No God Allowed

On the heals of my previous post about religion in Government, we have this:

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland public school students are free to
thank anyone they want while learning about the 17th century
celebration of Thanksgiving — as long as it’s not God.



And that is how it should be, administrators say.

Young students across the state read stories about the Pilgrims and Native Americans, simulate Mayflower voyages, hold mock feasts and learn about the famous meal that temporarily allied two very different groups.



what teachers don’t mention when they describe the feast is that the
Pilgrims not only thanked the Native Americans for their peaceful
three-day indulgence, but repeatedly thanked God.

So, here we have another case of government getting involved in exactly the wrong way yet again. How can you discuss Thanksgiving without God? You cannot. Not adequately, anyhow. Amazingly, the whole controversy stems from one letter written by President Jefferson. (to get to the letter, if you want, access the website, click on Historical Materials, then scroll down to "Jefferson’s Letter to Danbury Baptists.")


Letter from President Thomas Jefferson (January 1, 1802)

To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in
the state of Connecticut.


The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the
Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction.  My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the
interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them
becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a
matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes
account to none other
for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government
reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate
with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which
declared that their legislature should "make no law
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between
Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of
the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall
see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which
tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced
he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for
yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Now, looking at the whole letter, we see that Jefferson has been misquoted for a long, long time. He makes mention of what the Constitution actually says, that Congress shall "make no law
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof…" For the most part, Congress has not made any laws, excepting that they allowed Churches to become tax free. I can live with that.

What we have instead is the Supreme Court making the laws, in effect, with their rulings. That is not their job. It is really not their Job. I won’t post the entire text of Article III, but, let’s look at the first words of Section 2:

The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States…….

If laws cannot be passed, how can the SC rule? My personal opinion, having read the Constitution, reading papers on it, taking classes in College about it, tells me that the Supreme Court has gone to far, and taken to much on themselves. Should public schools be actively teaching a religion? No. Churches do that. Should they allow the inclusion of God? Yes. In this case, they are forgetting the point of Thanksgiving.

According to the Web site
dedicated to Hornblower’s research, the Pilgrims "fell upon their knees
and blessed the God of heaven who had brought them over the vast and
furious ocean."

Update: Ogre has his take on the story here. Need more about LLama’s.
             Jeremy at American WarMonger has his take. No Llama’s though.

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2 Responses to “No God Allowed”

  1. Revisionist Anti-God History

    Ah, it’s time for the annual purging of all references to God from schools and history. I guess when they teach about the Pigrims and Thanksgiving now, it goes something like this:

  2. “If laws cannot be passed, how can the SC rule?”

    They rule on whether a law that IS passed, but perhaps should not have been, conforms to the Constitution. Not MAKING law, but interpreting it. That IS their job.

    This instance is kind of a tempest in a teacup. On the one hand, PUBLIC (a government institution) cannot endorse any religion (like, say, Puritanism []) and dome may see school-sanctioned activities that include religious practice as just such an endorsement. But on the other hand, it IS an historical account and would not be accurate if they did not include such practices as expressed then.

    I lean toward the latter interpretation. History did not happen in a vacuum. However, I can see how it is a delicate issue for some.

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