The TOTAL TRUTH Solution for a Fractured America
Big Picture Answers for America's Big Problems -
Rebuilding on America's Original Worldview

by Leonard Ransil

Section 4: America Founded on a Christian Worldview
Chapter 31     A Key Court Case in the Secularization of America

Amendments to The Constitution of the United States of America

Amendment 1
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, of the right of the people peaceably to assemble,
and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.  Ratified December 15, 1791.

Amendment 14; Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,
are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.  No State shall make or enforce
any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State
deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its
jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.  Ratified July 9, 1868.

Everson Revisited

The bulk of this chapter focuses on the 1947 Supreme Court case, Everson v. Board of Education of the Township of Ewing.  The landmark case involved a New Jersey statute that enabled parents who sent their children to parochial schools to receive reimbursement for their transportation expenses.  

Justice Hugo Black delivered the opinion of the Court which greased the government’s slide toward secularization through his blatant judicial activism, and popularized the current misinterpretation of the "separation of church and state".  His secular based interpretation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution formed the basis for the opinion.  Ironically, his opinion was not consistent with his actual ruling and was "corrected" in a later case.  Excerpts from the opinion are quoted here; the full document can be found at the Cornell University Law School website

"Prior to the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, the First Amendment did not apply as a restraint against the states.  Most of them (the states) did soon provide similar constitutional protections for religious liberty.  But some states persisted for about half a century in imposing restraints upon the free exercise of religion and in discriminating against particular religious groups. (emphasis added)
Justice Black failed to note that it was the Christian beliefs, held by the vast majority of American Colonists, that enabled them to form a cohesive Federal government based on freedom. The tolerance among Christian sects, which was gradually extended to others, set America apart from other countries.  Many hotspots exist today because their leaders reject that example, usually traceable to intolerance within their Worldview assumptions.  Secularists think they can reform society by imposing the force of law.  Christians believe that true reform can only happen when individual hearts and attitudes are changed for the good through faith in Jesus Christ.  In the Everson case, Justice Black argued that using laws to, in effect, outlaw all Christian influence, would improve America; in fact such policies only serve to rip out the rock foundation upon which America was built, causing inevitable moral erosion. 

Ironically, Justice Black tacitly admitted in his above lament the existence of a Christian foundation under our state governments that was maintained by the protection of the First Amendment - the very foundation he challenged. 
"The meaning and scope of the First Amendment, preventing establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, in the light of its history and the evils it was designed forever to suppress, have been several times elaborated by the decisions of this Court prior to the application of the First Amendment to the states by the Fourteenth. The broad meaning given the Amendment by these earlier cases has been accepted by this Court in its decisions concerning an individual's religious freedom rendered since the Fourteenth Amendment was interpreted to make the prohibitions of the First applicable to state action abridging religious freedom. There is every reason to give the same application and broad interpretation to the 'establishment of religion' clause. The interrelation of these complementary clauses was well summarized in a statement of the Court of Appeals of South Carolina,23 quoted with approval by this Court, in Watson v. Jones, 13 Wall. 679, 730: 'The structure of our government has, for the preservation of civil liberty, rescued the temporal institutions from religious interference. On the other hand, it has secured religious liberty from the invasions of the civil authority.' " (emphasis added)
Notice Justice Black conveniently omits the qualifier “Congress” in the first sentence.  Our Founders intentionally handcuffed Congress from making such laws precisely so that the people of each state would have jurisdiction and freedom to decide whether or not to “establish a religion.”  As his argument unfolded, it became clear that he thought an "evil", namely religion, needed to be suppressed if not replaced - and he supplied the means to do it.

His agreement with the last two sentences of the above quote revealed his underlying bias that the First Amendment "… has erected a wall between church and state.  That wall must be kept high and impregnable.  We could not approve of the slightest breach."

But previously, he lamented that the states had imposed religious restraints.  So how and when did the “structure of our government” rescue “the temporal institutions from religious interference?”  It was the Founders, influenced by Christian principles, who fashioned the structure of our government on those Christian principles.  Justice Black seemed shamelessly bent on replacing the paradigm of a government based on the Christian belief system - which he misnames "religious interference" - with a government based on no belief system - which is inherently impossible to do.  That is like saying it is possible to have a second story building without a first story.  

As noted in previous chapters, all governments are founded on some set of assumptions - collectively, a belief system.  So, to call a government's foundational assumptions “interference” is irrational.  But Black did this for a calculated reason.  His hidden agenda was to replace what he called "religious interference," specifically Christian principles, with another belief system, namely Secularism.  The notion that Secularism is somehow “value neutral” and therefore does not “interfere” with government operations, is absurd.  It is a belief system of competing, and often hostile, assumptions that deny the validity of the assumptions upon which America was built such as America's dependence on God's providence for survival.   That is why attempts to remove our nation's Christian foundation or attacking the name of Jesus Christ were once treated as treasonous by early American courts.  Justice Black's court opinion officially formulated the criteria Secularists use even today to unilaterally destroy America's Christian foundation and heritage.  This was the first official volley in the so-called Culture War.

Seven Black Commandments

Following his interpretation of what constitutes religious interference, Justice Black went on to explain, “The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this.”  He then issued seven decrees (numbered here for sake of clarity):
1.  “Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church.” 
How did Justice Black arrive at that new meaning which imposed prohibitions diametrically contrary to the First Amendment?  His radical departure from the previous norm was justified by his activist interpretation and extension of the Fourteenth Amendment.
"The broad meaning given the [First] Amendment by these earlier cases has been accepted by this Court in its decisions concerning an individual's religious freedom rendered since the Fourteenth Amendment was interpreted to make the prohibitions of the First applicable to state action abridging religious freedom There is every reason to give the same application and broad interpretation to the 'establishment of religion' clause." (emphasis added)
There is 'every reason to give the same application and broad interpretation' only if an activist court majority ignores 160 years of Constitutional and judicial precedent and arrogantly decides that they can invent a reason that fits their secularist Worldview.  A section of the Fourteenth Amendment states,
"... No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. ..."
Secularists are quick to declare that there is no longer such a thing as “states rights.”  That saves them the trouble of working to pass laws that support their agenda in every state.  All they have to do is get a Federal judge to make a law through a court case and it then applies everywhere.  They have used that means to substitute the rights to religious liberty of the majority with the rights of as few as a single American.  That travesty of justice and perversion of the First Amendment happened when one woman, atheist and socialist sympathizer Madalyn Murray O’Hair, sued to have Bible reading removed from all public schools and won her case by an 8-1 Supreme Court ruling.  With that decision, just eight men effectively violated the freedom of children to hear the truth of the very book upon which our public schools were originally based.   No doubt, their outrageous thinking was based on the next decree:
2.  "Neither [state nor federal government] can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another."
While this is consistent with Black’s first decree, it is totally opposite the policies and practices of our Founders, including Thomas Jefferson, as documented in previous articles and underscored in his Second Presidential Inaugural Address:
"In matters of religion I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the General Government. I have therefore undertaken on no occasion to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it, but have left them, as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of the church or state authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies."1
Similarly, in 1833, Joseph Story, an Associate Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 until his death in1845, summarized the purpose of the First amendment,
"Probably at the time of the adoption of the constitution, and of the (First) amendment to it, now under consideration, the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as it is not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation."2
Story’s further comments clarify that the Christian Worldview was preferred over other Worldviews including Secularism, which he called “infidelity.”  The First Amendment, he argued,
“… was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism [Islam], or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment which would give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government.”3  (emphasis added)
In other words, Christianity was to be protected as the foundational religion of America with no single Christian sect given a priority position over another.  Justice Black's second decree could not have been more wrong or more destructive to America’s heritage and well-being.
3.  "Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion."
This decree also contradicts the previous Federal and state government policy of influencing its citizens by supporting and even requiring Bible-based schools by law.  Even as late as 1946, the Dallas Public School system published a survey of the New Testament that would rival what is taught in many seminaries today. 
4.  "No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance."
Current attempts to force tolerance and acceptance of any belief system today are making possible the appalling scenario that Christianity itself will no longer be tolerated in America.  That is tantamount to throwing overboard the people who own the boat.
5.  "No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or Institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever from (sic) they may adopt to teach or practice religion."
Indeed, states carried on that very practice of taxation for decades after the First Amendment was passed proving again our Founders never intended the Federal government to meddle in this area.  The hand of Big Government is progressively strangling the throats of state and local governments, a betrayal of power which would have horrified the likes of both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
6.  "Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa."
Again, Thomas Jefferson did this openly as president for 8 years when he personally attended weekly church services in the Capitol building.  
7.  "In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between Church and State.’ "        
Justice Black's failure to correctly cite the origin and true purpose of Jefferson's phrase was a deceitful omission.  Using it to then bolster an unrelated argument amounted to propaganda and led to what we have today - the intimidation of Christians and the silencing of religious expression.

The Secularist Avalanche

Our Founder’s words and deeds clearly contradict Justice Black’s interpretation and application of Jefferson's "separation of church and state" remark.  It is clear that the court purposely seized the opportunity of the enactment of the Fourteenth Amendment to amend the First Amendment without benefit of the constitutionally required process.  That violation of the proper process has continued through the years by activist judges, in league with anti-Christian ideologues, who are bent on secularizing, and thereby destroying, America as we know it.  Our rich heritage and practices are being systematically ripped away through despicable court rulings which seek to justify the opposite of what our Founders intended.
"Everson was the beginning of a powerful separationist drive by the Court, during which many programs and practices given government sanction were found to have religious purposes or effects and thus invalidated.”4  (emphasis added)
The unprecedented interpretation of our hallowed First Amendment in the Everson case was the initial snowball that triggered an avalanche of court cases that threaten to destroy our Founder's intent for the First Amendment by establishing the religion of Secular Humanism as the foundation of our government.

The next chapter will describe the proper Constitutional use of judicial power meant to interpret rather than make laws.  Once civil servants use any branch of our government to overstep Constitutionally established boundaries, it spells the beginning of the end of our Constitutional Republic.  This is especially so when the judiciary replaces Constitutional Law with its own whims.

1 Page By Page Books, "Second Inaugural Address, Thomas Jefferson,", retrieved November 8, 2007.
2 Joseph Story, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States (Lake Bluff, IL: Regnery Gateway, [1859] 1986), 316.
3 Murray Hornsby, American Heritage Alliance, America…Our Christian Heritage, Our History and Faith in God, "The Deception of Separation of Church and State",, retrieved November 8, 2007.
4 Wikipedia, Everson v. Board of Education,, retreived November 8, 2007.

Total Truth = Big Picture Thinking
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