Our Secular Constitution By Neil Nissenbaum Religionists claiming America a +quot;Christia

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Our Secular Constitution By Neil Nissenbaum Religionists claiming America a "Christian" nation find our secular Constitution a hard pill to swallow. Such is the case with John Eidsmoe's apologist tome Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith Of Our Founding Fathers (Baker Book House, 1987). Eidsmoe attempts to prove the Constitution a Christian document, though lamenting "how can the Constitution be considered a Christian document when it doesn't mention the Lord Jesus Christ (except for the closing reference to the 'Year of Our Lord, 1787'), doesn't refer to the Bible, and doesn't even mention God? The Constitution does not mention God the Father, or his Son Jesus Christ any other place." That the founding fathers intended the Constitution to be secular is beyond question; motions to include such religious references at the Constitutional Convention were voted down. [The Genuine Information Relative to the Proceedings Lately Held At Philadelphia ... , pamphlet by Luther Martin, 1788, Maryland delegate who left the Convention.] The Constitution's secularism was duly noted by colonial clergy. John M. Mason, D.D. (The Complete Works of ... 1850, four volumes), whose 1793 sermon addressed the "very Constitution which the singular goodness of God enabled us to establish, does not so much as recognize his being! ... From the Constitution of the United States, it is impossible to ascertain what God we worship; or whether we own a God at all ... Should the citizens of America be as irreligious as her Constitution, we should have reason to tremble ..." Rev. Doctor Wilson, in an 1831 sermon [Were The Founding Fathers Pious Angels And Plaster Saints?, by Harry Elmer Barnes, Little Blue Book No. 1586, Haldeman-Julius Publ., Girard, Kansas, circa 1930], protested that it almost seemed as though God had been deliberately excluded from the origins of our government: "... the Constitution was framed and God was neglected. He was not merely forgotten. He was absolutely voted out of the Constitution. The proceedings, as published by Thompson, the secretary, and the history of the day, show that the question was gravely debated whether God should be in the Constitution or not, and after a solemn debate he was deliberately voted out of it ... There is not only in the theory of our government no recognition of God's laws and sovereignty, but its practical operation, its administration, has been conformable to its theory." Additionally, there have been hundreds of attempts to amend the Constitution to include the Bible, God, Jesus, and Christianity. All have failed. This fact alone proves the Constitution secular, otherwise the amendments would have been unnecessary. The columnist is a Foundation member from North Carolina. ---------------------------------------------------- This article is reprinted (with permission) from the May 1993 issue of Freethought Today, bulletin of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. For more information, write or call Freedom From Religion Foundation P. O. Box 750 Madison, WI 53701 USA (608) 256-8900 ----------------------------------------------------

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