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The True meaning of the 1st Amendment article of "Freedom of Religion", our very first Freedom.

During the past few years, I have been researching for a book I'm writing, in doing so, I find articles on the Constitution and the "true meaning" of the wording according to the mindset of the Founders. One can read the Constitution and interpret it to mean whatever they like, but the fact remains that the wording only has one meaning, the meaning the Founders gave them and "in their time".

Many rulings by the Courts over the years have done just that, interpreted the wording to match "their views" not the views of the Founders. Early Courts did uphold the wording as they were from that same period. Many argue that the meaning of the wording changes over time, true, it does but we have to go back to the Founders time to understand "their meaning", not today's meaning of the wording. The Constitution IS NOT a living document, it is "written Law". Laws can only be changed by Congress, not the Courts.

Article I of the Constitution explains the duties of the Congress, Article II lays the path for office of Chief Executive and Article III covers the Courts. We all can clearly see that all three, along with the rest of the Constitution, has been misinterpreted to mean anything that one or a group want them to mean... but the fact remains, they still have only one meaning and that is the meaning the Founders gave them 235 years ago.

Which brings me to this "meaning" of the Freedom of Religion clause. After explaining to others for some time now that the meaning of;

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;",

the Founders meant that God, the Bible and the Church were to placed ABOVE man and Government. That Jesus Christ was to be the only "King" and Law giver to rule over the Church, not man nor Government. This is why the "Freedom of Religion" was the very first wording of the very first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But groups and the Courts have twisted the meaning saying that " the wording of years past do not hold the same meaning as today". Which might be true, but one has to read the wording and "understand" it as it was written, not what it might seem to mean in today's mindset.

Here is an article that a friend sent me in my search for the true meanings of the Constitution. It explains how the Founders came to word the 1st Amendment the way their did and how they came by this meaning. Funny how one sentence can invoke some much turmoil, but this 51 page article covers it and leaves one to wonder why the Courts can not "rule" according to the true meaning of the Amendment.

( It is in a PDF format and you can download and save it, which when I find documents of this sort, I do just that before they "disappear".)

The Judicial Test Emerging from Colonial America’s Political and Re...

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Comment by Fyre Walker on November 16, 2013 at 4:53am

Great information Brother. There are a few things there I was not aware of.

Comment by Allison McCullough on September 24, 2012 at 8:59pm

Most impressive. Thank you for posting Craig, I've definitely learned something today.

Fire Editor
Comment by Craig Taylor on September 23, 2012 at 10:09am

This is the conclusion of the article:

"Original intent is not difficult to decipher or obtain, nor is it arrogant to obtain it. The preponderance of historical evidence supports the conclusion that the issues surrounding the religious clauses of the First Amendment were few and well defined: 1) no legal establishment of one sect of Christianity or another religion as the national religion; 2) no taxation of the citizenry for the sole support of one legally privileged religion; 3) no religious test as a prerequisite to hold public office; and 4) no legal prohibition against the free exercise of religious conscience of any religions, especially minority ones. If the Court were to adhere to these issues as a “historical test” for the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses, their opinions would be more consistent and truer to the historical context of the Amendment. As America becomes more diverse and more individuals of different religions other than the traditionally American Protestant religions begin to assert this fundamental right, the application of the historical test would not be discriminatory against them. To the contrary, if the legislatures and courts were consistently to prefer all religions instead of none, there may even be a decrease in litigation.
One solution to defusing the controversy with the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses is to give a more thorough education on the early history of the United States, not steering away from the Judeo-Christian foundations that so abound. That the Christian, i.e., non-Catholic, religion is predominant is a fact of history and Biblical references should not be eradicated from public life precisely because they are historical and legal, as well as a religious. Christianity holds a special place in American history precisely because it was the predominant religion of the time in America; had it been Islam or Hinduism, they would have had the honored place. As Thomas Jefferson said, the American experiment in republicanism would survive only if there is an incredible amount of social virtue. The source of that virtue, as so many of the Founders and Framers repeatedly affirmed, is the Christian Bible.
On Feb. 15, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren attended the International Council for Christian Leadership breakfast, for which he was the keynote speaker. Time magazine reported on the event and quoted Justice Warren, as a liberal jurist, as follows:
I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the Savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses ... Whether we look to the first Charter of Virginia… or to the Charter of New England… or to the charter of Massachusetts Bay… or to the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut… the same objective is present: a Christian land governed by Christian principles…
I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of expression, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equal justice under law, and the reservation of powers to the people…137
The Chief Justice’s acknowledgment should be taken more seriously when a claim of First Amendment violation enters the courtroom. The individual fundamental right is the one to be protected from the governmental encroachment perpetuated by religious historical ignorance. There is no violation in applying the historical standard consistently across the board; it may eliminate the test articulated in Lemon, requiring that the challenged law have a secular purpose, that its principal effect neither advances nor inhibits religion, and that the law does not foster an excessive entanglement with religion.138 A vast majority of early American laws did not have a strict secular purpose; the laws, especially federal laws, did not advance or inhibit one denomination of religion, but they did favor Christianity simply because that was the traditional religion. Excessive entanglement with religion is an issue only when the courts take the view that government should be religiously neutral; it would not be an issue if government were to view the First Amendment as not prohibiting the non-discriminatory aid and support of all religions as the majority of the Framers envisioned it. The phrase “separation of church and state” has become the very thing they did not intend, and it has been abused to limit freedoms instead of to protect them. Litigants desire to see legislatures and courts reach actions that have nothing to do with “social duty” or “good order.” They want to infringe on public as well as private expressions of religion just because they bring offense. The Amendment never shields against getting offended, and courts should not entertain such causes of action. Without attending to the historical contentions that precipitated the Amendment, misapplication, marginalization, and misunderstanding of the role of religion in the founding of this country will be inevitable, the dilution of the Framers’ original intent will continue, and governmental encroachment on religious freedoms will expand.
Chief Justice Warren was almost prophetic in his last statement, in light of events transpiring from September 11, 2001 to date: “I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country.”139 Perhaps both the spirit and the protection are no longer with us as a nation."

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