The "Separation of Church and State" Myth PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. John E. Russell Sr   

The First Amendment does not establish the separation of church and state. The first Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

This amendment was placed in our constitution by the states in order that the Federal government might not establish a national denominational church such as the Anglican Church in England. It was designed to protect the state-preferred Christian denominations or state-established churches. In 1791, when the First Amendment was created, over a third of the thirteen colonies had established churches. According to Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 2nd ed., pp. 593-595, the intent of the amendment was to provide protection for and enable the Judeo-Christian belief to flourish. It avoided a national church and protected the Biblical basis of our legislation.

Our founding fathers intended that Christianity be the foundation of our nation. Noah Webster expresses it well:

The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.

Benjamin Franklin, in his address to the Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1786, declared:

Have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth--that God governs in the affairs of men. [Editor's note: These are not the words of a Deist!] And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages.

There is conflict in our judicial system. The vacillating court decisions are based on social fads one time and on biblical truths another time. The decisions are like footballs--one never knows which way they will bounce next. Hence, the need to return to the teachings of the great American jurist, William Blackstone, whose basic theme was that God is the source of all laws and that God revealed those laws in the Holy Scriptures and in creation. John Marshall, Supreme Court Justice, stated in 1833,

The American population is entirely Christian, and with us, Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it. Legislation on the subject is admitted to receive great delicacy, because freedom of conscience and respect for our religion both claim our most serious regard.

Men of great stature believed that God himself helped found this great nation. Patrick Henry in his famous, "Give me liberty or give me death" speech, proclaimed,

Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed with the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.

Samuel Adams, on America's Independence, in 1776, testified,

The hand of Heaven appears to have led us on to be, perhaps, humble instruments and means of the great providential dispensation which is completing. We have fled from the political Sodom; let us not look back lest we perish and become a monument of infamy and derision to the world.... The hearts of your soldiers beat high with the spirit of freedom; they are animated with the justice of their cause, and while they grasp their swords can look up to Heaven for assistance.

Presidents have willingly recognized the LORD as having helped found and preserve our nation. Andrew Jackson, in his second inaugural address, in 1833, petitioned the Lord,

Finally, it is my most fervent prayer to that Almighty Being before whom I now stand, and who has kept us in his hands from the infancy of our republic to the present day, that He will so over rule all my intentions and actions and inspire the hearts of my fellow citizens that we may be preserved from dangers of all kinds and continue for ever a united and happy people.

Our beloved Abraham Lincoln so eloquently painted this word picture:

Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.

The terms, "wall of separation," and "church and state" are not found in the U S Constitution. Thomas Jefferson, who had nothing to do with composing the constitution, used the phrase, "wall of separation between church and state" in personal correspondence in 1802. To those who would place us in bondage by destroying our Godly and biblical foundation, none other but Thomas Jefferson himself warns, in 1823,

Can the liberties of a nation be sure when we remove their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?

George Washington, in his farewell address of 1796, gives this solemn charge,

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable Supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.

Much later, Chief Justice Earl Warren says,

    I believe no one can read the history of our country...without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the Saviour have from the begining been our guiding geniuses.... Whether we look to the first Charter of Virginia...or to the Charter of New England...or to the Charter of Massachusetts Bay....or to the fundamental Orders of Connecticut...the same objective is present: a Christian land governed by Christian principles.... 
    I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of expression, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equal justice under law, and the reservation of powers to the people....
    I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country. (Time Magazine, Feb. 15, 1954).

Former President Nixon failed in Watergate, yet was acknowledged for his expertise in foreign affairs. He penned these words shortly before his death:

The Soviet Union began by banishing God. The United States began as a community of people who wanted to worship God as they chose. Many factors contributed to the outcome of the Cold War. One crucial but underrated factor was that a system that attempted to blunt, deny, and even punish the spiritual aspirations of its people could not survive because it was fundamentally at odds with human nature. Man does not live by bread alone. Those in the United States whose desire to create a strictly secular society as strong as Lenin's was should study this Cold War lesson closely. Communism was defeated by an alliance spearheaded by "one nation under God." Richard Nixon, Beyond Peace (New York: Random House, 1994), 20

So, let the radical left nihilists surrender to the truth. In order to get their agenda translated into law and practice, they will have to continue to trample underfoot the Bible, the United States Constitution and reason!

(The central idea of this essay was based on the classical work of Bill Gothard).

Essay 21 from my eBook, Essays Exposing the Myths of Political Correctness. Download this book free at

© Copyright John E. Russell 1993, 2015

In Essentials: Unity; In non-essentials: Liberty; In all things: Charity—Peter Meiderlin 1626.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 28 August 2011 20:37