Skip to comments.Same week Congress approved First Amendment, it requested Washington declare Nation's first National Day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God
Posted on 12/12/2019 9:27:43 AM PST by Perseverando
The First Amendment was passed in the First Session of Congress, which was meeting in New York City.
The first Ten Amendments, called the Bill of Rights, were intended to be "handcuffs" or limitations on the power of the new Federal Government.
The Bill of Rights was signed by two individuals in the U.S. Congress: Vice-President John Adams, as President of the Senate, and Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, as the First Speaker of the House, who was also an ordained Lutheran minster.
The PREAMBLE to the Bill of Rights reveals the intent of the States to prevent the Federal Government from an "abuse of its powers," insisting "restrictive clauses" should be placed on it:
"The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to PREVENT misconstruction or ABUSE OF ITS POWERS, that further declaratory and RESTRICTIVE CLAUSES should be added ... as amendments to the Constitution of the United States."
The First Amendment began:
"CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Websters 1828 Dictionary defined "respecting" as: "regarding," "concerning," or "relating to."
In other words, when the subject of "an establishment of religion" came before the Federal Government, their response was to be "hands off," as religion was under each individual State's jurisdiction.
In his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833, Justice Joseph Story stated:
"In some of the States, Episcopalians constituted the predominant sect; in other, Presbyterians; in others, Congregationalists; in others, Quakers ...
It was impossible that there should not arise ... jealousy ... if the national government were left free to create a religious establishment.
The only security was in the abolishing the power
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IMO the lesson I receive out of reading that article is that the Founders shared a variety of beliefs under the rubric of Christianity all the way out to Deism which is like a martini over which you pass a bottle of vermouth but don’t drop any in. Be that as it may, they were willing to come in under the tent of Christianity in an extremely extended sense.
I think the only way that this interpretation of the Bill of Rights and the 1st Amendment can be honored is that it is honored as the tradition and outlook of the country and the basis on which it is founded.
IMO Islam is a problem because the core of it advocates forced conversion and legal takeover of other countries, which puts it in the same category as any other ideology that advocates the overthrow of the US government.
Atheists and Satanists etc are a problem because they seek to remold a social consensus which has already been established and at core want to supplant what was written and intended, not coexist with it.
We see thousands if not millions of Asian immigrants who practice Hinduism, Shintoism, Buddhism and other Eastern religions and do not push their practices on other groups or object about the way the Constitution was set up.
This country was set up overwhelmingly by Christians with Christian values, and by primarily Northern Europeans who were Protestant. Their values are okay with me.
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