Al Colombo
Personal Thoughts

Editorial Section

No Separation Between
Church & State

July 4, 2001

If I may provide some heart-felt thoughts this July 4th concerning the intention of the brave founders of this, the United States of America.

As I searched for historic documents for this year's event, what struck me the most were the many references to God, our Creator, not only in British works, but also in those written or spoken by those who worked to establish this nation. Perhaps more than this, what struck me was the publications in which I found them: old school readers for children, such as the Normal Fifth Reader and Baldwin's Readers.

What this says to me is that our Founding Fathers did not intend the "separation of church and state" that we see today. How can we be sure of this? Because of statements like the following, taken from Patrick Henry's speech, Call To Arms:

Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature both placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of Liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invinvible by any force which our enemy can send against us.

Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God, who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest.

What it also tells me is that educators throughout this nation's history have seen the importance of including these patriotic and God-fearing documents in the school books of those they were assigned to teach. This was very much so up until recent history. Now, our educators have removed all mention of God.

In Daniel Webster's own writings we see references to God, as follows:

Let us cultivate a true spirit of union and harmony. In pursuing the great objects which our condition points out to us, let us act under a settled conviction, and an habitual feeling, that these twenty-four states are one country. Let our conceptions be enlarged to the circle of our duties. Let us extend our ideas over the whole of the vast field in which we are called to act. Let our object be, our country, our whole country, and nothing but our country. And, by the blessing of God, may that country itself become a vast and splendid monument, not of oppression and terror, but of wisdom, of peace, and of liberty, upon which the world may gaze with admiration forever.

And in the closing statement made during the first prayer given in the first American Congress are references to Jesus Christ:

All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Saviour. Amen.

In the Declaration of Independence we read references to God, as follows:

We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Therefore, the issue of "church and state" has more to do with the godlessness of those who promote and force this fallacy upon us than any intention on the part of those who founded this once proud, brave, and Godly nation.

One thing is for certain, the men and women who founded this nation were not atheists and pacifists like a good many who walk the halls of Congress this day. What they were, were God-fearing, God-loving people who had faith in things unseen--faith in invisible powers and forces at work around them. Like the air we breathe, although we cannot see it, we know it is there because it sustains our lives each day.

Al Colombo, Editor

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Allan B. Colombo