America's Judeo-Christian roots are bigger than Texas
Aug. 19, 2011 at 3:19 a.m.
The hysterical reaction to Republican presidential hopeful Gov. 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 - 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 Clause. 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 10 Constitutional amendments) was ratified Dec. 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 Feb. 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 10 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."
Contact syndicated columnist Susan Stamper Brown via at firstname.lastname@example.org.