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.

The End of Peace in Europe 1853-1878

Some historians will tell you that the Peace of Vienna lasted from the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, (that is, 99 years.) Some historians actually believe that. But I contend that the Peace of Vienna didn’t last that long. Instead, I contend that it lasted for about half a century.

You see, while there may not have been a general European war between 1815 and 1914, there was still lots of strife. There were many smaller wars. In the words of Russian historian Alexis Troubetzkoy:

“In the forty years preceding Crimea none of the great European powers had fought each other, but in less than twenty-five years following that struggle Europe suffered five great wars: Franco-Austrian (1859), Danish-Austro/Prussian (1864), Austro-Prussian (1866), Franco-Prussian (1870), and Russo-Turkish (1878).

With this statement in mind, the European peace was shattered, not by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, but by the Anglo-Franco-Turkish invasion of Russia in 1854.

In reality, can there really be peace until the coming of Christ? Secularists may tell you there can be, but judging by Troubetzkoy’s statement, there is most likely no chance of peace until Jesus returns.

Colonial Williamsburg

For the longest time I didn’t know what I wanted to do for work. We’ve been working with Vocational Rehabilitation to try and find me a job. As many of you know, I’m a sucker for history, at this point especially American history. And the good news? I think I finally may have found a job I’d like to work toward: I’d like to work at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

Interesting thing about Virginia: if you like American history, this is the place for you. English colonialism started here with Jamestown in 1607, some of the important events of the American Revolution happened there, many of our most prominent Founding Fathers, (such as George Washington and Patrick Henry,) were Virginians, and it was the starting place and ending place of the War Between the States, (or “the American Civil War” even though it wasn’t really a civil war.)

But back to Williamsburg. Some say it was where the American ideas of independence “took root.” I don’t know how that is, but it would be interesting to find out. I’d like to visit Williamsburg someday, and see whether it’s a place I’d like to work in future. I haven’t been to many historic places other than Gettysburg, the Rendezvous in Vincennes, Indiana, and the Brooksville Raid here in Brooksville, Florida. I hope to visit Williamsburg someday soon.

American History

I’ve decided to start studying American history. Not that I haven’t already been studying it for the Physician, but it would be good to study it more. One of the historians I hope to use (not for the musical, but for my own information,) is David Barton, who brings out the faith in Jesus Christ that drove our Founding Fathers to do what they did.

Of course, David Barton can’t be the only historian I use. I’m also going to be reading some books by Joseph J. Ellis. There are two books by him that I’m going to read: Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation and Revolutionary Summer: the Birth of American Independence. They’re short books, and hopefully will be very informative.

I’ve pretty much finished my research for the musical I’m writing. All that needs to happen now is the information needs to be submitted to the directors and they need to find out whether or not this is something that Live Oak Theatre can do. Hopefully we can work something out.

Roman History

The history that I hope to get into soon is Roman history, (as I may have said before.) I’ve found many books on Roman history which look interesting. One book is the Defeat of Rome: Crassus, Carrhae, and the Invasion of the East. Apparently it’s about a Roman campaign in the east where Proconsul Marcus Crassus and 36,000 legionaries were decisively defeated by the Parthians. It’s not a campaign that’s been covered much. Most historians have focused on the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey. It sounds like an interesting book, so I hope to get it at some point. But one thing that needs to be done is I need to read Rome and Carthage and Rome at War with Rome. One of those books is on the Punic Wars and the other is on one of Rome’s civil wars. So hopefully sometime I can get into the study of Roman history, and hopefully it’s interesting.

“The Physician: A Musical on the Life of Dr. Joseph Warren, America’s Forgotten Founding Father”

So, I just finished another chapter in the book, (actually one of the books,) I’m reading for my research into the life and times of Dr. Joseph Warren. I may have written about this before, but I’m writing about it again. Dr. Warren is a name that few who took American history in school will recognize, because he may not be all that well known outside academic circles, (or even, sometimes, within them.) As I may have said before, he is a vital character in the early history of the American Revolution. So it’s a good thing that this musical came to mind. He is a man who needs to be recognized in history as one of the leading Patriots of the American Revolution.

Probably the reason so few people know about him is because he died early on in the war. He was shot just below his eye at the Battle of Bunker Hill, (which I just finished reading about.) That’s going to be one of the key scenes in the musical.

One scene that’s going to be fictitious, (not all the musical can be 100% historically accurate, or it won’t be interesting. This is a musical, not a mere history lesson, although I hope it will be educational for people.) The scene is going to involve a sword fight inside a church. I really hope this is a scene that will work. It will involve a fictitious character, (a minor character who is going to die,) and Major John Pitcairn. It looks really good inside my head, and I hope it will work.

So that’s one of the things I’m up to. Again I hope this musical will work.

The Little Mermaid

The cast meeting for the Little Mermaid was on Tuesday night at Live Oak Theatre and I listened to the soundtrack for the musical yesterday. Hopefully this will be a good musical. It’s the first time I know of that Live Oak has done a Disney musical. I haven’t seen the Little Mermaid in years, so in a way this is a re-introduction to me.

I’m just in the ensemble for this one, but that’s okay. That’s what I wanted to do. I believe the first rehearsal for the musical is tonight. Hopefully this will be a fun musical.