A Letter To All Members of Clergy in America
To all who read this, please share with your pastor, priest, or minister. They need to see this and understand their rights to speak as well as our rights to hear.
To all members of Clergy in America,
The moral, ethical, and societal situation in our nation today is dire to say the least. An out of control government that does not respond to the wishes of We the People is taking control of every aspect of our lives and implementing a dictatorial oligarchy. Freedom of speech/expression is all but gone unless that speech/expression espouses everything Godless, evil, and despicable.
What I am writing may or may not apply to you. If you are not one of the ones I write about don’t take offense but rather accept my thanks for standing for freedom and Christian values against an increasingly tyrannical government. If this does apply to you please take it to heart and think about what your position in society is, and how you are carrying out your calling from God. In writing this I am doing my best to fulfill my calling, my commission from God.
I find it disconcerting that members of the clergy are either on board with this governmental abuse of power or afraid to speak out against it. I don’t know where each of you stand on issues of government tyranny and the restrictions on preaching true biblical tenets but I do know too many either agree with what the government is doing or have been intimidated into silence on the most important issues facing America today.
I see history repeating itself in horrendous terms. I was born shortly after World War II and clearly remember the situation that led to the Holocaust. When Hitler took over in Germany there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 churches in that nation. When he started his pogrom against the Jews there were only 84 pastors who stood up to oppose what he was doing. Most of those 84 were executed outright and others died in concentration camps.
Those who stood for the Bible and the values of God were martyred for their beliefs. Sadly, almost all of those who should have led the charge against Hitler’s tyranny sat on the sidelines to save their own skins and denied their calling for their own safety. This is not God’s idea of a shepherd, at least not to my understanding.
I see this happening again, in America today. I wonder why the leaders of the Christian community are silent. Pastors John Hagee of San Antonio and Robert Jeffress of Dallas are a couple of the more outspoken critics of what is happening but I know of very few others who are standing for true Christianity. It seems very few other clergy members have the courage to defy the perversion of the 1st Amendment and are willing to exercise the most important freedom guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. I realize I only attend one church but I see and have contact with thousands of people through the internet and my impression is that I am right on the button with my comments.
I know that there are several reasons why pastors won’t speak out. I have heard it said that if they speak out against government overreach and truly preach on the more controversial biblical principles, such as that against homosexuality or pre-marital sexual activity, that people will leave because they don’t want to hear that message. The churches could collapse from lack of donations so they have to be careful what they say from the pulpit in order to keep the attendance and money flow coming. If this is the reason a pastor won’t speak out my sadness deepens. Some fear the possibility of “hate speech” charges being brought if they speak out against immorality. I have also heard it said that they can’t preach certain things because of the “separation of church and state”. If this last point is your concern, let me educate you a bit.
This quaint little phrase is not in the Constitution. The 1st Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…..”. It says freedom of RELIGION, not freedom of WORSHIP as has been the latest propaganda coming from the White house and Obama’s minions. The term separation of church and state came from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association in 1802. The state government of Connecticut was trying to establish a denominational control over their state, trying to establish a Church of England style worship, and make it mandatory. The Danbury Baptist group asked Jefferson for help and he told them, in a two page letter, that no government entity can establish such a rule due to the separation of church and state. In 1947 Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black turned 8 words from that two page letter into a decision that totally perverted the meaning of the 1st Amendment. Freedom OF religion suddenly became freedom FROM religion, well freedom from public Christianity anyway.
The government and the courts have turned this perversion into a “no public expression of Christianity” edict. This position doesn’t carry over to Islam, atheism, or any of the many cults in existence today. Atheism has been acknowledged as a religion by the courts but only Christianity is held to the standards of no public displays of faith. When Christians see the clergy accepting this government position and doing nothing they assume the government and the courts are correct because they don’t know what the Constitution says. That Americans have no clue what their founding document says is sad enough in itself. The fact that their church leaders have no better understanding is even worse.
I am saddened when the activism I see from clergy is that of calling for government control of everything. “Ministers” and priests are out in the public eye decrying our freedom and demanding that the government give what doesn’t belong to them to those who refuse to help themselves. Jesus himself said that the man who does not work should not eat. These same clergy members preach hate from the pulpit but are excused because their message is politically correct, and against Christianity. Jeremiah Wright, Michael Pfleger, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton all stand out in public preaching hate, racism, divisiveness, and dependence on government. They need to be countered by true men and women of God who will preach the true message of the Bible, not the message of some pseudo-god they worship.
Our nation is going down the sewer of Godlessness and our clergy are allowing it to happen. Most of the members of your congregation are not going to be as outspoken and forward as I am. Most of them probably know very little, if anything, about their freedom or their heritage. They look to you not only for spiritual guidance but also for the courage to get out in the community and be seen, to stand up for their rights and the freedom given to all of us by Almighty God. It is up to you to teach them about the Christian heritage of our nation, and to be proud of that heritage instead of hiding it in the closet.
Freedom doesn’t come from government or from a document. The Declaration of Independence says; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Our founding fathers recognized God as our creator, our benefactor, and our ultimate judge. If we continue to turn our backs on God, our founding documents, and our responsibilities as American citizens we will soon find ourselves living under a brutal dictatorship that will not allow any public Christian worship at all.
It is your responsibility as leaders appointed by God Himself to stand up for the Christian heritage of the nation He designed with His own hand. We the People, Christian and non-Christian, need for you to take on the tough part of your commission from God and lead us back to the promised land, a proudly Christian America.
I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.
March 25, 2012
Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our Constitution much like the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. In the Constitution, the founders did not simply say in so many words that there should be separation of powers and checks and balances; rather, they actually separated the powers of government among three branches and established checks and balances. Similarly, they did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of “We the people” (not a deity), (2) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (3) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (4), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. Given the norms of the day, the founders’ avoidance of any expression in the Constitution suggesting that the government is somehow based on any religious belief was quite a remarkable and plainly intentional choice. They later buttressed this separation of government and religion with the First Amendment, which constrains the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions. The basic principle, thus, rests on much more than just the First Amendment.
That the phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the text of the Constitution assumes much importance, it seems, to some who may have once labored under the misimpression it was there and, upon learning they were mistaken, reckon they’ve discovered a smoking gun solving a Constitutional mystery. To those familiar with the Constitution, the absence of the metaphor commonly used to name one of its principles is no more consequential than the absence of other phrases (e.g., Bill of Rights, separation of powers, checks and balances, fair trial, religious liberty) used to describe other undoubted Constitutional principles.
To the extent that some nonetheless would like confirmation–in those very words–of the founders’ intent to separate government and religion, Madison and Jefferson supplied it. Some try to pass off the Supreme Court’s decision in Everson v. Board of Education as simply a misreading of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists–as if that were the only basis of the Court’s decision. Instructive as that letter is, it played but a small part in the Court’s decision. Perhaps even more than Jefferson, James Madison influenced the Court’s view. Madison, who had a central role in drafting the Constitution and the First Amendment, confirmed that he understood them to “[s]trongly guard . . . the separation between Religion and Government.” Madison, Detached Memoranda (~1820). He made plain, too, that they guarded against more than just laws creating state sponsored churches or imposing a state religion. Mindful that even as new principles are proclaimed, old habits die hard and citizens and politicians could tend to entangle government and religion (e.g., “the appointment of chaplains to the two houses of Congress” and “for the army and navy” and “[r]eligious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts”), he considered the question whether these actions were “consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom” and responded: “In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.”
It is important to distinguish between the “public square” and “government” and between “individual” and “government” speech about religion. The constitutional principle of separation of church and state does not, as you suggest, purge religion from the public square–far from it. Indeed, the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause assures that each individual is free to exercise and express his or her religious views–publicly as well as privately. The Amendment constrains only the government not to promote or otherwise take steps toward establishment of religion. As government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, when those individuals are performing their official duties (e.g., public school teachers instructing students in class), they effectively are the government and thus should conduct themselves in accordance with the First Amendment’s constraints on government. When acting in their individual capacities, they are free to exercise their religions as they please. If their right to free exercise of religion extended even to their discharge of their official responsibilities, however, the First Amendment constraints on government establishment of religion would be eviscerated. While figuring out whether someone is speaking for the government in any particular circumstance may sometimes be difficult, making the distinction is critical.
Nor does the constitutional separation of church and state prevent citizens from making decisions based on principles derived from their religions. Moreover, the religious beliefs of government officials naturally may inform their decisions on policies. The principle, in this context, merely constrains government officials not to make decisions with the predominant purpose or primary effect of advancing religion; in other words, the predominant purpose and primary effect must be nonreligious or secular in nature. A decision coinciding with religious views is not invalid for that reason as long as it has a secular purpose and effect.
The Constitution, including particularly the First Amendment, embodies the simple, just idea that each of us should be free to exercise his or her religious views without expecting that the government will endorse or promote those views and without fearing that the government will endorse or promote the religious views of others. By keeping government and religion separate, the establishment clause serves to protect the freedom of all to exercise their religion. Reasonable people may differ, of course, on how these principles should be applied in particular situations, but the principles are hardly to be doubted. Moreover, they are good, sound principles that should be nurtured and defended, not attacked. Efforts to undercut our secular government by somehow merging or infusing it with religion should be resisted by every patriot.
Wake Forest University recently published a short, objective Q&A primer on the current law of separation of church and state–as applied by the courts rather than as caricatured in the blogosphere. I commend it to you. https://tiny.cc/6nnnx