Milton Mandell (Sarasota Attorney for ACLU) has once again, attempted to convince the public of the “Separation of Church and State” myth, by implanting supposed evidence to conclude that tax dollars should NOT be used to support sectarian schools. The amendment he states, never passed. It’s interesting to note that he only looked to a recent Congress (100 years AFTER our birth) to impose his twisted ideals.
I believe we should look to our founders, to see what THEY intended for our sectarian schools. However, back then, our public schools WERE our sectarian schools.
Mr. Mandell, if our tax dollars shouldn’t “subsidize” religious organizations, why then did President Jefferson have Congress provide annual funds for the purpose of evangelizing the Kaskaskia, Wyandotte and Cherokee Indians? Why did he authorize federal dollars to ordain special lands “for the sole use of Christian Indians” and reserve lands for the Moravian Brethren “for civilizing the Indians and promoting Christianity”?
If our country was supposedly based on secularism, why then do the House and Senate chambers have their walls engraved with “In God we trust”? Why is the Capitol Dome inscribed with, “The New Testament, according to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”? Why is there a figure of the crucified Christ on the Rotunda? And a painting of the baptism of Pocahontas @ Jamestown also on the rotunda?
How do you explain Governor Bradford (1620) writing from the Mayflower, our country’s first founding document, “We whose names are written.......having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith....a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia.”?
And how do you explain the New England Confederation (1643), “Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in liberty and peace.” ?
The answer, of course, is that we were NOT a secular nation. During the time that the first Amendment was written (CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING the FREE exercise thereof), the Northwest Ordinance was written and ratified. It was recognized in The United States Code Annotated as one of America’s four most significant governmental documents. It stated in Article III “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”(emphasis mine) In fact, during President Jefferson’s term, Congress passed The Enabling Acts which required that no state can contain in it’s constitution any language contrary to that contained in the NW Ordinance.
What was the FIRST purpose of schools? Religion! You could not become a state if you didn’t teach religion in schools. What was the first thing our recent courts eliminated from our schools? Religion! (Which naturally preceded the exodus of morality and now knowledge from our government schools).
George Washington said “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness.....”
In vain......Mr. Mandell.
No thanks, we’ll look to the founders for their vision of America, and not the ACLU’s.