Lanterns: The Separation Delusion-The Myth of the Separation of Church and State


The Separation Delusion-The Myth of the Separation of Church and State

Some forty years ago, I was involved in the first National Evangelical Pro-Life Conference, held in Ft Lauderdale Florida. My mentor, Francis Schaeffer was the keynote speaker along with many other notables of our time. One evening, about twelve of us young firebrands were invited to a dinner on the second floor of a Ft Lauderdale Florida restaurant, which we have since affectionately referred to as the “Upper Room dinner.” Included in that group was the young firebrand Franky Schaeffer, who, although he has changed his views, I still love dearly and will continue to pray for him. Also attending was a young Constitutional Lawyer named John Whitehead who went on to start the Rutherford Institute, a legal practice that has helped many who hold to the Judeo-Christian worldview from becoming victims of our government’s overreach and constitutional infringements.

A few years later John wrote an excellent book called “The Separation Illusion” in which he set a solid constitutional and historical case for the legitimacy of Christianity in the political arena under Constitutional protection (I highly recommend it). 

Today, some forty years later, I believe that the Progressivist agenda has become so advanced in the minds of the public that the separation illusion has become a concrete delusion. If one heard the talk of politically correct Democrats and some RINO Republicans, one would think the separation of the church and state was written in granite in the Washington Monument. It is not. I have been to all of them in Washington DC, and not a single monument has this concept written in granite.

The numerous times that God was mentioned in our Declaration of Independence is absolute proof that our Founding Forefathers never intended to create an impassable wall of separation between God and Government. This would have been adamantly refuted by any and all of the signers of the Constitution, including the few Deists, who the liberals are prone to worship.

For those who care to know, the writings of our forefathers leave us indisputable evidence, which absolutely refutes this modern myth of the “Wall of Separation.” We can cite as an example, a proclamation made by our first President, by the specific request of both Houses of our First Federal Congress. Mind you, this proclamation had the backing of both the Congressional branch and the Executive branch of our government.

George Washington understood well how rare and wonderful the blessings of freedom are. He was the first to enshrine Thanksgiving as a national holiday because he well knew that our Federal Government would not have been possible without God’s providential care. His official proclamation continues to remind us today of the source of all that we enjoy as American citizens: 

City of New York, October 3, 1789

“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.”

Go: Washington (Emphasis mine)

Apparently, George Washington would not make the cut in today’s political arena in Washington D.C. The city that is named after him has become so far removed from his beliefs that he would be ridiculed and ostracized. I dare say, he might be leading another revolution if he were to see what has been done with our nation.

I can see the headlines in the liberal media of the Washington insiders: How dare he suggest that the Congress of our Federal Government should “promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue.” How naïve! Does he really believe that “it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will”? Doesn’t he know that there is an absolute wall of separation between Government and God?

I am afraid that he would be tarred and feathered in the modern, sophisticated cocktail parties of the elite politicos of our government for making such an obviously politically incorrect statement. Poor George, he would be the brunt of all the jokes in our “enlightened” modern media centers. He would be labeled as an unsophisticated “moralist.”

Obama, Ted Kennedy, and Bill Clinton would clink their Martini glasses together and wink condescendingly. They would approach George, put their arms around him in a fatherly gesture, and gently pull him to the side, in order to instruct him in the proper Washingtonian modern etiquette about the “R” word. They would patiently instruct him in their more “enlightened” interpretation of the meaning of the First Amendment and encourage him to keep his personal religious beliefs to himself.

How has it come to this? 

It has come to this because Jews and Christian fell asleep at the wheel and now they find themselves in the trunk of the car. It is not their fault. We should expect the enemy to always fight to gain control. 

It is our fault. It is the fruit of our apathy and the natural result of the horse blinds created by our materialism and hedonism and our subsequent acceptance of the Postmodernist division of truth; the Divided Field of Knowledge.

Francis Schaeffer visualized this division as a two-story house where there is an impassable wall between the two stories. The Divided Field of Knowledge is the Postmodern interpretation of reality whereby they categorize all objective science in what Schaeffer calls the objective and rational Lower Story, and all metaphysical sciences as the subjective, and mythological Upper Story. 

Anything that has to do with morality or metaphysics is automatically considered subjective and relativistic. It is the underpinning of their drive to remove all religious thought from the schools and law.

The modern concept of “the wall of separation between Church and State,” touted as the rationale for removing any religious thought from government, does not even come from the Constitution, but from a misinterpretation of a personal letter written by Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist church, which has been completely taken out of context.

At the time of the letter, on October 7, 1801, each of the States in our fledgling nation had accepted a particular denomination as their “State Religion.” Imagine that! I suppose the States were also ignorantly unaware of the “proper” interpretation of the First Amendment.

The Danbury Baptist Church was, at that time, a minority religion in their home state of Connecticut. They were concerned that the State Religion might in the future interfere with their religious freedoms and cause them to veer away from their particular church doctrines.

The Baptist Church was one of the strongest supporters of the Anti-Federalists that sought to keep the power of the Federal government to its absolute minimum. By the way, I find it quite humorous that our modern atheists that are almost monolithically “Super-Federalists” love to prop up Jefferson as one of the few Deists in the long list of our Founding Forefathers. If he were alive today, he would be leading a movement against them, as one of the strongest proponents of anti-Federalism.

Nor would he tolerate the Federal Reserve System that has robbed the House of Representatives of its Constitutional responsibility to control the nation's finances as representatives directly to the people. He was utterly suspicious of the banking system gaining control of our government and warned extensively about it.

The memory of the European abuses regarding religious freedom and tyrannical monarchies ever encroaching our human rights were fresh in the minds of the Baptist in Connecticut. Hence, they wrote to Jefferson, who was an avid Anti-Federalist, concerning their future fears regarding the Constitution of the State of Connecticut.

“Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty- that religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals- that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions- that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbors; But, sir, our constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient charter together with the law made coincident therewith, were adopted as the basis of our government, at the time of our revolution; and such had been our laws and usages, and such still are; that religion is considered as the first object of legislation; and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the state) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights; and these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgements as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondered at therefore, if those who seek after power and gain under the pretense of government and religion should reproach their fellow men- should reproach their order magistrate, as an enemy of religion, law, and good order, because he will not, dare not, assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make laws to govern the kingdom of Christ.”

(The Address of the Danbury Baptist Association in the State of Connecticut, assembled October 7, 1801, to Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States) (Emphasis mine)

Thomas Jefferson therefore responded by assuring them that the First Amendment of the Federal Constitution would not allow the state government to interfere with the religious rights of any individuals. The point made is that no specific denomination can force itself upon the people, through the government.

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to no other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should, ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.” (Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, January 1, 1802)

His letter was designed to alleviate their concern that their State government could impose upon their church the religious doctrines of their particular state denomination. Jefferson responded by saying that the religious liberty of every individual is protected by the First Amendment, which not only keeps the government from forcing upon you a particular denomination, but protects our liberty to express our religious beliefs in every aspect of our human endeavors, whether in our private life or our public life.

The idea that our laws would not be based on the Judeo-Christian worldview, which is, in fact, the very basis for the concept of individual rights, was never a part of the thinking in any of our founding forefathers. Anyone who wishes to know the truth can read the transcripts of our Congress, which have been recorded from the beginning of our nation. Not a single word is ever mentioned in the Library of Congress, which can be construed as remotely resembling the modern concept that divorces religious thought completely from the law and the government.

Today, we are buffeted by two extremes that threaten to take our religious liberty, which is enshrined as inviolable by the First Amendment. At one end of the spectrum, we find that the naturalists adamantly reject any association whatsoever between politics and religion, and thusly force upon us their own atheistic religion through government.

In the other end, we find the Muslims, who teach that the political system should be ruled by the religious institution. Both extreme views are wrong. Both these views lead to tyranny. Both these views rob a sector of society from rightfully expressing his God given rights. Both these views are anti-Christian in every sense of the word.

However, the idea that church and state could be absolutely separate is simply an illusion created by clever semantics. These are the smokescreens that cloud the truth and deceive the uninformed. These are the clever semantics used by the Enemy of Man to disarm the church and keep us hemmed in and silent so that he can achieve his nefarious globalist agenda.

The reader must understand that the idea of separating our religion, from our politics, is simply an unabashed oxymoron. Every person on this planet adheres to a religion; even, when that worldview is anti-religious, such as atheism. It is nonetheless a form of religion, for it establishes a definitive worldview from which a set of ethics springs forth.

Hence, the foundational worldview of any individual is, in essence, his religion and it invariably impacts his political decisions. This irrefutable premise is even supported by the 1961 Torcaso Vs Watkins, Supreme Court decision, which declared Humanism to be a religion equivalent to any theistic or monotheistic religion. Thus, at least in America, the highest court has correctly stated with clear certainty that our presuppositions, whether theistic or atheistic, are in fact our religious creed.

All foundational worldviews will in every case impact our political direction. And the objective observer must come to the only conclusion that there is no way to divorce the two. It is impossible to formulate any law, without the influence of a foundational moral or amoral principle behind it.

As its stands today, only the relativist, the atheist, is free to express his religious view in government, since God has been effectively kicked out of our laws. Their anti-God religion is the only religion that can be taught in our public schools. All attempts to teach an alternative to the evolutionary Darwinian model is essentially prohibited, through this clever smokescreen.

The freedom of the expression of all religions should be assured and protected at all costs in any form of government devised by man and especially so, if this form of government is to reflect Judeo-Christian principles. God does not call us to force religion on others, but to give all humanity the freedom to choose their religion individually. In the end, they will answer to God, not man.

But, in the area of morals and the establishment of a legal system that can assure equal justice to all, there can be no equivocation that our nation was founded specifically to reflect the Judeo-Christian worldview in this regard. These were from the very beginning predicated on the absolutes of God’s truth and not on a relativistic plurality.

For this reason, our founding forefathers did not establish a pure democracy, but a Constitutional Democratic Republic. America did not establish a form of government in which the law was subject to popular trends, but to an absolute standard of justice, which cannot ignore the individual rights of the minority. This is critical to understand.

Our form of government was not built upon the foundation of the Greek City States as you have been taught in secular public schools. In a pure democracy, the freedom of the individual is suppressed and subjugated to the needs of the collective. There are no rights for the minority in a pure democracy. There is only the will of the majority.

But sadly, our nation is being led away from that vision for which so many have died to create and preserve. It is for this reason that the United States was formed, as a Judeo-Christian Republic, whose absolute standards of laws were gleamed from the bedrock of the Holy Scriptures.

Not as a true democracy, which is the reflection of the majority rule, consensus gentium, But, instead, as a representative Republic, which maintains both the freedom of the individual, and secures justice for all, predicated upon an absolute standard of morality and the inherent rights of all individuals founded on the principle that all men were created equal by God and secured by our foundational Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Only, as a direct result of this worldview, can the minority, as well as the individual, be protected from having his rights infringed upon, by the majority or the power elite.

Written by Henry Patino

3 Responses

Excellent post. It is well understood how the left uses cliches and phrases to create implanted beliefs such as "separation of church and state," will ignoring our history or explaining the paradoxes that flow from their errors. The establishment clause was more about not allowing any specific Christian/Protestant denomination supremacy over the others, or to allow any particular denomination the ability to tax, as the church did on the other side of the pond back in those days.

Great Article!

The Left are not the only ones seeking to re-image this country on a secularist worldview. Many Libertarians actively seek to remove religion from our founding even to the point of replacing self-evident with axiomatic truth. They often get upset with me when I point out just how leftist they truly are.

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