Michael Gaynor
The Founders' self-evident truth included the Creator
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By Michael Gaynor
October 23, 2010

What had been self-evident to the Founders and the predicate for the establishment of the United States of America was arbitrarily deemed by judicial activists unconstitutional under a Constitution dated "in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth."

Have you ever read America's Declaration of Independence?

It begins:

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness...."

Make no mistake: the Declaration of Independence was premised on a Creator and the existence of that Creator was described as a self-evident truth.

Complete separation of church and state was not what America was about.

America's Constitution did not include the words separation of church and state. It provided for institutional separation of church and state, but not for hostility or indifference to religion.

As Justice Joseph Story explained in his Commentaries on the Constitution (1833) in Section 1874: "Probably at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the 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 was 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."

Thomas Cooley, in Principles of Constitutional Law (1898), explained (pp. 224-25): "By establishment of religion is meant the setting up or recognition of a state church, or at least the conferring upon one church of special favors and advantages which are denied to others.... It was never intended by the Constitution that the government should be prohibited from recognizing religion, * * * where it might be done without drawing any invidious distinctions between different religious beliefs, organizations, or sects."

Notwithstanding, in 1947, in Everson v. Board of Education, the United States Supreme Court suddenly opined: "The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another."

But the conclusion that government could not aid all religions and was required to be utterly indifference to religion was not only baseless, but contrary to the understanding of America's Founders.

What had been self-evident to the Founders and the predicate for the establishment of the United States of America was arbitrarily deemed unconstitutional under a Constitution dated "in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth."

© Michael Gaynor

 

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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