is significant about this quote (aside from it being astute) is not that the Reader's Digest is a recognized authority in Psychology or Law, but that the Reader's Digest has perhaps the largest subscription of any periodical in the United States. Its publishers have shown a knack for printing articles which reflect the aspirations, feelings, and fears of millions of Americans.  [Return to text]

39. See the statistics in Barton, Myth, pp. 207-220.  [Return to text]

40. See the discussion of the Northwest Ordinance, above, text at notes 111-115.  [Return to text]

41. "Sad"?  [Return to text]

42. The Court is saying that a manger scene on public property constitutes an "official act or proclamation." As though the Founding Fathers felt that an explicitly pro-Christian proclamation was bad.  [Return to text]

43. As Barton points out, Joseph Story was a professor at Harvard Law School who was appointed to the Supreme Court by (President) Madison, where he sat for 34 years. He authored the Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, which was unquestionably the most authoritative treatise on Constitutional Law in the 19th century. Only the rise of Secular Humanism has rendered it obsolete. See Barton, Myth, p. 79. See also Cord, above note 138, at 12n.38.  [Return to text]

44. County of Allegheny v. ACLU, 492 US 573, 604, 106 L Ed 2d 472, 501-502, 109 S Ct 3086 (1989)(emphasis added).  [Return to text]

45. I don't want to sound anti-Semitic (in fact, I have no racial problems at all with any descendants of Shem [Gen. 11:10ff.]), but the Court expressed clearly their worries about how offended Jews would be at this Christmas symbolism. Yet this very same Court in the very same case declared that an 18-foot high Menorah (symbol of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah) located a short distance from the manger scene, was constitutional! (Do you know what percentage of the Supreme Court justices are Jewish? Do you know what percentage of Jews are Secularists?)

Neutrality is a myth. Theocracy is an inescapable concept. What kind of theocracy did the Constitution in fact establish? Can a Christian Theocracy be established by accident? Can a person be saved by accident? Where in the Constitution is the judicial act of will which establishes the lordship of Christ?  [Return to text]

46. Gary North, above, text at notes 126-128, argues that it was no mistake. He frankly admits that while the Founders were a world apart from the ACLU, they were still products of a theologically backslidden age, and their Constitution is "an apostate covenant." As he puts it (Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism), "There is no escape from this conclusion: the United States Constitution is an atheistic, humanistic covenant. The law governing the public oath of office reveals this. Unfortunately, this oath is rarely discussed. Christians who do not analyze social and political institutions in terms of the biblical covenant model are not sufficiently alert to this crucial but neglected section of the Constitution. The Constitution is not a Christian covenant document; it is a secular humanist covenant document." (at 403-404). (See also above, note 82.)  [Return to text]

47. See below, note 208.  [Return to text]