History plainly is not your long suit. To claim your notion of “reality” is “indisputable fact” on which “[t]he historical record is unequivocal” is to reveal how little you know of what you speak.
For example, you make much of John Adams’s observation that the Constitution was made for a moral and religious people, yet make no mention of his signing (and the Senate’s unanimous ratification) of the Treaty of Tripoli, which declared in pertinent part that “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” Perhaps that historical record is a might more equivocal than your passion enables you to see. As a lawyer, you will appreciate too, I trust, that the Constitution provides that treaties, apart from the Constitution itself, are the highest law of the land. Appeals, no matter how often repeated, to unofficial, informal comments by some founders do not, indeed cannot, trump the declaration of the United States in a treaty that “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
To go so far as to brand those seeing things differently than you as “un-American” and “anti-American” reveals only your odd notion of what it means to be American. You appear much keener on championing your religion than your country.
While many founders were Christian of one sort or another, care should be taken not to make too much of individual founder’s religious beliefs. In assessing the nature of our government, the religiosity of the various founders, while informative, is largely beside the point. Whatever their religions, they drafted a Constitution that plainly establishes a secular government in the sense that it is based on the power of the people (not a deity) and says nothing substantive of god(s) or religion except in the First Amendment where the point is to confirm that each person enjoys religious liberty and that the government is not to take steps to establish religion and another provision precluding any religious test for public office. This is entirely consistent with the fact that some founders professed their religiosity and even their desire that Christianity remain the dominant religious influence in American society. Why? Because religious people who would like to see their religion flourish in society may well believe that separating religion and government will serve that end and, thus, in founding a government they may well intend to keep it separate from religion. It is entirely possible for thoroughly religious folk to found a secular government and keep it separate from religion. That, indeed, is just what the founders did.
When you next presume to lecture others about American history, you would do well to drop the quotation you attribute to Patrick Henry. It’s fake.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Doug Indeap's Note To Matt Barber
He informed me of it here. I'm reproducing it because it's a very good comment: