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March 24, 2005

 

RETREAT FROM ENLIGHTENMENT

Our founding Fathers, privately men of God, chose Enlightenment Philosophers, Locke, Hobbes, Machiavelli, Rousseau and others as the source and inspiration for creating our founding documents. It is entirely reasonable to state that God's blessing was sought but the drafting of our Constitution and Bill of Rights was a endeavor to enumerate how fallible men might maintain a government acceptable to and accountable to the governed.

If being of a specific religion or needing to be religious or to appear to be religious is now a prerequisite for holding public office then we have retreated from Enlightenment. The law of our country is that a person of one religion may not be held to be ascendant over a person of another religion or a person of no religious beliefs.

"Of the People, by the People.." by the design of good pious men, by law, by their best thinking for creating a lasting and just government specifically excludes religion as a positive consideration for holding office

Today we hear a lot of God this and God that and Christianity this and that from Congress and the Oval office, including a certain specificity of religion when Jesus Christ is intoned. Ronald Reagan's son, also Ron, has been oft quoted as saying, "My Father was a very religious man, but he didn't wear his religion on his sleeve." President Reagan therefore upheld the spirit of our Founding Documents.

There exists a point that when public debate devolves from "Of the People, by the People" to "Of the religious, by the religious" that the spirit of our so heralded Constitution is blasphemed. Those who have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution need temper promotions, promulgations and practices that de facto or de jure undermine the laws and spirit of our great Nation.

An excerpt from Thomas Jefferson's Bill For Religious Freedom (1779) says much:

".........that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time:"

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