God did not pen the Constitution; therefore what?
In a recent letter, Jeffrey Ryan describes his disappointment at Rick Geise’s description of the influence of religion on the founding of our country. Mr. Ryan seems to hold that belief in God played a insignificant role in the origin of this great nation.
Mr. Ryan, and those who would reject the role of faith in the foundation of our country, would do well to visit the Library of Congress website and the informative pages on “Religion and the Founding of the American Republic”. The documentary evidence of the influence of religion on the founders is strong. The multitude of monuments and government buildings in Washington, D.C. with their inscriptions referencing faith in God also provide a strong counterpoint to those who would remove any mention of God from the public square.
Assertions that God did not literally take pen in hand and draft the Constitution, or that Mr. Ryan has never seen a statue of an American revolutionary holding a Bible, are irrelevant in the face of the irrefutable evidence that religion, and specifically Christianity, played a major role in the founding and success of the American experiment.
While Mr. Ryan is correct that the Constitution does not mention the word God, and that the Constitution is secular in nature, many other founding documents and speeches of the time indicate clearly that faith in a higher power was very important to the founders.
The first amendment simply mandates that Congress “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Some wrongly emphasize the Establishment clause over the free exercise clause, or vice versa, when in reality these two must be in a delicate balance.
Neither overstatement nor understatement of the founders’ religious beliefs and the impacts thereof is helpful.
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