LETTER: Founding Fathers didn’t separate church and stateNumerous Founding Fathers and early statesmen asserted that religious faith was the most important source of civil virtues.
By: Marie Bettmeng, Alexandria
To the Editor:
Numerous Founding Fathers and early statesmen asserted that religious faith was the most important source of civil virtues. It was the primary reason for the founding of America. We have been blessed with a unique form of government. Its governing documents (the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights) have brought this nation to a position unrivaled by any other over the past two centuries, and religious principles were a powerful influence in shaping each of those documents.
The phrase “separation of church and state” is not found in the governing documents.
The First Amendment to the Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” When the First Amendment was finally approved it contained two separate clauses on religion. The first clause, (the Establishment Clause) prohibited the federal government from establishing a single national denomination. The second clause, (Free Exercise Clause) prohibited the federal government from interfering with the people’s public religious expressions and acknowledgments. Unfortunately, in recent decades, activist courts have dramatically redefined the word “religion” in the First Amendment, giving it a definition found in no dictionary (except the court’s own privately written one).
The Founders understood the numerous societal benefits produced by Biblical precepts and values. They even believed that American government would not function properly if separated from religious principles.
Following the 1962-63 court-ordered removal of religious principles from students, teenage pregnancies immediately soared over 700 percent and sexual activity skyrocketed along with sexually transmitted diseases. Also after Roe v. Wade in 1973, abortions dramatically increased along with the sexual revolution. Some schools tried to teach abstinence but met with resistance. America will be morally and culturally strong only to the degree that Biblical, religious and moral principles are incorporated throughout society and its institutions.