Recently, on another forum, I was asked a question about the origin of the phrase “separation of Church and State.” As a part of answering the question, and desiring to quote Jefferson directly, I found the text of his letter online at the Library of Congress. (Click here to be taken to that letter.) When re-reading the letter I was struck with the knowledge I had never read the letter to which Jefferson was responding, a letter of concern and questioning from the Danbury, CT Baptist Association. So, I decided to see if I could find the text of that letter online, and – yes – I found it.
On a side note, I am someone who finds “linkages” in time and space intriguing. Imagine my emotions as I found this letter written on October 7, 1801. So, big deal you say. Well, October 7th is my birth-date, and contrary to some who think my very old, the letter was written over a century and a half before my birth.
Anyway, back to the subject. The letter is quite revealing of the level of knowledge of the common citizens of the United States regarding the purposes and construction of the Federal Government. Here is the main portion of their letter:
Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty — That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals — That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions – That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor: But Sir our constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient charter together with the Laws made coincident therewith, were adopted on the Basis of our government, at the time of our revolution; and such had been our Laws & usages, and such still are; that Religion is considered as the first object of Legislation; and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights: and these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgements, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondered at therefore; if those, who seek after power & gain under the pretense of government & Religion should reproach their fellow men — should reproach their chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion Law & good order because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.
Sir, we are sensible that the President of the United States, is not the national legislator, and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the Laws of each State; but our hopes are strong that the sentiments of our beloved President, which have had such genial affect already, like the radiant beams of the Sun, will shine and prevail through all these States and all the world till Hierarchy and Tyranny be destroyed from the Earth. Sir, when we reflect on your past services, and see a glow of philanthropy and good will shining forth in a course of more than thirty years we have reason to believe that America’s God has raised you up to fill the chair of State out of that good will which he bears to the Millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence & the voice of the people have cald you to sustain and support you in your Administration against all the predetermined opposition of those who wish to rise to wealth & importance on the poverty and subjection of the people. (Copied from http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/dba_jefferson.html – Bold emphases added)
Notice how they make the contention I have been making for over three years now, that the “freedom of religion” should not be viewed as a ”…favors granted, and not as inalienable rights…” In other words, it is not a right granted, or guaranteed by the Government, rather it is an inalienable right given by “Nature and Nature’s God” upon my birth and over which the Government has not jurisdiction.
But I digress. The purpose of this post is to point out, “…we are sensible that the President of the United States, is not the national legislator…” Imagine someone saying this today, we would be instantly reminded that the President doesn’t legislate. Oh, excuse me, I forgot. But what would the plethora of Executive Orders be classified as, if not an illegitimate usurpation of legislative powers? They have the force of law, the affect and effect of law and the authority of law, therefore they are law. I’m sorry, but according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, “legislate” means, “to perform the function of legislation; specifically: to make, or enact laws,” AND “to mandate, establish, or regulate by or as if by legislation.” Hmmmm….. Sure sounds to me like Executive Orders are thus, legislation, and as a result an un-Constitutional usurpation of power by the Executive Branch, and all of its subsidiary branches and departments.
Or even further, “… and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the Laws of each State…” Well, I’ll be. According to these men, living a mere 12 years after the initial ratification of the Constitution, Federal Law could NOT trump, contramand, or usurp STATE law. Amazing! Especially when we have been indoctrinated over the past 150 years about just how it can. The “national government cannot destroy” State Laws, yet now we have a Federal Government intent on that very thing.
This condition is just another of the consequences of the logical progression coming from the un-Constitutional actions of the Northern States prior to, during and after the Civil War. “A new birth of freedom”? Hardly! “That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Really, is that what we see today as the will of “the People” is repeatedly trampled under foot?
WAKE UP AMERICA! We’ve been fed a bowl of lies, and a very tasty kool-aid to drown us in apathy, and inaction as the ruling elite slowly, metodically take away our freedoms.