CHILLING FIRST AMENDMENT

YourFirstAmendRights
By Rev Paul N Papas II
September 3, 2013

Most people have heard of the First Amendment without understanding it or its history. At this point in time the First Amendment is under assault. Some of these assaults have become vitriolic and devolved into personal attacks. A little history is needed to show how and why we have the First Amendment.

Many of the first settlers to this part of the New World that we now know as the USA came from Great Britain where the King was both head of state and head of the Church of England. At that time adherents to other dominations were ostracized and persecuted which motivated them to flee to seek freedom to worship God according to their denominational doctrine. Some came to this part of the New World directly, some came by way Holland or other countries seeking the freedom to worship God without interference from the government.

When this country decided the Articles of Confederation were not sufficient, they had a choice to amend that or draft a new document, to do that they called a Constitutional Convention. They decided on a new document.

Several delegates to the Constitutional Convention refused to sign the newly drafted constitution because it did not include a bill of rights. Bills of rights were typically parts of the constitutions of the several states of the day (and today), placed there to ensure that certain rights were recognized by the government. Most of the delegates did not feel such a bill was necessary, and other may have been on the fence but were weary from the months of negotiations.

The lack of a bill of rights was one of the main arguments that the Anti-Federalists used to try to convince the public to reject the Constitution. But the need for change was all too evident, and it was not rejected. However, some of the states sent suggestions for amendments to the Constitution to add an enumeration of certain rights. The ratification messages of the states included many varying suggestions, which the very first Congress took under consideration in its very first session. (Note it was not sent to a study committee for some future Congress to settle.)

firstamendment

What makes the first Amendment so important?

The Constitution granted by the people created the government, by contract. In this Contract the federal government is given enough power to protect people’s unalienable rights from being damaged by foreign aggressors and other individuals.

Unalienable Rights can never be taken away by anyone, including the government, because they come from God. Inalienable Rights are granted by the government and subject to cancellation by the government or the people.

Our Founding Fathers gave us a Republic which guarantees each of us our Unalienable Rights. In a Democracy a vote by 51% could cancel the Rights of the other 49%.

The Contract also limits the federal government to ensure that the government itself never became the oppressor and destroyer of those rights.

Once you fully understand those two statements, the reason the First Amendment may be clear.

Our rights come from a power higher than the government, God. If the government could mandate a state religion, there would be no power higher than the official government endorsed religion. Thus our rights would in essence come from our government, and thusly could be taken away by the government.

The Freedoms of Speech, Assembly, and of the Press are there to make sure we had a way to find out what was going on and could let other people know about it if the government ever got the idea not honor the Contract and give itself powers which we the people hadn’t consented to grant them.

If government controlled the message and religious beliefs it would dictate how the people thought and acted. In essence government would have final word on what constitutes open expression of religion and alienate people from their unalienable rights. When you have the power to rule over God, you become God, which is exactly what the First Amendment was created to prevent.

Federal laws are passed by Congress and enacted when signed by the president, or by a veto override. There are some who believe the words “separation of church and state” prevent Prayer or other “religious” activities in public. When Courts determine what the authors of a law meant by a certain word or phrase they review the Congressional Record in order to make a ruling. The phrase “separation of church and state” was written in a private letter by Thomas Jefferson.

The Congressional Records from June 7 to September 25, 1789, record the months of discussions and debates of the ninety Founding Fathers who framed the First Amendment. Significantly, not only was Thomas Jefferson not one of those ninety who framed the First Amendment, but also, during those debates not one of those ninety Framers ever mentioned the phrase “separation of church and state.” It seems logical that if this had been the intent for the First Amendment – as is so frequently asserted-then at least one of those ninety who framed the Amendment would have mentioned that phrase; none did.

If Jefferson’s letter is to be used today, let its context be clearly given – as in previous years. Furthermore, earlier Courts had always viewed Jefferson’s Danbury letter for just what it was: a personal, private letter to a specific group. There is probably no other instance in America’s history where words spoken by a single individual in a private letter – words clearly divorced from their context – have become the sole authorization for a national policy. Jefferson’s Danbury letter should never be invoked as a stand-alone document. A proper analysis of Jefferson’s views must include his numerous other statements on the First Amendment.

The assault on the First Amendment is an assault on God.

There are those who can not win an argument on the merits so they resort to the bully pulpit to abuse, demean and intimidate those with opposing views. The people who resort to such bulling tactics are generally insecure, anxious people who have many fears. Their thinking is that if they bellow enough others will give in, leave, or suggest the one being violated be removed from the situation. Either way the bully gets the sand box to himself. When the abuser/bully is stood up to he looses his power over the one violated. The abuser/bully can create mental health issues for the ones he violates, leaving more carnage.

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ). http://www.narrowpathministries.org and http://www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

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16 Responses to CHILLING FIRST AMENDMENT

  1. andrewhagle says:

    Reblogged this on Home Grown News Media.

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  2. Excellent post! Most people don’t realize that the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in our Constitution. The Baptist preacher in Danbury, CT, was worried about an Anglican take over. Jefferson wanted him to know that he need not worry. Prior to the Revolutionary War, the Anglican church was the only legal church in Virginia (I don’t know about the other colonies, except MD which was Catholic). Before the Revolution, tithing was mandatory in Virginia and missing a church service was a misdemeanor.

    After the Revolution, Baptist, Methodist, and other denominations sprang up..

    Someone said (I don’t recall who) that the church is the conscience of the state. I like that.

    Thank you for addressing this timely issue.

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    • You’re welcome. I appreciate your comments. The reason the progressives use “separation of church and state” is so they can get traction with their agenda.

      I saw a recent post on a different blog showing what the original 13 state Constitutions said concerning religion at the time those states ratified the U.S. Constitution. I thought you might appreciate it.

      http://reclaimourrepublic.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/video-was-america-once-a-christian-nation/

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      • Thank you! I looked over the article. it’s true that some states required that one had be a Christian to run for office. That was perfectly legal. The federal government could not establish a state religion, but the states were free to do as they pleased.

        We’ve always had “wheat and tares” in our government, but today is worse than our founding fathers could have imagined. I think the agenda you speak of involves socialism and world governement. Not a pretty pciture.

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        • You’re welcome. It seems like we have more tares than wheat in the government right now. Yes, the one world government is part of the end times which means we are close to the return of Christ.

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  3. You are correct that the phrase “separation of church and state” do not appear in the Constitution. However, as a retired attorney, I can assure you that the exact language is not necessary to establish whether or not the intent is present; I won’t argue the point here as it would be longer than your blog post, but there is more evidence to support that our Founding Fathers desired that religion not be predicative of our rights and our laws, than there is documentation that supports an American government forever linked to some version of a Christian religion. Whether or not our Founding Fathers were religious, agnostic or atheist is irrelevant; even a Fundamentalist Christian can believe that their government shouldn’t be impacted by their belief system, recognizing that the U.S. is made up of people who worship dozens of deities and celebrate any number of religious rituals. I should know; I used to be one…and now, I’m agnostic. I believe in a loving god who doesn’t invent the concept of hell, the concept of sacrificing loved ones, testing the faith of the faithful by destroying their lives or expect daily worship.

    In the words of Benjamin Franklin, who was a member of the committee that wrote the Constitution, “I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it.” — Benjamin Franklin, from “Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion”, Nov. 20, 1728 I agree with him. The Bibie’s view of God and Jesus – and the light in which they are painted by religion – is of a needy, narcissistic deity, who requires us to constantly praise him, spread his message (as if he couldn’t do it himself, if he wanted to) and devote our lives to him. If Franklin couldn’t conceive of a god who was sitting around, waiting for us to worship him, then it is hard to imagine that he would conceive of god as a being who would expect to have a say, so to speak, in our government, our rights, etc.

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    • I am sure you have seen many Court decisions that did not correctly state the facts or law. One’s beliefs system impacts their decision process. If one believes there is no punishment their behavior can often times run afoul of the law. Our Creator God desires that NO ONE should perish and spend the rest of eternity in Hell, He offers Salvation to anyone who asks. He wants us all to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. He does not allow sin into Heaven which is why paid the price for our sins on the Cross. If we don’t serve God, then we serve the satan.

      Our Founding Fathers believed in Our Creator God. This is a link about the First US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay you might find interesting. http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=64

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      • I’m sorry, but I don’t serve Satan, as you stated because, I don’t serve God. I’d be offended, but I don’t believe in Satan. But how high and mighty of you to judge me! You think because I don’t literally believe every word in The Bible – which I’ve read cover to cover more times than you would ever imagine – to be true, that I am destined to Hell and I am a servant of evil. Wow! And you wonder why Christianity and conservatives are losing traction in America?

        Why is it that Christians can’t conceive of a world in which their beliefs might be wrong or might not be the only option? I don’t claim that Christians are wrong to believe that Christ is the Son of God; you could be right. You could also be completely wrong. You could be partially-right and partially-wrong. Maybe the Buddhists are right. Or the Hindi. Or the followers of Islam. Or the Mormons. The fact is that you DON’T know and it is so vain, so presumptuous, so bigoted to assume that you are right based solely on your faith and an old book that may or may NOT be the Word of God, and that everyone else in the world is wrong, even though most of them also have very old books that they consider to be the teachings of THEIR god.

        Is your view of god so microscopic that you can’t conceive of a world in which a god presents himself in any human form, in multiple human forms. At least I’m willing to admit that I don’t know the answers to the universe…and I’m humble enough to assume that I will likely never know. Science isn’t a tool of the devil; it’s a gift from god – and to ignore it and every other belief system out there – is ignorance.

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        • I am not judging you, only God does that. Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father but by Him. (John 14:6). One day we will all stand before Jesus for that final judgment.

          In Philippians 2: 10-11 you’ll find: “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

          Science actually supports Creation not disputes it, so I don’t have anything against science. You want to look at this article http://www.icr.org/article/7898/ or other articles on that website.

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        • Preacher, you continue to cite verses from a book that has never been substantiated as “the literal truth.” That failure is one of the reasons I left my fundamentalist faith a number of years ago and, eventually, became agnostic. I notice that you refuse to actually address any of the points that I make – and it’s because you can’t. It’s not in your book.

          Since you refuse to engage in a real conversation or debate, I will leave you with one final thought. What kind of God creates a world knowing – in advance – that many of the people in that world will suffer, will die before their time, and many will burn in Hell? Is this a game to Him? Where is the mercy? Is mercy allowing your son to be tortured and murdered? Is mercy treating Job like a pawn in a game of chess between God and Satan? Is mercy sending billions of people to Hell because they believed in the wrong god? How are they to know what the right religion is? Should they really burn for all eternity because they were raised Muslim? Their faith tells them that they are right, just as your faith tells you that you are right.

          I ask you, What kind of God would do that to people? What God would knowingly allow billions to burn and suffer in the pits of Hell? You can’t answer that. I imagine it’s why you didn’t address it when I brought it up before. No God would do that to people, only a monster. So while I celebrate your right to believe in your monster God, I will hope to discover one day that there is a greater being, who is nothing but love, compassion, understanding – and I’ll follow him. Or her.

          Don’t bother replying to the comment. It won’t make a difference.

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        • God always gave us free choice. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden sin entered the world. Sin separates God and Man. Jesus, who is the Second person of the Trinity, was born of a virgin girl, Mary, to teach us about God and to die on the Cross to pay for our sins. When Jesus paid for our sins, died and rose again on the third day He made it possible for God and Man to be reconciled. If we accept Jesus’ sacrificial payment and walk with our Creator God, then we won’t have to pay for our sins for the rest of eternity in Hell. The decision each person makes as to whether they will follow Jesus will determine whether they spend the rest of eternity in Heaven or Hell.

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  4. […] The One Group who wants centralization would increase their various methods of controlling the people including the weaponization of the mental health facilities and drugs and the cessation of the First Amendment. See my previous articles https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/new-old-weapon-of-destruction-rediscovered/ https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/stepping-up-use-of-new-old-weapons/ https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/chilling-first-amendment/ […]

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  5. […] The One Group who wants centralization would increase their various methods of controlling the people including the weaponization of the mental health facilities and drugs and the cessation of the First Amendment. See my previous articles https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/new-old-weapon-of-destruction-rediscovered/ https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/stepping-up-use-of-new-old-weapons/ https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/chilling-first-amendment/ […]

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