Recently I was sent an e-mail showing part of the preambles of the constitutions of all 50 states. The point of the message is to basically say that the issue of separation of church and state is a non-issue. Showing that because God is mentioned in all the state constitutions it must be the religion of the country.
First I will let you read the text of the e-mail, then I will add my comments following it.
HOW COULD 50 STATES BE WRONG?
Somewhere along the way, the Federal Courts and the Supreme Court have
misinterpreted the U. S. Constitution. How could fifty States be wrong?
THIS IS VERY INTERESTING! Be sure to read the last two paragraphs. America's
founders did not intend for there to be a separation of God and state, as
shown by the fact that all 50 states acknowledge God in their state
Alabama 1901, Preamble. We the people of the State of Alabama,
invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and
establish the following Constitution ...
Alaska 1956, Preamble. We, the people of Alaska,_grateful to God and
to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land ..
Arizona 1911, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Arizona,
grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution...
Arkansas 1874, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Arkansas,
grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form
California 1879, Preamble. We, the People of the State of California,
grateful to Almighty God for our freedom ..
Colorado 1876, Preamble. We, the people of Colorado, with profound
reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe.
Connecticut 1818, Preamble. The People of Connecticut, acknowledging
with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy .
Delaware 1897, Preamble. Through Divine Goodness all men have, by
nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to
the dictates of their consciences ..
Florida 1885, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Florida,
grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty . establish this
Georgia 1777, Preamble. We, the people of Georgia, relying upon
protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this
Hawaii 1959, Preamble. We, the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine
Guidance ... establish this Constitution.
Idaho 1889, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Idaho,
grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings .
Illinois 1870, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Illinois,
grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious
liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking
to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.
Indiana 1851, Preamble. We, the People of the State of Indiana,
grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to chose
our form of government.
Iowa 1857, Preamble. We, the People of the State of Iowa, grateful to
the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our
dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings . establish
Kansas 1859, Preamble. We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty
God for our civil and religious privileges . establish this Constitution.
Kentucky 1891, Preamble. We, the people of the Commonwealth of
grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties...
Louisiana 1921, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Louisiana,
grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious
liberties we enjoy.
Maine 1820, Preamble. We the People of Maine .. acknowledging with
grateful hearts the goodness of_the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe
in affording us an opportunity ... and imploring His aid and direction.
Maryland 1776, Preamble. We, the people of the state of Maryland,
grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty...
Massachusetts 1780, Preamble. We...the people of Massachusetts,
acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great
Legislator of the Universe ... in the course of His Providence, an
opportunity .and devoutly imploring His direction ..
Michigan 1908, Preamble. We, the people of the State of
Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom .
establish this Constitution
Minnesota, 1857, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Minnesota,
grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to
perpetuate its blessings
Mississippi 1890, Preamble. We, the people of Mississippi in
convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking
His blessing on our work.
Missouri 1845, Preamble. We, the people of Missouri, with profound
reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His
goodness ... establish this Constitution ...
Montana 1889, Preamble. We, the people of Montana, grateful to
Almighty God for the blessings of liberty. establish this Constitution
Nebraska 1875, Preamble. We, the people, grateful to Almighty God
for our freedom .. establish this Constitution .
Nevada 1864, Preamble. We the people of the State of Nevada, grateful
to Almighty God for our freedom establish this Constitution
New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V. Every individual has a
natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates
of his own conscience.
New Jersey 1844, Preamble. We, the people of the State of New Jersey,
grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He
hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our
New Mexico 1911, Preamble. We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to
Almighty God for the blessings of liberty ..
New York 1846, Preamble. We, the people of the State of New York,
grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings.
North Carolina 1868, Preamble. We the people of the State of North
Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations,
for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our
dependence upon Him for the continuance of those ..
North Dakota 1889, Preamble. We, the people of North Dakota, grateful
to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain...
Ohio 1852, Preamble. We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to
Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote
our common ..
Oklahoma 1907, Preamble. Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in
order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty .. establish this
Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I. Section 2. All men shall be secure
in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates
of their consciences..
Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble. We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful
to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and
humbly invoking His guidance
Rhode Island 1842, Preamble. We the People of the State of Rhode
Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty
which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him
for a blessing
South Carolina, 1778, Preamble. We, the people of he State of
South Carolina. grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and
establish this Constitution.
South Dakota 1889, Preamble. We, the people of South Dakota, grateful
to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties .. establish this
Tennessee 1796, Art. XI.III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible
right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience...
Texas 1845, Preamble. We the People of the Republic of Texas,
acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
Utah 1896, Preamble. Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty,
we establish this Constitution ..
Vermont 1777, Preamble. Whereas all government ought to ... enable
the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other
blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man
Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI ... Religion, or the Duty which we
owe our Creator .. can be directed only by Reason ... and that it is the
mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and
Charity towards each other ...
Washington 1889, Preamble. We the People of the State of Washington,
grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain
this Constitution ...
West Virginia 1872, Preamble. Since through Divine Providence we
enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the
people of West Virginia . reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon
Wisconsin 1848, Preamble. We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to
Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility ..
Wyoming 1890, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Wyoming,
grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties . establish
this Constitution ...
After reviewing acknowledgments of God from all 50 state
constitutions, one is faced with the prospect that maybe, just maybe, the
ACLU and the out-of-control federal courts are wrong!
"Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants."
- William Penn
If you found this to be "Food for thought.." send to as many that you think will be touched by it also. GOD BLESS AMERICA!
My first reaction is that I see a lot of cookie-cutter preambles. How many of you have been involved with starting a new organization, and having to come up with new by-laws?
The normal series of events is to find by-laws from a similar group and then modify them to fit your group.
This is what has obviously been done for most of the states. Just the fact that most of the wording is identical with the others, with the exception of the ones who went out on the “Creator of the Universe” limb, demonstrates this point.
They took the constitution of another state, and modified it to fit their state. There is nothing wrong with doing that, why reinvent the wheel?
It does tell me, however, that there was not near the forethought in the creation of the state constitutions as there was in the constitution that governs our entire country.
Creating a state constitution was probably more along the lines of, “We need a constitution thrown together to be granted statehood. You two. Make us a constitution.”
People enjoy using fractional quotes and text to make their point, conveniently leaving out the parts that might sully their view.
The Bible was made this way as well. During the canonization of the Bible, books were added or thrown out based on whether or not they fit in to the editor’s view of how the Bible should be.
Did you know there are many books in the Bible that have other versions written by different authors of the time? For one reason or another these versions of the story were not used.
Some say it was Devine intervention that guided the editor’s of the Bible. I think it was just some guys sitting around creating a religious book that would support the belief system they were developing.
But I digress…
I’m not going to waste my time looking into every preamble to pick nits, because I’m certain they’ll all reflect the same basic thing. Let’s take a look at Alaska as a one example. The entire preamble for Alaska’s constitution is as follows:
“WE THE PEOPLE OF ALASKA, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land, in order to secure and transmit to succeeding generations our heritage of political, civil, and religious liberty within the Union of States, do ordain and establish this constitution for the State of Alaska.”
Although the statement that the people of Alaska are “grateful to God”, they are also grateful “to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land…”. Then it goes on to mention that they want to secure the right for “…religious liberty.”
From my past teachings we know that liberty is freedom. What the people of Alaska are saying here is that although they acknowledge God, they are also in support of the freedom of religion.
In order for religion to be truly free, the government cannot mandate or single out any one religion. To do so would remove the validation of the constitution.
The term “separation of church and state”, although not specifically said in those words, is implied.
In order to have freedom of religion, the government cannot dictate a single religious slant. To do so would invalidate our freedom of religion. The right, granted to us by the Bill of Rights for the entire country, to worship however we see fit. Not however the religious majority thinks we should.
I fight for freedom for everyone in this country. Including the right for Christians to believe how they do. Many Christians understand this, and understand that the freedom of religion protects them as well.
Those Christians who demand that only Christian beliefs should be within our government are not only wrong; they are dangerous to the freedom of the citizens of this country!
In a country that stands for freedom and liberty, there is no place for the zealot. We must be ever vigilant in spotting the zealots infiltration and attempts to undermine our freedoms. In the end, their brand of Christianity may not be your brand, and then where will you be?
It’s freedom of religion that is in our constitution, not freedom if you’re Christian.
If you disagree, please make your statements in the forums of this website. I’d love to read your views.
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
A common misconception from some of you who read my articles is that I am a Christian basher.
Because I speak out to promote freedom, this somehow translates into a non-Christian stance.
Freedom for people does not mean anti-religion of any kind. Let me get very clear as to what my stance is on religion, freedom, and the role I think these things should play in our society.
Simply put, this country was founded on the ideals of freedom for all. I am not going to try and rehash issues from some of my many previous articles on freedom, and what I think it means to all of us. I’m certain all of you will agree that freedom is our single most important right, especially when it comes to religion.
Freedom permits you to follow whatever religion and belief you choose.
Freedom prevents the government from mandating everyone in the country must follow a certain religion.
Freedom allows you to meet in whatever venue you prefer and discuss your religious beliefs among others.
Freedom paves the way for you to publish whatever documents and articles you want to discuss and promote your religion.
Freedom does all of this for us and more. Before I go any further, do you agree with these statements about our freedom? I hope its yes. If it’s no, write about your views in our forum area.
I would love to see Christianity thrive, and be the dominant religion in the world, but only if the people are willingly converted to the religion.
If you go back and read these articles where people have accused me of bashing religion, you should hopefully see that the part of organized religion I don’t particularly care for is the zealots of the various religions.
A zealot is someone who is a bit fanatic. They are normally so wrapped up in whatever they are obsessing over that everything else is irrelevant.
Religious zealots seem so immersed in their religion that they not only try to thrust their new found purpose for life on everyone else, they are literally scared to death that other people think differently then they do.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a religious person. Many people throughout are great country come from a large variety of religious backgrounds. Many of these are various forms of Christianity, but there are also many other religious affiliations in our country as well.
The problem I have is when one type of religion professes to be superior over all others, and then proceeds to attempt to change this country into their own religious flavor.
Trying to get prayer into all avenues of our society, establishing religious monuments in courtrooms, adding religious phrases to money or any other attempt to weasel a certain religion into something that is for the people of this country, is wrong.
Our freedoms guarantee the rights for all of us, you and me, to believe whatever we want. They do not allow for any one of us, you or me, to force our beliefs on the rest of our society. You would not like that, just as much as we don’t.
It’s great if you are Christian. Rejoice in your belief and teach your children to follow your belief so that they can grow up to become good moral members of this country. In addition, teach your children to also respect the views of others. Do not brainwash them into thinking that if other people do not believe as you do, they are evil.
You do your children a disservice by not teaching them to be respectful and tolerant of the beliefs of other cultures.
From what I have observed, many people are so frightened that their children may not follow the belief of a family that they tell their kids all sorts of things to make them afraid of thinking any other way.
Religion is a fragile thing.
From my perspective, many religious folks run scared most of the time. They’re afraid that they are not as loyal to their own religion as they should be. They’re afraid that their kids may have minds of their own and want to search out their own spiritual path. They’re afraid that if the other people around them do not belief as they do, then their whole belief system is in jeopardy.
I have my own beliefs, and those of you who read this site regularly know that my beliefs are not common. Am I scared that others will not believe as I do? Certainly not, because I think that everyone has the right to believe in whatever they feel compelled to believe.
Does believing in the right for you to worship whatever spiritual path you choose make me a Christian basher? Then you may want to take a good long look inward, and ask yourself what you are afraid of.
If you’re a Christian, then be a good Christian, and teach your children well. I would ask you to please also teach them to be tolerant of those who do not believe as you do. Other people are not evil, and not your enemy. You will not be thrown to the lions. At least not as long as I am still here to defend your freedom!