How Much Longer a Nation Under God?
Current efforts to persuade Americans about the existence of a
constitutional provision for the separation of church and state
match those that seek to eliminate freedom of speech or the right
to bear arms. Many will be surprised to learn, "separation
of church and state" is not a phrase to be found in the U.S.
Of course, the Founding Fathers did decide against a dominant,
state religion. In our time, that decision is being used to buttress
the argument against any role God might have in the affairs of this
In our courtrooms, we no longer have to swear upon the Bible to
tell the truth. Our current president has made perjury a matter
of opinion. Even on customs forms, we are no longer required to
sign our names under oath.
The generation that claims to speak for America just now, proudly
proclaims its independence of divine providence and looks with condescension,
if not contempt, upon poor unenlightened souls who have yet to emancipate
themselves from the heavenly connection.
People who continue to believe in God are suspect at best. When
it comes to the Christian Coalition or, as they are called by their
detractors, the Religious Right, they are insinuated to be the enemy,
if not the closest things to Nazis.
The form of government agreed to by the Founding Fathers - "a
republic, Madame, if you can keep it," said Ben Franklin -
did away with kings and their divine right to rule once and for
all. God's authority was not to be used as a license to dominate
Of course, even the divine confirmation of monarchs came with strings
attached, you might say. The crown, and other symbols of authority,
were always bestowed by a pope, an archbishop, a cardinal - a representative
of God in other words. Thus supremacy of the power to which even
the king had to subordinate himself was confirmed at every coronation.
When Thomas Jefferson drafted the birth certificate of our nation,
he - and the others who came to sign it - declared independence
from Great Britain, and declared independence from King George III.
They did not declare independence from God.
As is well known, there are four references to divine authority
in the Declaration of Independence. Of these, the second contains
the keystone of our Republic:
"...that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
In order to understand the significance of this passage, we need
to remind ourselves one more time that kings were subject to divine
appointment because the ultimate authority thus resided in a place
beyond the reach of man.
Articulating our unalienable rights not as granted, but as affirmed,
established their existence prior to the U.S. Constitution.
Acknowledging God as the source of our unalienable rights placed
those rights forever beyond the reach of man.
By the same token, if we forsake God, those rights are no longer
guaranteed. At once, they may be discussed, debated, altered, eliminated.
They become the battleground of political activists, the plaything
Nothing opens the door for a totalitarian regime as surely as the
elimination of God as source and guarantor of our rights.
Do it, and it is only a matter of time before the human ruler claims
You do not have to be religious to recognize that the survival
of this Republic is contingent on God's continuing role in the nation's
The daily assaults waged upon our rights and liberties go hand-in-hand
with the gradual elimination of God, disguised as "separation
of church and state." We are told, also, that "all religions
are the same," and that nothing really distinguishes human
beings from animals or vice versa.
If all religions were the same, religious tolerance would exist
the world over. As it happens, the United States of America has
been unique in its tolerance of religions. That tolerance is inseparable
from the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers.
Those who warn of a coming constitutional convention are most likely
to see the handwriting on the wall. All the so-called rights created
during the past thirty years, all the new rights demanded today
serve to break up the foundations upon which the edifice we call
America was built. A constitutional convention would finish the
job. The first order of business would be to prohibit any reference
to the Creator, "so as not to offend those who believe in something
else, or in nothing at all," being the battle cry.
Nothing matches the importance new prophets attach to the elimination
of a divine presence. "See," they seem to be telling us,
"you don't need God. You need the American Civil Liberties
Union. You need the Sierra Club. You need the Progressive Caucus.
You need us," the new prophets say. "We will give you
all the rights you want, and then some."
They will - so long as it serves the agenda.
The past eight years have revealed the agenda: to alter every important
aspect of the nation established here between 1776 and 1787.
As we contemplate our president, his wife, and the cabinet they
have put together, as we contemplate who is currently running America's
justice system, foreign policy, or defense, our national motto -
In God we Trust - acquires a whole new significance.