Separating The Myth From The Truth:
Jefferson Did Not Abolish Religion In America
By Lisa Richards
January 1, 2010
“I am a Christian, that is to say, I am a follower of Jesus Christ”
Nowhere in the Constitution of the United States, or the Declaration of Independence, will the words “wall of separation of church and state be found.” There is only one place those written words can be found and one reason why; the words are in a personal letter to the pastor of the Danbury Baptists. The reason for Jefferson’s “wall of separation” metaphor—and it is just that, a metaphor—was securing “freedom of religion,” not from it. It was a promise that government cannot remove God from government or state, nor can government force a state religion upon the people, who, at that time, feared such tyranny and the removal of religious practices in each state.
On October 7, 1801, the Danbury Baptists wrote President Jefferson, asking for an actual definition of the First Amendment’s “Freedom of Religion,” stating:
"Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty: that religion andplaces is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals…But sir, our Constitution of government is not specific…And such has been our laws…that religion is considered as the first object of Legislation, and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy…we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights…as are consistent with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondered…if those who seek after power and gain, under the pretense of Religion, should reproach their fellow men…as an enemy of religion, law, or good order, because he will not…assume the prerogative of Jehovah and make laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ. Sir, we are sensible that the President of the United States is not the National Legislator…and that the national government cannot destroy the laws of each state…"
Reading carefully, one can easily notice concern that America might fall under a tyrannical government in which state religion would become the hierarchy as was in England, that the right to worship Christ would be removed and forbidden. In England, those who did not follow the Church of England were condemned. The Danbury Baptists wanted proof they indeed had “Freedom of Religion.” They also wanted to know if it applied to individual states, rights to practice the faith of their choosing, or would legislature, or worse, the president, step in and forcibly render Christian religion unlawful?
Jefferson’s January 1, 1802 response does not take an education in law or Political Science to understand he never removed God or religion from government or public:
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions (government has no right to interfere with Christianity as it is doing today), I contemplate with sovereign reverence (supreme ruler, worship and awe) that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature would “make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
“Wall of separation” is, as mentioned above, a metaphor, not law. But the metaphor has been grossly distorted by Atheists and secularists determined to outlaw God and Christianity in America.
Jefferson’s letter explained that the Signers and Framers promised freedom to practice religion without Legislature, Executive, and courts, interfering and removing natural rights Jefferson believed came from God, whom faith is owed.
The metaphor “wall of separation” simply means government can’t impose its will upon Christians as King George had by the divine right of kings. The First Amendment places boundaries between man and government, government cannot break. It guarantees freedom to worship God without penalty and imprisonment, something the first Americans faced in Holland before sailing to America.
Jefferson promised he would secure the rights of Christians and protect religious practice from laws that would seek to undo “natural rights:” belief in God.
Is Religion and God Illegal Under Constitution Law?
Today Americans are in a battle to secure natural rights Jefferson felt should be protected by a “wall” legislators have no right to tear down. Nowhere in the Constitution does it state we lack rights to erect religious symbols in public places. If that were true, the entire Capital city of D.C. would not serve as a monument to Christ. But the ACLU is fighting to remove every Christian symbol from the Capital and President Obama will not stand with the people and fight the ACLU to save our Christian heritage.
Jefferson would be appalled to know his metaphorical abstract has been misused to run out of America. For it was Jefferson who wrote to Dr. Benjamin Rush on April 21, 1803 in a letter titled “The Morals Of Jesus,” stating he wanted to clarify people’s opinions of his personal belief in God, he considered “…very different from the anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions.” Jefferson further stated he felt some had abused God’s message, something he was against: “To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts (teachings and principles) of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely attracted to his doctrines, in preference to all others…”
Ironically, Jefferson wrote to Rush that “…in confiding to you, I know it (my Christian beliefs) will not be exposed to the malignant perversions of those who make every word from me a text for new misrepresentations & calamities.”
How ominous those words are 200 years later: Atheists have twisted and perverted Jefferson’s words, his beliefs, and love of Christ, whom he did not want, separated from America.
On January 23, 1808, Jefferson told Reverend Samuel Miller in a letter titled “Religious Freedom” that “every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for” religious practices, “and this right can never be safer than in their (the people) own hands, where the constitution has deposited it.”
Thomas Jefferson’s words have not disappeared, they exist in the books Jefferson’s Writings. It is America’s educational system and government that ignore Jefferson’s words, because, to open them and read them proves America was indeed founded on God by Godly men whose intentions was a nation built on God’s natural laws, not those of men.
Lisa Richards Copyright ©™ January 1, 2009 All Rights Reserved