The First Amendment and Separation of Church and State?
The First Amendment’s intent was unmistakably to keep the
government from interfering with religion.
III. What about the First Amendment and Separation of Church and State?
The biblical concept of separation of church and state became part of The First Amendment to the United States Constitution, partly because of the influence of Baptists. It reads in part, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This Law governs our nation in matters of church-state relations.
Notice if you will the phrase “Congress shall make no law…” few today understand that the First Amendment was to be applied to the federal government only, that it’s intent was to keep the government from establishing any denomination as officially sanctioned or forbidding any denomination free exercise thereof. (Both of these occurred in England, but that is another story.) A number of of the original thirteen states had their own established religion, a state church. The states did not want to loose their power to establish or prohibit a religion to the newly formed federal government of the United States of America.
Thank God this has changed in the last 200 (+) years. Now neither an individual state nor the federal government can establish or prohibit religion. Sadly, however, the First Amendment is often interpreted by some to mean that God must be kept out of government all together. This was not at all the intent! “Prove it.” You say. One needs only to visit Washington D.C. to see the inscriptions on many of the public buildings and monuments. God is clearly spoken of in speeches and actions of many of our national leaders (this is true even today). “IN GOD WE TRUST” is inscribed in our money.
The First Amendment’s intent was unmistakably to keep the government from interfering with religion. However, one may ask, "Should Christians get involved in government?" Allow me to quote brother Joe Scoggins, “Indeed, we should, especially in a democratic republic, be extremely involved in guiding the thoughts of elected officials, voting for or against them and preventing them from instituting a state religion.” Amen!
I encourage my readers to visit a fellow Letter Carrier, and a good friend of mine at maildad for some practical ways to get involved in the communities around us.
Think about it...
What are ways you and I can get involved in government?
What ways can we affect our communities for good?
What can we do to encourage godly politicians?