Saturday, December 31, 2011

Part 2. The Founders of the Constitution clearly intended for the Bible to be taught in schools.

Lie Number One, The Constitution Teaches Separation of Church and State, Part b.

The Founders of the Constitution clearly intended for the Bible to be taught in schools.

How can we know what the U.S. Constitution intended concerning the relationship of the church with the state? They are many, who would totally separate religion, or more truthfully, morality from government, who cherry pick statements from our founders which seem to indicate their desire to separate Christianity from all government functions. Yes, I said, ‘Christianity,’ not religion, for that is their goal–to totally delete any reference of the morality of Christianity from the public scene. Their eventual goal is to wipe out Christianity from families and individuals, and to relegate practicing Christians to being fanatical and a danger to society. Any who do not believe this, are naive to the ways of those who hate morality.

Historical writings reveal the intent of Congress to use the Bible for inspiration in their dealings. In the case quoted below, to enable our first president, George Washington, to set aside a day of thanksgiving with prayer and thanks to God for his intervention and favor to the new republic.
Repeatedly in early congressional records, the Bible was used as the premise for discussions and law making as illustrated from this excerpt from the Congressional Record of September 25, 1789 asking President Washington to declare the first National Thanksgiving holiday. "Mr. [Elias] Boudinot (who was the President of Congress during the American Revolution) said he could not think of letting the congressional session pass over without offering an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States of joining with one voice in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings He had poured down upon them. With this view, therefore, he would move the following resolution: Resolved, That a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States to request that he would recommend to the people of the Un States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God . . . Mr. [Roger] Sherman (a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution) justified the practice of thanksgiving on any signal event not only as a laudable one in itself, but as warranted by a number of precedents in Holy Writ . . . This example he thought worthy of a Christian imitation on the present occasion; and he would agree with the gentleman who moved the resolution . . . The question was put on the resolution and it was carried in the affirmative. Source: Straight Talk
We have gotten to the place where if this happened today, many voices would be raised which would criticize any congressional representative or senator making such a recommendation. We have obviously traveled a long way from our beginning.

A former speaker of the US House of Representatives, Robert Winthrop, recognized that people will be guided by a benevolent or malevolent power or authority. He strongly said if we would be free, we would submit to the teachings of the Bible:
Quoting Robert Winthrop (Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives):
Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet. (Source: Robert Winthrop, Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1852), p. 172 from his “Either by the Bible or the Bayonet.”) Source.
Founders intended for the Holy Bible to be used in schools for teaching morality.
1670 Indian Christian Church founded on Martha's Vineyard to educate Indians.

1690 Connecticut Law passed that children be taught to read so they can read Holy Scriptures.

1690 First New England Primer is published. The Alphabet is taught using Bible verses for each letter, and has questions on Bible moral teachings. The Primer contains children's prayers, the Lords Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Shorter Catechism and questions on the Bible by Mr. Cotton. The New England Primer will be in wide use in American schools of all types public, private, home or parochial, for the next 200 years.

1699 Yale was founded by ten ministers in order to further the reformed Protestant religion. Students were required to read Scriptures morning and evening at times of prayer.

1717 Rev. Cotton Mather starts classes for Negroes and Indians to teach the 3 "R's" plus religion.

1769 Dartmouth-College is established for the education and instruction of youths in reading, writing and all parts of learning which shall appear necessary and expedient for civilizing and Christianizing the children.

1781 Congress approves the purchase of Bibles to be used in schools.

1787 Congress passes the Northwest Ordinance which is outlines requirements for governments of new territories so they can qualify for statehood. Article 3 of the Northwest Ordinance directs the people of the territories to establish schools "to teach religion, morality, and knowledge.” Nearly every state admitted to the Union after this has written in their State Constitution wording that the schools are to teach morality and religion and they all use the Bible as the bases for their teachings.

1802 Thomas Jefferson acting as President for Washington D.C. schools requires the Bible and the Watts Hymnal to be used in classrooms.

1808 Washington's Farewell Address is published as a separate text book. Washington's Address is looked upon as one of the most important political documents in American history. In the speech Washington emphases that for America to succeed it must have a moral society which can only come from roots in the Christian faith. This text book is used until 1960's.

1844 Girard proposes to teach morals without the Bible. The Supreme Court rules that American schools are to teach Christianity using the Bible. The case is argued and won by Daniel Webster. (Videl v. Girard) Dated comments source: An Outline History of Religion in American Schools. Click here for Source.

The above source contains more, but I have posted some that are very clear that the founders fully intended that the Bible, rather than religion, be taught in the public school system.
It is so clear, it would make one wonder why the modern generation is trying to convince us that the constitution prohibits the teaching of religion. It is clear, the modern post-Christian generation does not want the teachings of Jesus taught in our public schools. In subsequent articles, we will discuss this.


  1. Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our Constitution much like the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. In the Constitution, the founders did not simply say in so many words that there should be separation of powers and checks and balances; rather, they actually separated the powers of government among three branches and established checks and balances. Similarly, they did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of "We the people" (not a deity), (2) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (3) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (4), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. Given the norms of the day, the founders' avoidance of any expression in the Constitution suggesting that the government is somehow based on any religious belief was quite a remarkable and plainly intentional choice. They later buttressed this separation of government and religion with the First Amendment, which constrains the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions. The basic principle, thus, rests on much more than just the First Amendment.

    Madison, who had a central role in drafting the Constitution and the First Amendment, confirmed that he understood them to “[s]trongly guard[] . . . the separation between Religion and Government.” Madison, Detached Memoranda (~1820). He made plain, too, that they guarded against more than just laws creating state sponsored churches or imposing a state religion. Mindful that even as new principles are proclaimed, old habits die hard and citizens and politicians could tend to entangle government and religion (e.g., “the appointment of chaplains to the two houses of Congress” and “for the army and navy” and “[r]eligious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts”), he considered the question whether these actions were “consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom” and responded: “In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.”

    While the religious views of various founders are subjects of some uncertainty and controversy, it is safe to say that many founders were Christian of one sort or another and held views such as you note regarding religion. In assessing the nature of our government, though, care should be taken to distinguish between society and government and not to make too much of various founders’ individual religious beliefs. Their individual beliefs, while informative, are largely beside the point. Whatever their religions, they drafted a Constitution that establishes a secular government and separates it from religion as noted earlier. This is entirely consistent with the fact that some founders professed their religiosity and even their desire that Christianity remain the dominant religious influence in American society. Why? Because religious people who would like to see their religion flourish in society may well believe that separating religion and government will serve that end and, thus, in founding a government they may well intend to keep it separate from religion. It is entirely possible for thoroughly religious folk to found a secular government and keep it separate from religion. That, indeed, is just what the founders did.

    Take care in reciting "history" on this subject, as misconceptions and downright dishonesty abound, among which are the items you mention for 1781, 1787, 1802, and 1844.

  2. Thanks for bring up 1781, as being falsely quoted. However, controversy remains on the other three. Continue with me as I explain some of the faults in the left's revision of history. No side is completely without misrepresentation in this issue. Again, thanks for stopping by and commenting.