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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

liberty

JAN. 16 – Religious Freedom Day ‘- Almighty God hath created the mind free’ Thomas Jefferson

 

American Minute by Bill Federer
“Each year on JANUARY 16, we celebrate Religious Freedom Day in commemoration of the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom,”-wrote President George W. Bush in his 2003 Proclamation.

Passed in 1786, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was drafted by Thomas Jefferson and commemorated on his tombstone.

Did Jefferson intend to limit the public religious expression of students, teachers, coaches, chaplains, schools, organizations and communities?


In his original 1777 draft of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, Jefferson wrote:

“Almighty God hath created the mind free, and…all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments…tend only to begat habits of hypocrisy and meanness,

and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by its influence on reason alone….”

President Thomas Jefferson explained in his Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805:

“In matters of religion I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the General Government.

I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercise suited to it; but have left them, as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of state and church authorities by the several religious societies.”

Jefferson explained to Samuel Miller, January 23, 1808:

“I consider the government of the United States as interdicted [prohibited] by the Constitution from inter-meddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises…

This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the United States [10th Amendment]…”

Jefferson continued:

“Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General government…

I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines…

Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets.”

In 1776, a year before Jefferson drafted his Statute, another Virginian, George Mason, drafted the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was later revised by James Madison and referred to in his Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785:

“Religion, or the duty we owe to our CREATOR, and manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence;

and, therefore, that all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience,

and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity toward each other.”

James Madison made a journal entry, June 12, 1788:

“There is not a shadow of right in the general government to inter-meddle with religion…The subject is, for the honor of America, perfectly free and unshackled. The government has no jurisdiction over it.”

On June 7, 1789, James Madison introduced the First Amendment in the first session of Congress with the wording:

“The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship.”

James Madison appointed to the Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story.


Justice Joseph Story wrote in hisCommentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833, Chapter XLIV, “Amendments to the Constitution,” Section 991:

“The real object of the First Amendment was, not to countenance, much less advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects.”

Samuel Chase, who had been appointed to the Supreme Court by George Washington, wrote in the Maryland case of Runkel v. Winemiller, 1799:

“By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty.”

FOR A SHORT HISTORY OF THE EVOLUTION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT, READ BELOW:

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens admitted in Wallace v. Jaffree, 1985:

“At one time it was thought that this right merely proscribed the preference of one Christian sect over another, but would not require equal respect for the conscience of the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian faith.”

When the country began, religious liberty was under each individual Colony’s jurisdiction.

In the decision Engel v. Vitale, 1962, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote:

“Groups which had most strenuously opposed the established Church of England…passed laws making their own religion the official religion of their respective colonies.”

Like dropping a pebble in a pond and the ripples go out, States began to expand religious liberty from the particular Christian denomination that founded each colony to all Protestants, then to Catholics, then to liberal Christian denominations, then to Jews, then to monotheists, then to polytheists.

This process was then continued by the Federal Government to expand “religious” liberty to atheists, pagans, occultic, and eventually to religions which historically have been violently ANTI-Judeo-Christian.

After the Constitution, the States ratified the First Amendment, as well as all Ten Amendments, specifically to limit the new Federal government’s power:

“CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF…”

The word “Congress” meant the Federal Congress.

“Shall make no law” meant the Federal Congress could not introduce, debate, vote on or send to the President any bill respecting an establishment of religion.

The word “respecting” meant “concerning” or “pertaining to.”

It was simply telling the Federal government “HANDS OFF” all religious issues.

When anything regarding religion came before the Federal government, the response was to be that it had no jurisdiction to decide anything on that issue, neither for nor against.

“Establishment” did not mean “acknowledgment.”

“Establishment” did not mean believing in Christianity or believing in God.

Establishment was a clearly understood term.

It meant setting up one particular Christian denomination as the official denomination.

With varying levels of official state endorsement and favoritism, countries typically had some kind of established Church:

England had established the Anglican Church;
Sweden had established the Lutheran Church;
Scotland had established the Church of Scotland;
Holland had established the Dutch Reformed Church;
Russia had established the Russian Orthodox Church;
Serbia had established the Serbian Orthodox Church;
Romania had established the Romanian Orthodox Church;
Greece had established the Greek Orthodox Church;
Bulgaria had established the Bulgarian Orthodox Church;
Finland had established the Finnish Orthodox Church;
Ethiopia had established the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church;
Italy, Spain, France, Poland, Austria, Mexico, Costa Rica, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Vatican City had established the Roman Catholic Church; and
Switzerland had established Calvin’s Ecclesiastical Ordinances.

The attitude of the original 13 States was that they did not want the new Federal Government to follow the pattern of most Western nations and pick one denomination with its headquarters in the Capitol.

Allegorically, they did not want a Federal Walmart Church to come into town and put out of business their individual State “mom & pop department store” denominations.

To make the purpose of the First Amendment unquestionably clear, they went on to state that the Federal Congress could not make a law which prohibited “THE FREE EXERCISE” of religion.

Ronald Reagan stated in a Radio Address, 1982:

“Founding Fathers…enshrined the principle of freedom of religion in the First Amendment…

The purpose of that Amendment was to protect religion from the interference of government and to guarantee, in its own words, ‘the free exercise of religion.'”

Like dealing a deck of cards in a card game, the States dealt to the Federal Government jurisdiction over a few things, like providing for the common defense and regulating interstate commerce, but the rest of the cards were held by the States.

Justice Joseph Story wrote in hisCommentaries on the Constitution, 1833:

“The whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the State Governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice and the State Constitutions.”

Just as today some States allow minors to consume alcohol and other States do not;
some States allow the selling of marijuana and others do not;
some States have smoking bans and others do not;
some States allow gambling and others do not, and
some States allow prostitution (Nevada and formerly Rhode Island) and the rest do not;
at the time the Constitution and Bill of Rights were ratified some States allowed more religious freedom, such as Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, and other States, such as Connecticut and Massachusetts, did not.

But it was up to the people in each State to decide.

Congressman James Meacham of Vermont gave a House Judiciary Committee report, March 27, 1854:

“At the adoption of the Constitution, we believe every State – certainly ten of the thirteen – provided as regularly for the support of the Church as for the support of the Government.”

When did things change?

Charles Darwin theorized that species could evolve.

This inspired a political theorist named Herbert Spencer to suggest that laws could evolve.

This influenced Harvard Law Dean Christopher Columbus Langdell to develop the case precedent method of practicing law, which influenced his student, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The 14th Amendment was passed in 1868 with the original intent to guarantee rights to freed slaves in the Democrat South.

Activist Justices quickly began to use the 14th Amendment very creatively to take jurisdiction away from the States over issues such as unions, strikes, railroads, polygamy, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly.

The freedom of religion was still under each individual State’s jurisdiction until Franklin D. Roosevelt.

FDR was elected President four times, which led to the 22nd Amendment being passed to limit all future Presidents to only two terms.

During his 12 years in office, FDR concentrated power in the Federal Government to an unprecedented degree.

Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Justice Hugo Black to the Supreme Court in 1937.

Justice Hugo Black concentrated power in the Federal government by taking jurisdiction over religion away from each State.

He did this by simply inserting the phrase “Neither a State” in his 1947 Everson v Board of Education decision:

“The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a State nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another.”

He conveniently ignored innumerable references to and requirements in the various State Constitutions regarding religion.

In a word, he took the handcuffs off the Federal government and placed them on the States.

After this, Federal Courts began evolving the definition of “religion” away from that originally used by George Mason and James Madison in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776:

“Religion…the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it.”

This progression can be seen in several cases.

“ETHICAL” = RELIGION

In 1957, the IRS denied tax-exempt status to an “ethical society” stating it did not qualify as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt “church” or “religious society.”

The case went to the Supreme Court, where Justice Warren Burger wrote in Washington Ethical Society v. District of Columbia (1957):

“We hold on this record and under the controlling statutory language petitioner [The Washington Ethical Society] qualifies as ‘a religious corporation or society’…

It is incumbent upon Congress to utilize this broad definition of religion in all its legislative actions bearing on the support or non-support of religion, within the context of the ‘no-establishment’ clause of the First Amendment.”

“SECULAR HUMANISM” = RELIGION

In 1961, Roy Torcaso wanted to be a notary public in Maryland, but did not want to make “a declaration of belief in the existence of God,” as required by Maryland’s State Constitution, Article 37.

In the Supreme Court case Torcaso v Watkins (1961), Justice Hugo Black included a footnote which has been cited authoritatively in subsequent cases:

“Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others.”

Justice Scalia wrote in Edwards v. Aguillard(1987):

“In Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 495, n. 11 (1961), we did indeed refer to ‘SECULAR HUMANISM’ as a ‘religio[n].'”

“A SINCERE AND MEANINGFUL BELIEF” = RELIGION

During the Vietnam War, Mr. Seeger said he could not affirm or deny the existence of a Supreme Being and wanted to be a draft-dodger, claiming to be a conscientious objector under the Universal Military Training and Service Act, Section 6(j) that allowed exemptions for “religious training and belief.”

In United States v Seeger, (1965), U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark stated:

“The test of religious belief within the meaning in Section 6(j) is whether it is a sincere and meaningful belief occupying in the life of its possessor a place parallel to that filled by the God of those admittedly qualified for the exemption.”

“BELIEFS ABOUT RIGHT AND WRONG” = RELIGION

Another draft-dodger case involved Elliot Welsh. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Welsh v. United States (1970), decided that belief in a “deity” is not necessary to be “religious”:

“Having decided that all religious conscientious objectors were entitled to the exemption, we faced the more serious problem of determining which beliefs were ‘religious’ within the meaning of the statute…

Determining whether the registrant’s beliefs are religious is whether these beliefs play the role of religion and function as a religion in the registrant’s life…

Because his beliefs function as a religion in his life, such an individual is as much entitled to a ‘religious’ conscientious objector exemption under Section 6(j) as is someone who derives his conscientious opposition to the war from traditional religious convictions…

We think it clear that the beliefs which prompted his objection occupy the same place in his life as the belief in a traditional deity holds in the lives of his friends, the Quakers…

A registrant’s conscientious objection to all war is ‘religious’ within the meaning Section 6(j) if this opposition stems from the registrant’s moral, ethical, or religious beliefs about what is right and wrong and these beliefs are held with the strength of traditional religious convictions.”

“ATHEISM” = RELIGION

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, (W.D. WI) decision inKaufman v. McCaughtry, August 19, 2005, stated:

“A religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being…Atheism may be considered…religion… ‘Atheism is indeed a form of religion…’

The Supreme Court has recognized atheism as equivalent to a ‘religion’ for purposes of the First Amendment…

The Court has adopted a broad definition of ‘religion’ that includes non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as theistic ones…

Atheism is Kaufman’s religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being.”

Overlooking that the Constitution is only to be changed by Amendments voted in by the majority of the people, the Supreme Court admitted in Wallace v Jaffree (472 U.S. 38, 1985) that the original meaning of the First Amendment was modified “in the crucible of litigation,” a term not mentioned in the Constitution:

“At one time it was thought that this right merely proscribed the preference of one Christian sect over another, but would not require equal respect for the consciences of the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian faith such as Islam or Judaism.

But when the underlying principle has been examined in the crucible of litigation, the Court has unambiguously concluded that the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all.”

The Federal Courts gradually gave the word “religion” a new definition which included “ethical,” “secular humanism,” “a sincere and meaningful belief,”  “beliefs about right and wrong,” and “atheism.”

Under this new definition, so as not to prefer one “religion” over another, Federal Courts have prohibited God, which, ironically, has effectively established the religion of atheism in the exact the way the First Amendment was intended to prohibit.

This was warned against by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in his dissent in Abington Township v. Schempp, 1963:

“The state may not establish a ‘religion of secularism’ in the sense of affirmatively opposing or showing hostility to religion, thus ‘preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe’…

Refusal to permit religious exercises thus is seen, not as the realization of state neutrality, but rather as the establishment of a religion of secularism.”

Ronald Reagan referred to this decision in a radio address, February 25, 1984:

“Former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart noted if religious exercises are held to be impermissible activity in schools, religion is placed at an artificial and state-created disadvantage.

Permission for such exercises for those who want them is necessary if the schools are truly to be neutral in the matter of religion. And a refusal to permit them is seen not as the realization of state neutrality, but rather as the establishment of a religion of secularism.”

U.S. District Court, Crockett v. Sorenson, W.D. Va,. 1983:

“The First Amendment was never intended to insulate our public institutions from any mention of God, the Bible or religion. When such insulation occurs, another religion, such as secular humanism, is effectively established.”

Ronald Reagan stated in a Q & A Session, October 13, 1983:

“The First Amendment has been twisted to the point that freedom of religion is in danger of becoming freedom from religion.”

Ronald Reagan stated in a Ceremony for Prayer in Schools, September 25, 1982:

“In the last two decades we’ve experienced an onslaught of such twisted logic that if Alice were visiting America, she might think she’d never left Wonderland.

We’re told that it somehow violates the rights of others to permit students in school who desire to pray to do so. Clearly, this infringes on the freedom of those who choose to pray…

To prevent those who believe in God from expressing their faith is an outrage.”

Is it just a coincidence that the ACLU’s agenda is similar to the Communist agenda read into the Congressional Record, January 10, 1963 by Congressman Albert S. Herlong, Jr., of Florida (Vol 109, 88th Congress, 1st Session, Appendix, pp. A34-A35):

“Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of ‘separation of church and state.'”

Ronald Reagan stated in a Radio Address, 1982:

“The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray.”

Judge Richard Suhrheinrich stated inACLU v Mercer County, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 20, 2005:

“The ACLU makes repeated reference to ‘the separation of church and state.’ This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome.

The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state. Our nation’s history is replete with governmental acknowledgment and in some case, accommodation of religion.”

The Supreme Court stated in Lynch v Donnelly, 1984:

“The Constitution does not ‘require complete separation of church and state.'”

Associate Justice William Rehnquist wrote in the U.S. Supreme Court caseWallace v. Jafree, 1985, dissent, 472 U. S., 38, 99:

“The ‘wall of separation between church and state’ is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.

It is impossible to build sound constitutional doctrine upon a mistaken understanding of Constitutional history…The establishment clause had been expressly freighted with Jefferson’s misleading metaphor for nearly forty years…

There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the framers intended to build a wall of separation…Recent court decisions are in no way based on either the language or intent of the framers…

But the greatest injury of the ‘wall’ notion is its mischievous diversion of judges from the actual intentions of the drafters of the Bill of Rights.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wrote in Engle v Vitale, 1962, dissent:

“The Court…is not aided…by the…invocation of metaphors like the ‘wall of separation,’ a phrase nowhere to be found in the Constitution.”

In the U.S. Supreme Court decision, McCullum v Board of Education, it stated:

“Rule of law should not be drawn from a figure of speech.”

Justice William O’Douglas wrote inZorach v Clausen, 1952:

“The First Amendment, however, does not say that in every and all respects there shall be a separation of Church and State…

We find no constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion and to throw its weight against efforts to widen the effective scope of religious influence…

We cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility to religion.”

Ronald Reagan told the Annual Convention of the National Religious Broadcasters, January 30, 1984:

“I was pleased last year to proclaim 1983 the Year of the Bible. But, you know, a group called the ACLU severely criticized me for doing that. Well, I wear their indictment like a badge of honor.”

Are anti-faith groups using the evolved interpretation of the First Amendment to take away the liberties which the original First Amendment was intended to guarantee?

Dwight Eisenhower is quoted in the TIME Magazine article, “Eisenhower on Communism,” October 13, 1952:

“The Bill of Rights contains no grant of privilege for a group of people to destroy the Bill of Rights.

A group – like the Communist conspiracy – dedicated to the ultimate destruction of all civil liberties, cannot be allowed to claim civil liberties as its privileged sanctuary from which to carry on subversion of the Government.”

Ronald Reagan worded it differently on the National Day of Prayer, May 6, 1982:

“Well-meaning Americans in the name of freedom have taken freedom away. For the sake of religious tolerance, they’ve forbidden religious practice.”

Ronald Reagan stated at an Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast, August 23, 1984:

“The frustrating thing is that those who are attacking religion claim they are doing it in the name of tolerance and freedom and open-mindedness. Question: Isn’t the real truth that they are intolerant of religion?”

Did Jefferson intend to outlaw the acknowledgment of God and limit students, teachers, coaches, chaplains, schools, organizations, and communities from public religious expression?

In light of mandates in President’s Healthcare law which forces individuals to violate their religious beliefs or be subject to “temporal punishments” for non-compliance, it is incumbent upon Americans to read again the words of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom:

“Almighty God hath created the mind free, and…all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments…are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of religion…

That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical…

That therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity…unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which…he has a natural right…

That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion…is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own…

Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man…shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief,

but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.”

Ronald Reagan addressed the Alabama State Legislature, March 15, 1982:

“The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.”

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What if Freedom Meant Exodus?

David Wilkerson said:

“Consider the plight of Israel in Egypt. God’s nation was in incredible ruin, with widespread apostasy. Satan had Israel under his heel, manipulating the political powers of the day to make laws against them and persecute them. The enemy was ridiculing and mocking God’s testimony on earth.

It was a dark hour in Israel’s history and over time the people grew discouraged. They began backsliding, indulging in the pleasures and sensuality of Egypt. Idolatry and fornication became rampant. Israel’s situation seemed hopeless and the faith of the nation was slowly dying.

What was God’s response to this rising power of darkness? Did He stir up surrounding empires to act as His rod against Egypt? Did He incite a civil war among the Egyptians? Did He send avenging angels? No– God did no such thing. He had a totally different plan and laid His hand on a single man, raising up Moses!”

Think about that for a moment! Christians in America are increasingly seeing the same thing here! With our faith being ridiculed and mocked and a government increasingly hostile to our practicing our faith. We see a rampant increase of sexual immorality and perversion along with an assault on a on our children by forcing them to accept this behavior as normal.

We pray for wisdom for our leaders and for God to intercede. But what if God has other plans? What if God were to bring a Moses forth? Would we recognise and welcome him? If he wanted to lead us to a different place, would we go?

“The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, plentous in mercy.” Psalms 103:6-8


But for a Word

This is a repost of a post that I put up a year ago, but it is still relevant and I decided that it was worth reposting!

In the post I put up previously about the founding Father’s  there was something that struck me! Roger Sherman stated:

 There is one amendment proposed by the convention of South Carolina respecting religious tests, by inserting the word other, between the words no and religious in that article, which is an ingenious thought, and had that word been inserted, it would probably have prevented any objection on that head. But it may be considered as a clerical omission and be inserted without calling a convention; as it now stands the effect will be the same”

This was written in his second letter to the New Haven Gazette on the 25th of December 1788. It made me wonder how much history would have changed if that word, other, had been inserted in between the words no and religious? 

Article. VI.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

From the Congressional Debates of 1789, we have this discussion on Religious Amendments:

August 15, 1789 First Federal Congress (Amendments-religious reference)

[House of Representatives]

The House again went into a Committee of the Whole on the proposed amendments to the Constitution. Mr. Boudinot in the chair.

The fourth proposition being under consideration, as follows:

(Religious Reference)

Article 1. Section 9. Between paragraphs two and three insert ‘no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed.

Mr. SYLVESTER had some doubts of the propriety of the mode of expression used in this paragraph. He apprehended that it was liable to a construction different from what had been made by the committee. He feared it might be thought to abolish religion altogether.

Mr. VINING suggested the propriety of transposing the two members of the sentence.

Mr. GERRY said it would read better if it was no religious doctrine shall be established by law.

Mr. SHERMAN thought the amendment altogether unnecessary, inasmuch as Congress had ‘no authority whatever delegated to them by the Constitution to make religious establishments; he would, therefore, move to have it struck out.’

Mr. CARROLL As the rights of conscience are, in their nature, a peculiar delicacy, and will little bear the gentlest touch of governmental hand; and as many sects have concurred in opinion that they are not well secured under the present constitution, he said he was much in favor of adopting the words. He thought it would tend more towards conciliating the minds of the people to the government than almost any other opinion he heard proposed. He would not contend with gentlemen about the phraseology, his object was to secure the substance in such a manner as to satisfy the wishes of the honest part of the community.

Mr. MADISON said he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience. Whether the words are necessary or not, he did not mean to say, but they had been required by some of the state conventions, who seemed to entertain an opinion, that under the clause of the Constitution, which gave power to Congress to make all laws necessary and proper to carry into execution the constitution, and the laws made under it, enabled them to make laws of such a nature as might infringe the rights of conscience, and establish a national religion; to prevent these effects he presumed the amendment was intended, and he thought it as well expressed as the nature of the language would admit.

Mr. HUNTINGTON said that he feared, with the gentleman first up on this subject, that the words might be taken in such latitude as to be extremely hurtful to the cause of religion. He understood the amendment to mean what had been expressed by the gentleman from Virginia; but others might find it convenient to put another construction on it. The ministers of their congregations to the eastward were maintained by contributions of those who belong to their society; the expense of building meeting houses was contributed in the same manner. These things were regulated by bylaws. If an action was brought before a federal court on any of these cases, the person who had neglected to perform his engagements could not be compelled to do it; for a support of ministers or buildings of places of worship might be construed into a religious establishment.

By the charter of Rhode Island, no religion could be established by law; he could give a history of the effects of such a regulation; indeed the people were now enjoying the blessed fruits of it. He hoped, therefore, the amendment would be made in such a way as to secure the rights of conscience, and the free exercise of religion, but not to patronize those who professed no religion at all.

Mr. MADISON thought, if the word ‘National’ was inserted before religion, it would satisfy the minds of honorable gentlemen. He believed that the people feared one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion, to which they would compel others to conform. He thought if the word ‘National’ was introduced, it would point the amendment directly to the object it was intended to prevent.

Mr. LIVERMORE was not satisfied with the amendment; but he did not wish them to dwell long on the subject. He thought it would be better if it were altered, and made to read in this manner, that Congress shall make no laws touching religion, or infringing the rights of conscience.

Mr. GERRY did not like the term National, proposed by the gentleman from Virginia, and he hoped it would not be adopted by the House. It brought to his mind some observations that had taken place in the Conventions at the time they were considering the present constitution. It had been insisted upon by those who were called anti-federalists, that this form of government consolidated the union; the honorable gentleman’s motion shows that he considers it in the same light. Those who were called anti-federalists at that time, complained that they were in favor of a federal government, and the others were in favor of a National one; the federalists were for ratifying the constitution as it stood, and the others did not until amendments were made. Their names then ought not to have been distinguished by federalists and anti-federalists, but rats and anti-rats.

Mr. MADISON withdrew his motion but observed that the words single ‘no National religion shall be established by law’, did not apply that the government was a national one; the question was then taken on MR. LIVERMORE’s motion, and passed in the affirmative 31 for it, and 20 against it.(5)

(End of Religious Reference)

I find it odd that people can read the amendment and clearly understand that the government is not allowed to infringe on the rights of the press, and yet as the same time ignore the statement that this same government is forbidden from infringing upon the rights of the people to practice their religion and to assemble peaceably as they will.

ARTICLE THE THIRD.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition to the government for a redress of grievances.

I also find it odd that those we elect to serve us and defend and protect the Constitution of the United States of American, assume that their role is instead to change that very document into something that suits their ideas of what should be. We have a responsibility to those who come after us to teach them the true meaning of what the oath of affirmation says.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

We have strayed very far from our beginnings, so far that children today seem to believe that our President serves as a Monarch, instead as part of a trinity of three equal branches of government with each having their own established jobs to do. We have let Presidents take power by way of Presidential Signings that has no real basis in law, and yet they use this power to force their will upon the people even when the people who elected them cry out for change. Our current discussion of limiting the rights of the people is another power grab that goes totally against the Constitution and knowing it, our leaders intend to do all they can to steal this right away from the people. This was not unforeseen by those very writers of the Constitution:

“A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.”

Mr. GERRY: This declaration of rights, I take it, is intended to secure the people against the mal-administration of the Government; if we could suppose that, in all cases, the rights of the people would be attended to, the occasion for guards of this kind would be removed. Now, I am apprehensive, sir, that this clause would give an opportunity to the people in power to destroy the constitution itself. They can declare who are those religiously scrupulous and prevent them from bearing arms.

What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. Now, it must be evident, that, under this provision, together with their other powers, Congress could take such measures, with respect to a militia as to make a standing army necessary. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins. This was actually done by Great Britain at the commencement of the late revolution. They used every means in their power to prevent the establishment of an effective militia to the eastward. The Assembly of Massachusetts, seeing the rapid progress that administration were making to divest them of their inherent privileges, endeavored to counteract them by the organization of the militia; but they were always defeated by the influence of the Crown.

These gentlemen knew what it was like to be under an oppressive government. They understood the probability that there would come a time when our government no longer served the people but instead used force to impose their will upon them. They wanted to prevent this from happening.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” (Quoting Cesare Beccaria)

The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.

The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.

No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.

To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.

I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. (Back then!)

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.

The god who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.

And the day will come, when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva, in the brain of Jupiter.

In matters of style, swim with the current;
In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.

The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.

When wrongs are pressed because it is believed they will be borne, resistance becomes morality.

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty…. And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law,” because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.

It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings, collected together, are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately.

Liberty is the great parent of science and of virtue; and a nation will be great in both in proportion as it is free.

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

I have sworn on the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

In a government bottomed on the will of all, the…liberty of every individual citizen becomes interesting to all.

I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

Most bad government has grown out of too much government.

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first. Read more at

John Petrie’s Collection of

Thomas Jefferson Quotes

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Was America once a Christian nation?

By Bill Federer via American Minute
Was America once a Christian nation?

Exclusive: Bill Federer looks at Obama’s 2006 statement in light of state constitutions

“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation.”  – President Barack Obama, June 28, 2006

Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out “whatever we once were”?

Originally, laws that governed personal behavior were under states’ jurisdiction, not federal.

People today are aware that some states allow minors to consume alcohol, and others do not; some states have smoking bans, and others do not; some states allow gambling, and others do not; some states attempt to limit the Second Amendment, and others do not; some states allow gay marriage, and others do not; and one state allows prostitution, while the rest do not.

At the time the Constitution was written, religion was under each individual state’s jurisdiction, and each state expanded religious tolerance at its own speed.

The U.S. Constitution went into effect June 21, 1788, when two-thirds of the states ratified it.

What was in those original 13 state Constitutions concerning religion at the time those states ratified the U.S. Constitution? [Caps added throughout for emphasis.]

DELAWARE – first to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution:

“Every person … appointed to any office … shall … subscribe … ‘I … profess faith in GOD THE FATHER, and in JESUS CHRIST His only Son, and in the HOLY GHOST, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine inspiration.'”

PENNSYLVANIA – second to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution, signed by Ben Franklin:

“Each member, before he takes his seat, shall … subscribe … ‘I do believe in one GOD, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the Rewarder of the good and the Punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration.'”

NEW JERSEY – third to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution:

“All persons, professing a belief in the faith of any PROTESTANT sect, who shall demean themselves peaceably under the government … shall be capable of being elected.”

GEORGIA – fourth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1777 state constitution:

“Representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county … and they shall be of the PROTESTANT religion.”

CONNECTICUT – fifth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, retained its 1662 Colonial Constitution, which was established PROTESTANT CONGREGATIONAL, till 1818:

“By the Providence of GOD … having from their ancestors derived a free and excellent Constitution … whereby the legislature depends on the free and annual election. … The free fruition of such liberties and privileges as humanity, civility and CHRISTIANITY call for.”

MASSACHUSETTS – sixth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1780 state constitution, written by John Adams:

“Any person … before he … execute the duties of his … office … [shall] subscribe … ‘I … declare, that I believe the CHRISTIAN religion, and have a firm persuasion of its truth.’ … The legislature shall … authorize the support and maintenance of public PROTESTANT teachers of piety, religion and morality.”

MARYLAND – seventh to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution:

“No other test … ought to be required, on admission to any office … than such oath of support and fidelity to this State … and a declaration of a belief in the CHRISTIAN religion.”

SOUTH CAROLINA – eighth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1778 state constitution:

“No person shall be eligible to a seat … unless he be of the PROTESTANT religion. … The CHRISTIAN PROTESTANT religion shall be deemed … the established religion of this State.”

NEW HAMPSHIRE – ninth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1784 state constitution:  “No person shall be capable of being elected … who is not of the PROTESTANT religion.”

VIRGINIA – 10th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution, bill of rights, written by James Madison and George Mason:

“It is the mutual duty of all to practice CHRISTIAN forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.”

NEW YORK – 11th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1777 state constitution:

“The United American States … declare … ‘Laws of nature and of NATURE’S GOD … All men are created equal; that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable rights … Appealing to the SUPREME JUDGE of the world … A firm reliance on the protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE’ …”

NORTH CAROLINA – 12th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution:

“No person, who shall deny the being of GOD or the truth of the PROTESTANT religion, or the Divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding … office.”

RHODE ISLAND – 13th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, retained its 1663 Colonial Constitution till 1843, which stated:

“By the blessing of God … a full liberty in religious concernements … rightly grounded upon GOSPEL principles, will give the best and greatest security … in the true CHRISTIAN faith and worship of God. … They may … defend themselves, in their just rights and liberties against all the enemies of the CHRISTIAN faith.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Lafayette Black wrote inEngel v. Vitale, 1962:

“As late as the time of the Revolutionary War, there were established Churches in at least eight of the 13 former colonies and established religions in at least four of the other five.”

John K. Wilson wrote in “Religion Under the State Constitutions 1776-1800″ (Journal of Church and State, Volume 32, Autumn 1990, Number 4, pp. 754):

“An establishment of religion, in terms of direct tax aid to Churches, was the situation in nine of the 13 colonies on the eve of the American revolution.”

The Journal of the U.S. House recorded that on March 27, 1854, the 33rd Congress voted unanimously to print Rep. James Meacham’s report, which stated:

“At the adoption of the Constitution, we believe every State – certainly 10 of the 13 – provided as regularly for the support of the Church as for the support of the Government. …

“Down to the Revolution, every colony did sustain religion in some form. It was deemed peculiarly proper that the religion of liberty should be upheld by a free people. …

“Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle.”

Over the years, the Christians in these states extended tolerance to other denominations, to Jews, to monotheistic religions, to any religion and eventually to atheists.

Activists judges creatively used the 14th Amendment to remove authority over many issues from state jurisdiction.

Though our government has seemingly abandoned ties to the past, for the student of history, it is still fascinating to find out “whatever we once were.”  —

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‘I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just’-Thomas Jefferson via American Minute

By Bill Federer
The longest serving member of the United States Congress was Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, who was born NOVEMBER 20, 1917.Elected as a Democrat to Congress in 1953, and serving in the Senate from 1959-2010, he never lost an election.


On June 27, 1962, just two days after the Supreme Court stopped school prayer, Senator Robert Byrd addressed Congress:

“Inasmuch as our greatest leaders have shown no doubt about God’s proper place in the American birthright, can we, in our day, dare do less?…

In no other place in the United States are there so many, and such varied official evidences of deep and abiding faith in God on the part of Government as there are in Washington….


Every session of the House and the Senate begins with prayer. Each house has its own chaplain…”

Senator Robert Byrd continued:


“The 83rd Congress set aside a small room in the Capitol, just off the rotunda, for the private prayer and meditation of members of Congress. The room is always open when Congress is in session, but it is not open to the public.


The room’s focal point is a stained glass window showing George Washington kneeling in prayer. Behind him is etched these words from Psalm 16:1: ‘Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust.’..”

Senator Byrd went on:


“Inside the rotunda is a picture of the Pilgrims about to embark from Holland on the sister ship of the Mayflower, the Speedwell.

The ship’s revered chaplain, Brewster, who later joined the Mayflower, has open on his lap the Bible. Very clear are the words, ‘the New Testament according to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.’

On the sail is the motto of the Pilgrims, ‘In God We Trust, God With Us.’


The phrase, ‘In God We Trust,’ appears opposite the President of the Senate, who is the Vice-President of the United States.

The same phrase, in large words inscribed in the marble, backdrops the Speaker of the House of Representatives…”

Senator Byrd added:


“Above the head of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are the Ten Commandments, with the great American eagle protecting them.

Moses is included among the great lawgivers in Herman A MacNeil’s marble sculpture group on the east front.


The crier who opens each session closes with the words, ‘God save the United States and this Honorable Court.’

Engraved on the metal on the top of the Washington Monument are the words: ‘Praise be to God.’


Lining the walls of the stairwell are such biblical phrases as ‘Search the Scriptures,’ ‘Holiness to the Lord,’ ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.’

Numerous quotations from Scripture can be found within its (the Library of Congress) walls.


One reminds each American of his responsibility to his Maker: ‘What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and love mercy and walk humbly with thy God'(Micah 6:8).


Another in the lawmaker’s library preserves the Psalmist’s acknowledgment that all nature reflects the order and beauty of the Creator, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork’ (Psalm 19:1).

And still another reference: ‘The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not’ (John 1:5)…”


Senator Byrd stated further:

“Millions have stood in the Lincoln Memorial and gazed up at the statue of the great Abraham Lincoln.

The sculptor who chiseled the features of Lincoln in granite all but seems to make Lincoln speak his own words inscribed into the walls.

‘…That this Nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’


At the opposite end, on the north wall, his Second Inaugural Address alludes to ‘God,’ the ‘Bible,’ ‘providence,’ ‘the Almighty,’ and ‘divine attributes.’

It then continues:

‘As was said 3000 years ago, so it still must be said, The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’…

Senator Robert Byrd concluded:

“On the south banks of Washington’s Tidal Basin, Thomas Jefferson still speaks:

‘God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?

Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.’

Jefferson’s words are a forceful and explicit warning that to remove God from this country will destroy it.”

American Minute is a registered trademark. Permission is granted to forward. reprint or duplicate with acknowledgement tovwww.AmericanMinute.com
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Could We Stand?

THE TWELVE APOSTLES:

1. Andrew – crucified
2. Bartholomew – beaten then crucified
3. James, son of Alphaeus – stoned to death
4. James, son of Zebedee – beheaded
5. John – exiled for his faith; died of old age
6. Judas (not Iscariot) – stoned to death
7. Matthew – speared to death
8. Peter – crucifed upside down
9. Philip – crucified
10. Simon – crucified
11. Thomas – speared to death
12. Matthias – stoned to death
(source: Fox’s Book of Martyrs)

Chart courtesy of Every Student.com

Do you want to follow Jesus Christ? How much? What are you willing to give up? Your life? Will you stand in civil disobedience when you are told to obey the laws of whichever government in power over you?

We are quickly coming to a point where here in America, although we are supposed to have freedom to practice our faith, we are being restricted on how and where we can do so. The current administration argues that if you are a business, even though you have always used Christian principles for your business, that you should not be exempt from laws that violate your belief. This includes providing abortion services, along with honoring marriages between same sexes,  to just name a few. Whether this will stand we don’t yet know. There are currently arguments before several judges with some of the cases either at the Supreme Court or on there way.

Then there is the school system. Our children are taught at church and at home that certain things are unacceptable in the eyes of God, yet when they are as school, these things are often promoted. Our children are taught that both their parents and their churches are wrong, bigoted, racist and evil. Schools are becoming less a place to teach our children what they need for the future and more a place for those who have differing values to indoctrinate our children. They are also being taught that the government comes before God.

Even as individuals we are not safe, we are being forced to pay for abortion in the insurance that we have, even though this practice is abhorrent to us. Recently Pastors that speak out in public or hand out tracts have been arrested. Even praying in public has been a cause for arrest and harassment.

Our men and women in the military have lost the ability to even talk about their faith to their fellow men and women. They are told to shut up and be quiet or they will face a court martial. We have in the last six years seen Veterans families told that they cannot say Jesus name in prayers at funerals, in hospitals, or anywhere on federal land.

We are told that instead of the Constitution saying we have freedom of religion, that instead it is a document that protects all others from having to either hear, or even know that we are a people of faith and follow Jesus. At the very same time we are told that Muslim’s should not be insulted, their prayers’s need to be respected and special places allowed within schools, and that laws that apply to everyone else, such as head covering when you are photographed at the DMV.

You read the history of the apostles and how they were treated, we know that they were tortured and killed because they followed Jesus, but how often do you consider what they were doing when this happened and who did it? It wasn’t always at the hands of the Jews. Often it was because they angered the government of the time.  Consider the Apostle Andrew:

Concerning the cause and manner of his death, the following is contained in Apophthegm. Christian. Baudart., page 3: AtPatras, a city in Achaia, he converted besides many others, Maximillia, the wife of Aegaeas, the governor, to the Christian faith. This so enraged the governor against Andrew, that he threatened him with death of the cross. But the apostle said to the governor, “Had I feared the death of the cross, I should not have preached the majesty and gloriousness of the cross of Christ.”

The enemies of the truth having apprehended and sentenced to death the apostle Andrew, he went joyfully to the place where he was to be crucified, and, having come near the cross, he said,”O beloved cross! I have greatly longed for thee. I rejoice to see thee erected here. I come to thee with a peaceful conscience and with cheerfulness, desiring that I, who am a disciple of Him who hung on the cross, may also be crucified.” The apostle said further,”The nearer I come to the cross, the nearer I come to God; and the farther I am from the cross, the farther I remain from God.”

The holy apostle hung three days on the cross; he was riot silent, however; but as long as he could move his tongue, he instructed the people that stood by the cross, in the way of the truth, saying, among other things, “I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, that He, having used me for a time as an ambassador, now permits me to have this body, that I, through a good confession, may obtain everlasting grace and mercy. Remain steadfast in the word and doctrine which you have received, instructing one another, that you may dwell with God in eternity, and receive the fruit of His promises.”

The Christians and other pious people besought the governor to give Andrew unto them, and take him down from the cross., (For it appears that he was not nailed to the cross, like Christ, but tied to it). When the apostle learned of this, he cried to God, Saying,”O Lord Jesus Christ! suffer not that Thy servant, who hangs here on the tree for Thy name’s sake, be released, to dwell again among men; but receive me. O my Lord, my God! whom I have known, whom I have loved, to whom I cling, whom I desire to see, and in whom I am what I am.” Having spoken these words, the holy apostle committed his spirit into the hands of his heavenly Father. M. W. Baudart. in Apophthegm Christian. lib. 1, super Andream, ex August. de Vera et Falsa Poenitentia., cap 8, Bernhard. in Sermon. de Andrea. Lanfrancus contra Berengar. Niceph., lib. 2, cap. 39, and lib. 15, cap. 39. Remigius in Psal. 21 and 40. Johan. Strac. in Festo Andreae, p. 23, haec et alia. Also, Konst-tooneel van veertig, by N. D. C., Concerning the Life of Andrew. MARTYRS MIRROR

But it wasn’t just the Apostle’s who faced the wrath of the rulers or Synagogues. It was almost any Christian that came to the attention of the leaders of that time. Paul himself was one of those who participated in imprisoning and killing followers of Christ. Consider the case of

FELICITAS WITH HER SEVEN SONS, JANUARIUS, FELIX, PHILIPPUS, SYLVANUS, ALEXANDER, VITALIS, AND MARTIALIS, PUT TO DEATH FOR THE FAITH, AT ROME, A. D. 164

Felicitas was a Christian widow at Rome, and had seven sons, whose names were Januarius, Fe-


Page 110

lix, Philippus, Sylvanus, Alexander, Vitalis, and Martialis. These lived together with their mother in one house, as an entire Christian church. Of the mother it is stated, that by her Christian communion, (conversation) which she had with the Roman women, she converted many to Christ. The sons, on their part, also acquitted themselves well by winning many men to Christ.

Now, when the heathen priests complained of this to Antonius, the Emperor-who had resumed the persecution which had begun with Trajan, but had subsided-saying, that there were not only men, but also women, who blasphemed the gods, despised their images, trampled under foot the Emperor’s worship of the gods, yea, turned away many from the old religion of the Romans; that this was principally done by a certain widow, named Felicitas, and her seven sons, and that, therefore, in order to prevent this, they must be compelled to give up Christ, and sacrifice to the gods, or, in case they should refuse to do so, be put to death, the Emperor, prompted or instigated hereby, gave . to Publius, the provost, or chief magistrate of Rome, full authority over them.

Publius, willing to spare Felicitas, as being a highly respectable woman, first secretly summoned her and her sons into his own house, where he entreated them with fair words and promises, but afterwards threatened to punish them with severe tortures, unless they would forsake the Christian religion, and readopt the old Roman worship of the gods. Felicitas, remembering the words of Christ,”Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven,” did not seek to evade the issue by using dissimulating or indirect words, but answered briefly thus, “I am neither moved by thy flatteries and entreaties, nor am I intimidated by thy threats; for I experience in my heart the working of the Holy Ghost, which gives me a living power, and prepares me for the conflict of suffering, to endure all that thou mayest lay upon me, for the confession of my faith.”

When Publius could not move the mother from her steadfast purpose, he said to her, “Very well; if it seems pleasant to thee , to die, die alone, but have pity and a mother’s compassion for thy sons, and command them, to ransom their own lives at least, by sacrificing to the gods.”

Thereupon Felicitas said to the judge, “Thy compassion is pure wickedness, and thy admonition is nothing but cruelty, for, if my sons should sacrifice to the gods, they would not ransom ‘their lives, but sell them to the hellish fiend, whose slaves, yea, whose serfs in soul and body, they would become, and be reserved by him, in chains of darkness, for everlasting fire.”

Then, turning away from the judge, to her sons, she said, “Remain steadfast in the faith, and in the confession of Christ; for Christ and His saints are waiting for you. Behold, heaven is open before you; therefore fight valiantly for your souls, and show, that you are faithful in the love of Christ, wherewith He loves you, and you Him.”

This filled the judge with rage against her, and he commanded them to smite her on the cheek, while he at the same time upbraided her vehemently, saying, “How darest thou thus impudently exhort thy sons in my presence, and make them obstinate to disobey the commands of the Emperor; whereas it would be far more proper for thee to incite them to obedience toward him?”

Felicitas, notwithstanding that death had been threatened her, answered with more than manly courage, saying, “If thou, O judge, didst know our Saviour Jesus Christ, and the power of His Godhead and majesty, thou wouldst undoubtedly desist from persecuting the Christians, and wouldst not seek to draw us away from the Christian religion by blaspheming His holy name; for whoever curses (or blasphemes) Christ and His faithful ones, curses (or blasphemes) God Himself, who, by faith, dwells in their hearts.”

Thereupon, though they struck her in the face with their fists, in order to silence her, she did not cease to admonish her sons to remain steadfast, and to fear neither tortures nor rack, nor even death itself, but to die willingly for the name of Christ.

Therefore, Publius the judge took each of her sons separately, and talked first to one and then to the other, hoping by this last resort to draw away from the faith, by promises as well as by threats, some of them at least, if not all. But as he could not prevail upon them, he sent a message to the Emperor, stating that they all remained obstinate, and that he could in no wise induce them to sacrifice to the gods. Thereupon the Emperor sentenced the mother together with her seven sons, that they should be delivered into the hands of different executioners, and be tortured and put to death in various ways; yet, that the mother was first to see all her sons die, before she herself should be put to death.

In accordance with this sentence, they first scourged Januarius, the first-born, to death, in the presence of his mother. The scourges were made of cords or ropes, to the ends of which balls of lead were attached. Those who had to undergo this mode of torture were scourged with them on their necks, backs, sides, and other tender parts of their bodies, either to torture them, or in order to martyr them to death as was the case in this instance. Felix and Philippus, the two brothers next (in age), were beaten to death with rods. Sylvanus, also called Syllanus, was cast down from a height. Alexander, Vitalis, and Martialis were beheaded. Last of all, the mother was beheaded or put to death with the sword. This took place under Emperor Antonius Pius. A. Mell. 1st book of the Hist., fol. 33, col. 4 and fol. 34, col. 1-3, ex Prudent. in hincentio. Also, Acto. Adon. Mart., 23 Novemb. Greg. P. in Natali. S. Felic. Homil. 3, in Eu. Bet. Chrysol. Serm. 134. Arta apud Mombrit. MARTYRS MIRROR

Could we stand the same type of persecution? Many in the Middle East are doing so now. We have heard and read of people even in the last few weeks being crucified or dismembered. And yet there are those in this country who think that we should just go along with the government because the Bible tells us to obey them. They ignore the part of the Bible that tells us in all things God comes first.

Many of the ways in which we have to make decisions everyday are not even known by many people. Take a recent case where nurses were  required to take part in abortions even though it is against their faith to murder. Or Pharmacists who are forced to give drugs that cause abortions. Or Doctors who are forced to provide abortions. The same with hospitals, especially under the new laws, if they don’t they are forced to close their doors in many instances because the government will not pay for patient care at them and they cannot get by without it.

Or consider teachers who are not allowed to wear a cross and are made to participate in practices at school that promote homosexuality. They are often fired if they pray with their students. Instead of protecting our ability to practice our faith. We are being pushed further and further into secrecy.

And yet if those early Christians had listened to the rulers of the day, they would not have lost their lives. For those who say that we should not practice “civil disobedience”, I must ask, what was the beginning of Christianity if it was not “civil disobedience?” The definition of civil disobedience is “the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest.”

While these early Christians did not go to battle to change peoples and we should never do that, they did stand when those in power tried to force them to kneel to whomever was in control. They didn’t cease converting people to Christianity. They didn’t sacrifice to the false gods of the time.

Even before Jesus we have examples throughout the Bible of  men and women of faith who disobeyed the rulers of their times. Daniel didn’t bow down. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, did not either. We have only to look to these to see examples of civil disobedience.

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A Wake-Up Call for Christians

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‘Complete Anarchy’: Famed Pastor Issues Major Wake-Up Call for Christians About the Dire State of American Culture

TheBlaze’s Carly Hoilman contributed to this report.

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wa., is on a mission to wake Christians up from the illusion that faith is alive and well in America.

The centerpiece of Driscoll’s new book titled, ”A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?,” is that we’re living in a “post-Christian culture — a culture fundamentally at odds with faith in Jesus.”

Culture Is Quickly Shifting

The pastor recently told TheBlaze that he believes cultural norms are rapidly shifting in American society and that these changes come at the same time that Christianity is losing its place of prominence.

Mark Driscoll Issues Major Wake Up Call for Christians About the Dire State of American Culture | A Call to Resurgence

Pastor Mark Driscoll (Image source: @PastorMark onTwitter)

“A commitment to secularism to pluralism has really come very, very rapidly, and certain issues like gay marriage have accelerated and highlighted that,” Driscoll said. “More biblical, conservative traditions…values have gone from being respected to really despised in very short order.”

Driscoll explained that 40 years ago, homosexuality was still listed in psychological manuals and textbooks as a mental disorder, and now it is considered a civil right. He added, “That’s a quick flip.”

“We are living in a post-Christian culture — a culture fundamentally at odds with faith in Jesus.”

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He believes that there’s been a paradigm shift in society from “morality to personality.”

Rather than moral absolutes governing what’s right or wrong, Driscoll said that there’s a general view that people should be true to themselves — that they should essentially stand by their feelings and desires.

“We’ve shifted from a worldview where there is a God who makes laws, and they apply to you, to whether or not there is a God it does not matter — ‘I don’t recognize any laws external to me. The only thing that guides me is my own internal convictions,’” he said. “Authority has shifted from external to internal, from God to me. And what you end up with is not a discussion of morality but a defense of personality. And that’s the world we live in.”

Driscoll believes that there is “a culture of complete anarchy in the name of tolerance and diversity.”

“One in four women sexual assaulted, one in six men, people that are sexually addicted, sexually assaulted, sexually abused, rampant debt, broken families, suicidal,” he told TheBlaze. “The number one category of prescription medication is antidepressants. Somebody’s gotta stand up and say, ‘This ain’t working — we gotta try something else.’”

One of the Big Questions Facing Christians

One of the big questions facing Christians, the pastor said, is how to peacefully exist in this context of change without compromising values and theology.

“Christians need to understand that Christians and non-Christians just disagree about a lot of things,” he said. “We disagree about where we come from, we disagree about why we’re here, we disagree about what we’re supposed to do, we disagree with what we’re supposed to do with our pots and our pans and our genitals and our wallets — we just disagree on all kinds of things.”

Mark Driscoll Issues Major Wake Up Call for Christians About the Dire State of American Culture | A Call to Resurgence

Credit: Tyndale House Publishers

Driscoll went on to say that one of the biggest threats to Christians is the assumption that compromising on what they believe will help them or serve a positive purpose for the non-believers they interact with. Doing this, he said, simply doesn’t work for anyone

With the changing cultural dynamics, Driscoll warned that Christians need to start getting better at understanding suffering and dealing with pushback, as they’re poised to receive more of it.

“In the West we’re not really familiar with suffering [and] Christendom and Christians have tended to be in a position of power, a respected position, and so all the issues surrounding suffering and criticism and such — we’re not very good at that,” he said. “And it’s something we’d better get better at pretty quickly because it’s just going to get harder to stay true to what we believe.”

Driscoll said that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to be Bible-believing — and practicing — Christians and that there are “no social perks to being a Christian” in today’s society.

Issues Facing Churches

The decreasing role and reverence for churches is also noticeable, Driscoll said. While houses or worship were once much-respected, today he believes that this dynamic has profoundly changed.

“The churches, for the most part, held a very respected place in society — and if you’re going to be a good business leader, a good citizen, a moral person, well obviously you believe in God and you’re involved in some religious community,” he said. “So what that led to was really a lot of people who weren’t committed to their religious beliefs — they didn’t really live them out — but they would sort of wave the flag because of the social benefits that came with it.”

Driscoll believes the social benefits and connotations the church once offered are decreasing. Being ostracized or marginalized for being in the pews makes it somewhat less appealing to participate in church. While he doesn’t necessarily believe that there are fewer Christians, he said “the teams have gotten very clear.”

“Somebody’s gotta stand up and say, ‘This ain’t working — we gotta try something else.’”

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Fewer of those who went or go to church mainly to bask in these benefits are now doing so and for obvious reasons; the purported benefits are diminishing.

With the changing dynamics, Christians have to find a balance, Driscoll argued. What battles will they choose to fight? Which will they choose to ignore? Of these concerns, Driscoll said, ”You can’t fight over everything, and you’re not very courageous if you won’t fight for anything.”

The pastor said it’s important to decide what’s worth fighting for and then to be prepared to deal with the consequences of speaking out.

Driscoll expounds upon these themes in “A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/12/a-culture-of-complete-anarchy-famed-pastor-issues-major-wake-up-call-for-christians-about-the-dire-state-of-american-culture/

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Honoring Our Warriors

Sometimes war is something that can and should not be avoided. God has told us to stand for what we believe and in order to do that sometimes it is necessary to fight. To the men and women who are willing to lay down their lives for their God, their country, their family, their friends, and even for those whom they do not know, we give our thanks.

In 2 Samuel 23 Davids last words were for the men that fought and men that he considered the real hero’s. Men like Eleazer, Adino, and Shammah, who stood and fought for God and country. David said “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” 2 Samuel 23:3

Many times the wars of today are not just, but that does not negate the honor of those who obey and give their lives in order for the people of this country to remain free. In times past we have treated them with dishonor, and I see a return of that in the way that our current government is beginning to treat them as well. While our government is limiting their freedoms and disrespecting them, it falls upon us as citizens of this country to step up and show them that irregardless of what the government that has placed them in danger, believes, we honor them and wish to show our respect in every way possible. So remember that these are our own and that we do honor them!

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Who is the King in America?

By Bill Federer
Who is the King in America?”THE PEOPLE ARE THE SOVEREIGN OF THIS COUNTRY” – John Jay, First Chief Justice, Chisholm v. Georgia, 1793.

President James K. Polk stated December 7, 1847:


“THE PEOPLE ARE THE ONLY SOVEREIGNS RECOGNIZED BY OUR CONSTITUTION…

The success of our admirable system is a conclusive refutation of the
theories of those in other countries who maintain that a ‘favored few’ are born to rule and that the mass of mankind must be governed by force.”


President Grover Cleveland, July 13, 1887:

“THE SOVEREIGNTY OF 60 MILLIONS OF FREE PEOPLE, is…the working out…of the divine right of man to govern himself and a manifestation of God’s plan concerning the human race.”

President Gerald Ford stated September 13, 1975:

“Never forget that in America OUR SOVEREIGN IS THE CITIZEN…

The State is a servant of the individual. It must never become an anonymous monstrosity that masters everyone.”

How do THE PEOPLE exercise their sovereignty?

Through voting in elections.


On of the first elections recorded in America was in Woburn, Massachusetts, which was founded in 1642 by Captain Edward Johnson, a contemporary of Governor John Winthrop.


Captain Edward Johnson described the town’s first election in Wonder-Working Providences of Sion’s Saviour in New England, 1654:

“The number of faithful people of Christ…gather into a church…


Having fasted and prayed…they joined together in a holy Covenant with the Lord and with one another…

Those who are chosen to a place in government, must be men truly fearing God, wise and learned in the truths of Christ…

Neither will any Christian of a sound judgment vote for any, but those who earnestly contend for the faith.”


Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of elections in Democracy in America, 1835:

“If a political character attacks a (religious) sect, this may not prevent even the partisans of that very sect from supporting him;

but if he attacks all the sects together, every one abandons him and he remains alone…

Moreover, all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity.”


On elections, President Calvin Coolidge stated in a Radio Address, NOVEMBER 3, 1924:

“I therefore urge upon all the voters of our country, without reference to party, that they assemble…at their respective voting places in the exercise of the high office of American citizenship,

that they approach the ballot box in the spirit that they would approach a sacrament, and there, disregarding all appeals to passion and prejudice, dedicate themselves truly and wholly to the welfare of their country.”

Calvin Coolidge continued:

“When an election is so held, it…sustains the belief that the voice of the people is the voice of God.”

On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush addressed Congress after the 911 Islamic terrorist attack:

“Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists…They hate our freedoms – our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote.”

American Minute is a registered trademark. Permission is granted to forward. reprint or duplicate with acknowledgement tovwww.AmericanMinute.com
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PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH – ‘We can ensure peace only so long as we remain strong.’-Harry Truman via American Minute

By Bill Federer
On OCTOBER 23, 1945, President Harry Truman addressed a Joint Session of Congress:”The United States now has a fighting strength greater than at any other time in our history…greater than that of any other nation in the world…

We are strong because of the courage…of a liberty loving people who are determined that this nation shall remain forever free…

We intend to use all our moral influence and all our physical strength to work for that kind of peace.

We can ensure such a peace only so long as we remain strong. We must face the fact that peace must be built upon power, as well as upon good will and good deeds…”


Truman continued:

It is only by strength that we can impress the fact upon possible future aggressors that we will tolerate no threat to peace or liberty…

In any future war, the heart of the United States would be the enemy’s first target.

Our geographical security is now gone–gone with the advent of the robot bomb, the rocket, aircraft carriers and modern airborne armies.

The surest guaranty that no nation will dare again to attack us is to remain strong in the only kind of strength an aggressor understands–military power…

The moral and spiritual welfare of our young people should be a consideration of prime importance, and, of course, facilities for worship in every faith should be available.”

On OCTOBER 23, 1960, John F. Kennedy stated at a Commemorative Concert:

“Americans will never…recognize Soviet domination of Hungary.

Hungary’s claim to independence and liberty is not based on sentiment or politics. It is deeply rooted in history, in culture and in law.

No matter what sort of puppet government they may maintain, we do not mean to see that claim abandoned.

Americans intend to hasten…the day when the men and women of Hungary will stand again in freedom and justice.”


Twenty-nine years later, on OCTOBER 23, 1989, the communist Hungarian People’s Republic officially ended, being replaced by the Hungarian Republic.


On OCTOBER 23, 1985, President Ronald Reagan stated:

“OCTOBER 23 is the second anniversary of the date on which the largest number of Americans was killed in a single act of terrorism –

the bombing of the United States compound in Beirut, Lebanon…in which 241 United States servicemen lost their lives.

These brave soldiers died defending our cherished ideals of freedom and peace. It is appropriate that we honor these men and all other victims of terrorism.”


On March 20, 1981, at the Conservative Political Action Conference Dinner, Mayflower Hotel, Washington, DC, Ronald Reagan stated:

“Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.”


On October 27, 1964, Ronald Reagan stated:

“Khrushchev has told his people…we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes…our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have been weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically….”

Reagan continued:

“You and I…do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery…

Should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross?

Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard ’round the world?

The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored deadwho gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain.”

Reagan concluded:

“Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it’s a simple answer after all.

You and I have the courage to say to our enemies,

“There is a price we will not pay.” There is a point beyond which they must not advance.”

American Minute is a registered trademark. Permission is granted to forward. reprint or duplicate with acknowledgement tovhttp://www.AmericanMinute.com
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