Bible-believing churches were teaching the principles of family solidarity, human equality, and citizen sovereignty over government under God’s leadership, centuries before the Declaration of Independence was written.
President George Washington, a strong Christian church man, speaking of Thanksgiving Day in 1796, invited …the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country… (Peter A. Lillbach, George Washington’s Sacred Fire, Providence Forum Press, 2006, p. 271–285).
First Amendment law should prevail over ALL other amendments. Government of laws rest[s] its authority upon the authority of that law which is Divine…Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants… (James Wilson: Signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the original Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court).
The Supreme Court majority changed the historical understanding of the establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment by using Case Law Theory in their Everson v. Board of Education decision. In 1947, Judge Hugo Black wrote the Court’s opinion saying this: “‘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.” Judge Black’s interpretation rejected the First Amendment meaning and intent.
By adding three words, AID ALL RELIGIONS, Judge Black undermined the historic foundation for faith-based morality when training American youth.
The Everson v. Board of Education decision twisted the meaning of the First Amendment of the Constitution in two fundamental ways.
“First, the phrase emphasizes separation of church and state—unlike the First Amendment, which speaks in terms of non-establishment and free exercise of religion. Second, a wall [term used by the Court] is a bilateral barrier that inhibits the activities of both civil government and religion—unlike the First Amendment, which imposes restrictions on civil government only not on religious freedom” (Daniel L. Dreisbach, Professor of Justice, Law, and Society at American University in Washington D C. “How a Misused Metaphor Changed Church-State Law, Policy, and Discourse,” essay, Heritage Foundation publication, June 23, 2006).
Reverend Joseph F. Costanzo, when quoting lecturer and author George Goldberg, a graduate of Harvard Law School, made a prediction that proved to be true. He called the Everson v. Board of Education ruling “the federal takeover of religion in America” (D. James Kennedy and Norman R. Wise, Defending the First Amendment, 1989, TCRM Publishing, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, p. 9–30).
~ D. Norris