America’s Judeo-Christian Roots are Bigger Than Texas
by Susan Stamper Brown

The hysterical reaction to Republican presidential hopeful Governor Rick Perry’s faith is about as overblown as his home state of Texas is big. Perry is facing a federal lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) — purportedly because Perry prayed publicly for our nation.

America is headed south to a place much hotter than Texas, and you would think national figures offering prayers for the nation would be a source of inspiration. Even still, FFRF filed the lawsuit to prevent the beckoning of blessing from the God of whom this country was founded.

Filing the lawsuit in the Southern District Court of Texas, the FFRF argued the prayer event Perry attended violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Claus. They claimed it could be “harmful or counterproductive as a substitute for reasoned action.” What does that even mean? If you put the collective brain power of the current leadership in Washington into the body of a hummingbird, it would fly backwards, and yet a call to prayer on their behalf is “counterproductive” to reasoned action?

The very concept of separation of church and state is intellectually dishonest and legally indefensible. Even still, activists attempt to two-step their way around the Constitution in hopes to eradicate America’s Judeo-Christian roots and replace them with their own “irreligion.”

The simpler solution would be for groups such as the FFRF to accept the fact that prayer has weaved its way into the moral fiber of America since her inception. British colonists fled to America to escape religious intolerance. The first prayer of the Continental Congress, in 1774, clearly laid out our founders intentions in the words: “O Lord our Heavenly Father…we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor…desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee. Be Thou present…and direct the councils of this honorable assembly…All this we ask in the name…of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior. Amen.”

The Bill of Rights (the first ten Constitutional amendments) was ratified December 15, 1791. Amendment I speaks to the protection from federal interference in the free exercise of religion, speech, and the press, among other freedoms. Although the term “separation of church and state” cannot be found in the Constitution, activists who seem to be about as friendly as fire ants to America’s Judeo-Christian roots borrowed words from and built case law around a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to church leaders in 1802 mentioning “a wall of separation.”

The United States Supreme Court confirmed our nation’s Christian DNA in a unanimous decision February 29, 1892 – that has never been overruled. The court cited various authorities confirming the influence the Bible had on America since its founding. This decision confirmed our founders’ intentions in the Constitution’s First Amendment to protect citizens from a national religion – granting us freedom of religion – not freedom from religion.

The court ruled: “There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all having one meaning: they affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons; they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire group. These authorities were collected to support the historical conclusion that no purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or nation, because this is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation…we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth…this is a Christian nation…”

Eric Bearse, spokesman for the Texas prayer gathering Perry attended said they “expected this kind of legal harassment, but the right of Americans to assemble and pray has been established for over 200 years.” While 200 years of precedence has never stopped Progressives before, it seems there may be a more obvious reason why the man, Perry, who has a campaign winning streak ten elections long, is feared: John Sharp, a 1998 lieutenant governor opponent to Perry summed it up when he said, “Running against Perry is like running against God.”

© Copyright 2011 Susan Stamper Brown. Susan’s weekly column is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate and is licensed to run on TMV in full.

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dduck
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dduck
5 years 1 month ago

Well, in my agnostic DNA, I have the power to NOT go to any Perry meeting, turn on any Perry TV/radio/electronic communication/etc.

JeffP
Guest
JeffP
5 years 1 month ago
I probably wouldn’t write a check to support the lawsuit, as most of us “unbelievers” saw Perry’s move as a political panderer, and know him to be 100% a political actor. I agree with dduck regarding our choices to attend or not to attend. But.. ” The court ruled: “There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all having one meaning: they affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation.” … is a little bit of a stretch in my view. And I think the more politicians try to “reaffirm” that there is… Read more »
Barky
Guest
5 years 1 month ago
Any lawsuit against Perry’s prayer meeting is frivolous and stupid, however I do take issue with this: The very concept of separation of church and state is intellectually dishonest and legally indefensible. Even still, activists attempt to two-step their way around the Constitution in hopes to eradicate America’s Judeo-Christian roots and replace them with their own “irreligion.” Horse hockey. It is a very understandable and reasonable concept and is totally defensible by both the Constitution and the laws of the land. It just doesn’t mean what the radicals on the left think it is. It simply means that the U.S.… Read more »
roro80
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roro80
5 years 1 month ago

“America is headed south to a place much hotter than Texas”

Is it in keeping with the rules of commenting to just point to this phrase and laugh?

jdwincu
Guest
jdwincu
5 years 1 month ago

Have folks read the “Jefferson Bible”? Thomas Jefferson cut out (literally with scissors, no cut and paste for him) all the supposed miracles (including any references to the resurrection) in the new testament and left in the other teaching, etc. of Jesus. Doesn’t removal of the miracles and resurrection inherently make this not a christian book? I have a hunch this fit with what Jefferson actually believed.

Allen
Guest
Allen
5 years 1 month ago
As a Christian, I must protest. 1st Amendment Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. The right of people, including Governor Perry, to exercise his religion, and to mouth it’s meditation’s publicly is clear, just as it is the “Freedom From Religion Foundation’s”, (and anyone else’s), right to peacefully protest the governor doing so, and petition the government in grievance for redress.… Read more »
jdledell
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jdledell
5 years 1 month ago
“…we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth…this is a Christian nation.” This Jew doesn’t find living in a Christian nation to be all that reassuring. Having grown up hearing calls of Christ Killer, Kike, JewBoy etc etc. My father was even denied the ability to buy a lot in the next suburb over and was told to stay in the Jew town. Granted things are better now BUT Christians still scare me when they talk about the end days and how we have to convert. In my 67 years dozens of Christians have tried to “save” me.… Read more »
slamfu
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slamfu
5 years 1 month ago
This is a christian nation demographically, but not politically. Politically we are clearly open to any religion, and the rule of Law, not God, decides our course. When people try to call this a Christian nation they mean it politically and that is simply not the case. Iran is a Muslim nation, the imams and the guys in the funny robes call the shots over the elected officials. I get the feeling from some of the christians on the right, especially Tea Party folks, that christians should be getting some special considerations under the law. It is rank ignorance.
roro80
Guest
roro80
5 years 1 month ago

“that christians should be getting some special considerations under the law. It is rank ignorance.”

Yes, this. I always find it interesting when folks presumably from the same party as those who yell about the nanny state and how government should just leave us alone also want government intervention and interaction when it comes to our souls. Our souls! That stinks of something pretty awful.

roro80
Guest
roro80
5 years 1 month ago

“activists who seem to be about as friendly as fire ants to America’s Judeo-Christian roots borrowed words from and built case law around a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to church leaders in 1802 mentioning “a wall of separation.” ”

I’d also like to point out that when one of the guys whose pen wrote the Consitution says “see look what we did here — it’s a wall of separation written into the Constitution!”, that might be a pretty good indication of the original intent of the words.

JSpencer
Guest
JSpencer
5 years 1 month ago

“The very concept of separation of church and state is intellectually dishonest and legally indefensible.” – SSB

There was no reason for me to continue reading beyond that statement. If the author is incapable of grasping that essential truth, then her argument is built on shifting sand.

ProfElwood
Guest
5 years 1 month ago

Our system of justice has stronger Christian roots than people realize. Even the rebellion against government power has its roots in natural rights, a Christian doctrine. Jefferson and many other founders were not Christians as we know them today, but they did believe in the philosophy of Christian writers.

roro80
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roro80
5 years 1 month ago

You got a sentence past my initial reading, JSpencer. :) Generally when someone’s argument is “ZOMG we’re all going to HELL!” I know what I’m in for…

roro80
Guest
roro80
5 years 1 month ago

“Even the rebellion against government power has its roots in natural rights, a Christian doctrine.”

Any evidence for that? Pretty much every revolution since the beginning of time has been built on the idea of innate or natural rights that revolutionaries hold as more important that law, regardless of what religion was dominant among the rebels at the time.

ProfElwood
Guest
5 years 1 month ago

Try John Locke, whose influence is clearly seen in the Declaration of Independence.

Theories of religious tolerance

Locke, writing his Letters Concerning Toleration (1689–92) in the aftermath of the European wars of religion, formulated a classic reasoning for religious tolerance. Three arguments are central: (1) Earthly judges, the state in particular, and human beings generally, cannot dependably evaluate the truth-claims of competing religious standpoints; (2) Even if they could, enforcing a single “true religion” would not have the desired effect, because belief cannot be compelled by violence; (3) Coercing religious uniformity would lead to more social disorder than allowing diversity.

jdwincu
Guest
jdwincu
5 years 1 month ago

Whoa, the John Locke Theories of Religious Tolerance is pretty powerful stuff. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it put so clearly and succinctly. I’d say he was ahead of his time, but I suspect it would more accurately be that we have been falling farther and farther behind the times.

Allen
Guest
Allen
5 years 1 month ago
jdledell- That is really rude, and, I am sorry to hear this. It’s sounds like you ran into protestant evangelicals of a certain variety. There are thousands of independent protestant churches of this type. They have no affiliation with major protestant denominations. They basically start up under what a single preacher decides is truth. That preachers theological credentials may be that he, “just wanted be a preacher”, without any formal study. The congregations of these single churches could be taught anything. I am a Christian that believes in some formality based in study of as many facts as we have… Read more »
jdledell
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jdledell
5 years 1 month ago

“One thing that I do believe, is that Jews are God’s chosen people,”…

Allen – I would think that this line about being “chosen people” would cause some skepticism. After all it is in a book written by Jews for Jews. Quite a coincidence, don’t you think?

roro80
Guest
roro80
5 years 1 month ago

” After all it is in a book written by Jews for Jews. Quite a coincidence, don’t you think?”

The same could be said of almost everything in every holy book.

Allen
Guest
Allen
5 years 1 month ago

jdledell

Well I’m not here to debate theology with you or anyone else. I’m only trying to address your concept of Christianity, which appears to be based in unwanted confrontational experiences. You must realize that Christianity differs between dozens of denominations and thousands of independent church bodies pretty much without any central theological authority. Lumping them all into one as a preconceived notion is incorrect.

JeffP
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JeffP
5 years 1 month ago
I would humbly submit that the sentence might read better as “You must realize that Christianity differs AMONG dozens of denominations and thousands of independent church bodies pretty much without any central theological authority.” But “lumping them all into one” is precisely what the author of the article seems to do when she declares “This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation…we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth…this is a Christian nation…” Single voice clear recognition a Christian nation And she finalizes the… Read more »
Allen
Guest
Allen
5 years 1 month ago

JeffP-

Attribute that which is evil to whom that bears it.

That which is good likewise.

Make sure you do so in fair measure, if not for man’s sake, for your own sanity.

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