The First Amendment: What Does It Really Mean?

“Separation of church and state! Separation of church and state!” You hear this from liberals often. This is a rallying cry used to squelch people’s right to practice their faith in the public square. “It’s in the constitution,” they say. “It’s the First Amendment.” They’re wrong.

The US Constitution was written by a people who had fought a war for religious liberty. You may say, “But I thought it was about taxation without representation.” It was, but only to a certain extent. If you read the Declaration of Independence you will find that taxation without representation was only one in many abuses of the British Crown. In fact, you’ll find that “taxation without representation,” is one of the shortest lines of speech in the Declaration of Independence. Plus if you read some of the other writings of the Founders, (such as Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia,) you will find that religious persecution was indeed one of the offences of the Crown.

“That’s all well and good,” you might say. “But what does this have to do with the First Amendment?” Simply put, our forefathers did not fight for religious liberty just to squelch it in the laws of this land. Nowhere in the US Constitution will you find “separation of church and state.” Instead, you will find this:

“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.”

Now, do you see “separation of church and state” anywhere in that amendment? I sure don’t. What I do see is that our Founding Fathers didn’t want an established church, (as there was in England.) They didn’t fight against one religious establishment just to establish another.

So there you have it. Separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. And even in the places you will find it, you have to take into account it’s context.

I hope this was helpful to you. And I would definitely advise you to study closely the history of our nation, particularly the writings of our Founding Fathers, (and, sorry to disappoint, but Abraham Lincoln is not one of them.) I hope you’ll take my words into account and look into these things yourself. In fact I implore you to do so. The future of our country may depend on it.

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