Why the First Amendment Was Written
The Pilgrims and others fled to the New World to escape religious persecution from the government of England. England had a State Church. The church was run by the government and was supported by taxes. It was against the law to be part of another church or denomination. Christian pastors and church members were imprisoned for becoming involved in an illegal church.
Before the Constitution was ratified, most of the Colonies had their own official churches, and they followed the practices of the British government – persecuting people who dared to organize or be involved in an unapproved church.
Therefore, the issue of the day was, Should the Government be in the Religion Business? And if so, which denomination should become the “official” church?
The First Amendment addressed this issue. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . .” Do you get that? It’s very easy to understand. The Government is not in the business of creating or running a church. England had “The Church of England,” complete with Church of England church buildings, Church of England clergy, etc. The King was the head of the Church of England, ruling over the Archbishop of Canterbury. The United States was never to have “The Church of America.” The United States Government was not to dictate what Americans were to believe, where they would go to church, or even if they would go to church. It’s as simple as that.
It went on to say that Congress would make no law “. . . prohibiting the free exercise thereof (of religion) . . .” If you want to be a Baptist, Methodist or Catholic, that’s up to you. You could even be a member of the Church of England (as many of our Founding Fathers were). Or you could even be an atheist. The Constitution gives you the freedom to choose.
Nowhere does it say – or even imply – that Government can’t acknowledge God. Even the few irreligious Founding Fathers had a respect for religion and a reverence for God, and they were not ashamed to say it.
Congress shall make no law . . .
Here’s something else. The entire First Amendment hinges on these words: “Congress shall make no law . . .” It cannot make a law to establish an official church. It cannot make a law to force you to go to a particular church. It cannot make a law to prohibit you from choosing your own religion or choosing no religion.
Notice that the First Amendment does not say that our government cannot acknowledge God. Indeed, God has been acknowledged thousands of times at all levels of government ever since America was settled. It as only been in recent times that the Radical Heathen Left has succeeded in getting large numbers of people to believe the First Amendment prohibits the Government from acknowledging God
Remember, they are using the tactic of Adolph Hitler to change public opinion. They couldn’t do it any other way.