Editor, the Advocate:
The Declaration of Independence expressed the principles upon which our system of government and our culture were established. “Men are endowed by their Creator” and the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” are two key references as well as basic building blocks of Biblical Christianity.
Alexis de Tocqueville noted the preeminence of Christianity in this nation. To better understand the first amendment in reference to religion, refer to Noah Webster’s dictionary of 1828. “Religion 1. In its most comprehensive sense, includes a belief in the being and perfections of God, in the revelation of His will to man, in man’s obligation to obey His commands ... without a belief in a divine lawgiver, and without reference to His will or commands, is not religion; 2. Is a godliness or real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow man; 3. ... performance of the duties we owe directly to God, from a principle of obedience to His will... 4. Any system of faith and worship ... We speak of false religions as well as true religion.”
A side bar is inserted between numbers 3 and 4 which reads, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.” Compare this with modern definitions of religion.
Further insight comes from Madison’s “Memorial and Remonstrance.”
“The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man ... This right is in its nature and unalienable right ... because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men ... because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator ... the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable ... both in order of time and in degree of obligation to the claims of civil society.”
Although deference is made to all religions, it is obvious Christian principles are the foundation of our nation and culture.
John Quincy Adams, son of the Firebrand of the Revolution John Adams, had this to say, “The greatest glory of the American Revolution is that it brought together in one indissoluble bond the principles of Christianity and the principles of civil government.”
Anthony J. Corte, Victoria