When the Articles of Confederation was replaced by the new Constitution, the Northwest Ordinance was passed again and became effective under the new Constitution. George Washington signed the Northwest Ordinance back into law on August 7, 1789. Article III of the Ordinance specified that religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education, shall forever be encouraged.
During this same period of time (July 17 to August 7, 1789), the same men who had implemented the Northwest Ordinance were writing the First Amendment to the Constitution [prohibiting the power of government officials to interrupt religious freedom, printing press and education competition]” (Historian, David Barton, Education and the Founding Fathers, Aledo, Texas: WallBuilder Press, 1993, p. 4).
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 the government for a redress of grievances.
A review of the First Amendment includes five factors. All of them uphold the sacred rights of the people for equal access to competing sources of knowledge.
- Access to informational sources for choosing qualified legislators, administrators, and school board representatives.
- The people and Liberty are no match for totalitarian forces. Unjust teacher contracts that eliminate the teacher’s accountability to the local standards for civil behavior, must be reversed. When government education systems are propelled by teacher employment guarantees that are protected by the force of law, tyranny of the students’ minds soon follows.
- Truth, when presented, can prevail by itself over non-truth. That is why secular authoritarians need the power of government monopoly education, in order to remove truth from textbooks and to confuse and manipulate students’ beliefs.
- When public education exercises the freedom for religious competition, in the context of history that was practiced for the first 340 years in America, schools will again implant the values for family, limited government, and national greatness.
- There is a political monopoly imposing an atheistic secular religion for education, but authoritarians have been less effective in penetrating and secularizing seminaries and churches. God-honoring churches are a significant hope for the advance of virtue, essential for citizen self-rule, industry, and responsible liberty.
Sadly, some secular authoritarians in government, particularly the judiciary who were misled as law students, are now living in the confusion of darkness. They are rejecting the Morality Test, upon which stability and veracity (truth or honesty) of American law was based.
The Judeo-Christian faith that blossomed in America is a freedom-supporting option, rather than a demanding religion or humanist authoritarianism. Believers reject the sins of political exploitation, public warfare between genders and races, and the deceptive promises of a here and now political utopia.
~ D. Norris