BY Dave Barton
  Thank you. It's my pleasure to be with you. And I get to talk to you this morning about some views of the First Amendment, and it really has changed over time because I deal with a lot of secular universities, deal with a lot of law schools, a lot of arenas where they deal with the First Amendment. And to hear people talk about the First Amendment today, to hear most people in the grass-roots talk about the First Amendment, they really have no idea of the origins of it. And so what I want to talk to you about is the changing aspects of the First Amendment Now, in doing that I think it's easier to start with where we are today.
  I brought two little cases that have happened just in recent months that I thought would be fairly interesting just as a good indicator of where we currently are.
  The first one is a case that came out of Mississippi. The name of the case is Engebretsen versus Jackson Public School District, Jackson, Mississippi. State Senator Roger Wicker, who is now a U.S. Congressman here in D.C. State Senator Wicker was responding to something the federal courts had done in Mississippi. Two federal courts, two separates occasions got together and struck down community prayer services lead by ministers and churches to have a community time of prayer and fellowship together. And the court said, "You know, if you did that, you'd have to be public about it, and that would be unconstitutional. I mean, you can't have a community prayer service where people know about it. So we strike that down."
  So with decisions like that going, people like Roger Wicker said, "You know, this really is going to whack up the minds of our kids and what they can and can't do with religious expression." So they passed a very simple little law in Mississippi. They said in order to clarify for teachers and superintendents and school boards, but especially for students, we want students to know that voluntary prayer is always constitutional. And they just went to the bottom line and they said, "All right. Whatever else you hear in court decisions, know that this is America. If you want to pray you, you can pray. Voluntary prayer is always constitutional."
  Well, amazingly that simple, tiny, short, succinct, little law was challenged and taken to court. At federal court they ruled against it. As a matter of fact, when the decision came down on January the 10th, the Fifth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals said, "No", they said, "You've got this all wrong." They said, "Voluntary prayer is not constitutional."
  They said, "You can't pray if you want to pray." They said, "We have examined the issue. We have found only one occasion in which we will permit students to pray." And they said, "That's high school graduation." Now why high school graduation? Well, the Court explained.
  The Court pointed out that high school graduation was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and since prayer was also a once-in-a-lifetime event, it went together real well with a high school graduation.
Current state of religious expression in America.
  But the best case I like is this one here, Jane Doe versus Santa Fe Independent School District. And it's interesting because it dealt with whether students at a public school graduation could have a graduation prayer. And Federal Judge Samuel Kent said, "Why certainly you can have a graduation prayer. You just have to make sure you pray the right words." And I'll read to you right out of the case. It says, "This Court will allow prayer if it's a typical nondenominational prayer. Prayer can refer to God or the Almighty, but the prayer must not refer to Jesus. And make no mistake, this Court is going to have a United States Marshal in attendance at graduation. If any student offends this Court and mentions Jesus in a prayer, that student will be summarily arrested and will face six months incarceration." It says, "Anyone who violates these orders is going to wish that he or she had died as a child when this Court gets through with it."
  Whoa! Now, we don't get six months in jail for manslaughter or burglary or assault, but pray in the name of Jesus and that will get you there. Now what is the deal with this? Why do these decisions happen? And literally I can show you stacks of hundreds of these. They all have two common factors. First, there's the courts tell us that this is what's required by the constitutional First Amendment, separation of church and state. This is this constitutional mandate. Second is we're told that this is required by the intent of our Founding Fathers. This is what they intended for religion in America.
  They were all secularists. They didn't believe in God; a bunch of atheists, agnostics, deists. And that's why the courts are exactly alike and give the kind of decisions they do. After all, it's secularism that's made us great and they didn't want this kind of stuff going on.
  So we have this being taught. As a matter of fact in the bicentennial of the Bill of Rights, there was a study done across America and 69 percent of the nation said that they thought that the phrase "separation of church and state" was actually written in the First Amendment. Well, obviously, if you read the First Amendment, it says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Very clearly there is no separation phrase that appears anywhere in that amendment, and that's the amendment they use to beat us back and say, "Well, you can't do that; separation of church and state." And it's just absolutely not there.
  I remember one time I was arguing with one of our own Congressmen.
I mean, he's one of our guys right down the line, a real hero. And we were talking about some moral issues and moral values, and he said, "Well, it's good stuff, but we just can't do that stuff up here." I said, "Well, why?" And he said, "Well, separation of church and state."
  And I said, "Well, what about it?" He said, "Well, the Constitution won't let us. Separation of church and state." And I said, "What Constitution?" He said, "Well, we can't do it. First Amendment, you know." I said, "No, I don't know." He said, "Separation of church and state." I said, "It's not in the Constitution. It's not in the First Admendment".
  See, this is the problem we have. Even our own folks a lot of times think that there's this prohibition out there required by the Constitution, and yet the constitutional language contains nothing of that sort. Now when you nail the left to the wall and say, "It's not there, that language is not in the Constitution", they say, "Well, technically you're correct, but that was the intent of the Founding Fathers who gave us the Constitution. I mean, that is why they gave us the First Amendment."
  Well, interesting thing there, because we can know exactly what our Founding Fathers wanted. Article 1, Section 5 of the Constitution requires that everything said on the floor of the House and Senate be recorded in public record so we can read it at any point in time. It's one of the ways the Founding Fathers wanted government to be accountable to we, the people, is they wanted to make sure everything that went on was written down so we could see it.
  So we can go to any public library, pull out the records of Congress and we can read the entire debates when our Founding Fathers framed that amendment. There were 90 Founding Fathers who gave us that amendment.
  I mean, these guys are as diverse as they are going to get, and you got 90 guys arguing about it for months, what the First Amendment is, what it will do, what it won't do, what they are going to permit, what they won't tolerate, et cetera. And all those debates are recorded in the records of Congress. So all you have to do is look it up.
  Now, what's striking about this is 90 Founding Fathers that gave us the First Amendment, and you can read those months of debates, and in months of debates by the 90 Founding Fathers who gave us the amendment the court says means separation of church and state, not one single one of those 90 Founding Fathers ever even mentioned the phrase "separation of church and state" anywhere during the debates at all. Now, it does seem like if that had been their intent for the First Amendment, somebody would have said something about it. The phrase does not appear one time in months of discussion.
  Well, then what in the world did they want? Oh, they reached a consensus by August. They said, "Look, what we are after is we don't want in America what we had in Great Britain. We don't want the federal government to make us all one denomination. We don't want to all be Catholics, or all be Anglicans. We don't want that", which is why the First Amendment says that Congress shall make no law respecting that establishment.
  As a matter of fact, James Madison on August 15, 1789 in the records of Congress made it exceptionally clear. He said, "The purpose of the First Amendment is to prevent the federal establishment of a single national denomination." Now, if you want to call that separation of church and state, go for it, because that was their intent for separation of church and state. But to say that that amendment meant that you couldn't have public religious expression, no way. You see, if the separation phrase didn't come from these guys, it didn't come from the First Amendment, it didn't come from the Congress who framed it, then where in the world did it come from? You are probably aware that it comes from Thomas Jefferson. Now, most people who even know that really don't even know the background of that.
  Now, Jefferson was the first anti-Federalist President elected in the United States. His platform was real simple: Keep the federal government out of our lives, off our backs, just a simple platform.
  And the most anti-federal denomination in America at that time were the Baptists. There were 29 Baptist ministers involved in the ratification conventions for ratifying the U.S. Constitution. 28 of the 29 Baptist ministers opposed the federal Constitution. They didn't want centralized government. They were opposed to it. So when Jefferson gets in, this is their hero. He's a guy who doesn't like federal government either. As a matter of fact, it's kind of fun. Jefferson said the federal government should be responsible for three things:
  One is international affairs. We ought to have a good state department.
  Two is protecting our borders; good defense.
  And three is delivering the mail.
  That's it. That's as far as he wanted to see the federal government grow.
  So, Jefferson, the anti-Federalist, is now President of the United States and the Baptists loved it. Their guy is there. He was a real champion for the Baptists. In Virginia, he fought against the established church there in Virginia. So they loved it. He starts getting letters of congratulations from Baptist groups across the nation. And one of those letters came from the Reverend Jeremiah Dodge, who was head of the Danbury Baptist Association in Danbury, Connecticut. That letter was dated November 7, 1801 and it's a fairly concise letter, had three major points in it. It said,  "Thomas, we think that God has raised you up for such a time as this. You are certainly an answer to our prayers." Number two, "We're going to be praying for you throughout your administration. We think God is going to do great things with you." Number three, "By the way, we strenuously object to the fact that the First Amendment guarantees us our free exercise of religion."
  You think now why would you object to having a constitutional guarantee for the free exercise of religion? And their point was quite simple. Free exercise of religion is an unalienable right that's given by God, it does not belong to government. They expressed their concern that just having free exercise of religion in the Constitution might some day mean the government would feel itself empowered to regulate religion just because it appears there. They didn't even want it mentioned at all.
  Well, Jefferson understood their concern that the federal government might step in and somehow limit public religious expression. And so he wrote back to them in his letter in return to them, it's dated January 1, 1802. In that letter, it's fairly short, concise, he goes through and says, point number one, "Thank you for your congratulations. Thank you for your prayers." Point two, "I'm also looking forward to good things in this administration." Point three, he said, "You are not going to have to worry about the federal government stopping a public religious activity." He said, "The First Amendment's raised a wall of separation between church and state", and went on to assure them that because of the First Amendment wall of separation, the government wouldn't inhibit religious activities in public.
  Now, isn't it interesting that Jefferson's phrase is now used completely out of context of his letter and do exactly what he said it wouldn't do. I mean, the purpose of the First Amendment is to keep the federal government from telling us what we can with religion. And guess what, in a case in 1989 called Allegheny versus ACLU, interesting declaration from the Supreme Court. They said they had become a national theology board. That's true.   They now tell us where to pray, when to pray, if to pray, even what we say in our prayers, tell us if we can have a nativity scene or not, tell us if we can have a cross in a cemetery, tell us if Arizona University can have a cross on their chapel, tell us in Portland, Oregon if they can have a cross in the fire hall because two firemen up there died and they wanted to remember the firemen. All sorts of things across the nation, city seals, you name it, Federal Government telling people what they can do with their religious expression.
  Exactly the opposite of what Thomas Jefferson said would happen. But nobody knows that phrase any more. Nobody uses his full letter or even knows that it was written to him to explain it.
  So you look at Jefferson's explanation, and by the way, this is not something that Jefferson just spoke about once. There are four other locations in which he explained the purpose of the First Amendment is to keep the federal government from stopping religious activities: His second inaugural address, a letter that he wrote to Judge Samuel Miller, a letter that he wrote to the Methodist Episcopal Church, all sorts of places he talks about that; he did not use the separation phrase.
  Now, let me mention something about the separation phrase. There are about 250 Founding Fathers that we have. You have 90 who gave us the Bill of Rights. You got 55 at the Constitutional Convention. You got 56 who signed the Declaration. All totalled, you add up, there's about 250 of these guys. We've not been able to find more than six that ever even used the phrase "separation of church and state" and we found no one who's used it twice. Even Jefferson who used it, only used it once in that one letter, and that letter was written 13 years after the First Amendment was finished. It was not a statement of policy. It was just summing up what we already knew: The federal government is not going to stop this. Now, that's Jefferson's position.
  And when you look even at what happened in courts, if you go through the courts in the first 150 years of the federal court system, you go through the courts, you will find that on only two occasions did the entire federal court system mention the phrase "separation of church and state". One was 1878 where not the court, but the plaintiffs raised Jefferson raised the separation phrase. So the court went back and dug out his letter and reprinted Jefferson's full letter on separation, which of course gave it a completely different spin.
  Only two times in 150 years is Jefferson used at all. Do you know what? In the last 50 years, Thomas Jefferson has been cited in over 3,000 cases in the last 50 years in the current court system. Now isn't that amazing that Jefferson has become the absolute spokesman for the First Amendment. This is the only guy who knows anything about it. He used the phrase once in 60 volumes of writings and he's the only guy qualified to speak about the First Amendment. That tells us how much of our history we have forgotten.
  Do you know why Jefferson was not used in the first 150 years as an authority on the Constitution? Quite frankly, because he would not permit it. As a matter of fact, there's a great book that was written about Thomas Jefferson that really brought this point out. Again, Jefferson's President 1801, anti-Federalist. And one of his supporters was a Dr. Joseph Priestley, who was also a Reverend Joseph Priestley.
  Now, Priestley is the guy who, he's a scientist; he discovered oxygen, isolated it as a gas. He also isolated seven other gases, But he was a minister of the church as well. And he was an anti-Federalist. He was a great friend of Jefferson's. So what he did was he wrote a biography of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson is now in the White House he wrote this biography of Jefferson while he's still alive. He sent it to Thomas. He said, "Thomas", he said, "I want to you look over this. See if you've got any corrections to offer. Did I get anything wrong? I want it to be accurate. Tell me what you think."
  So Jefferson took this biography about himself, he read it and wrote back to Priestley. He said, "I found one glaring mistake. There's one thing you have to change in here." And this is Jefferson's response. He said, "One passage in the paper you enclosed me must be corrected. And it's the following:" This is the quote out of the paper. "And all say that it is yourself more than any other individual that planned and established it", that is the Constitution. The paper says Jefferson, you are the constitutional authority of the day. Nobody knows more about the Constitution than you do. And Jefferson says "You've got to take that out of this book." As he explained, he says, "I was in Europe when the Constitution was planned and I never saw it until after it was established." He was not even in America at the time. That's why you can search the picture of the Constitutional Convention until you die and you'll never find Thomas Jefferson there.
  Now consider this. This is amazing. Jefferson was not involved in the formation of the Constitution. He was not one of the 90 Founding Fathers involved in the formation of the First Amendment, the Bill of Rights. Now you've got 55 eyewitnesses to the Constitution who know its intent. You've got 90 at the First Amendment debates who know its intent. That's 145 eyewitnesses to the intent of the First Amendment.
  And here's a guy who was smart enough to say, "Don't count me as an authority. I wasn't there." He's an attorney. He understands the best evidence. The best evidence you see in a courtroom, you don't allow people to testify to secondhand evidence. You've got to see it. You've got to be an eyewitness to it. And he says, "Don't count me as a constitutional authority. I wasn't there." You know, using Jefferson in that setting is a lot like going to into a courtroom today for a murder trial and the judge says, "Now", he says, "if you saw anything happen here, I don't want you to testify, but you if read about it in the newspaper, I'm going to let you testify." Wait a minute. That's
exactly what we've done with Jefferson being an authority on the First Amendment.
  You see if you go back 50 years ago, we had a whole different string of authorities that we used on the First Amendment. For example, 50 years ago you would have recognized the face of this guy, Gouverneur Morris. And see, by the way, this is one of the things that we do have as a problem today in America is the weakness of our own historical education. 55 members of the Constitutional Convention. How many can we name? You know, four, five, six? 90 guys who gave us the First Amendment. How many of those guys can we call by name? Two, three? We used to know who they were. And this is a great example. We used to know all about Gouverneur Morris. Gouverneur Morris was the final man to sign the Constitution of the United States. He was the most active member of the Constitutional Convention. He spoke on the floor of the Convention 173 times. That was more than any other Founder at the Convention. Now consider, the most active member at the Convention, the final guy to sign the Constitution, and we've never heard of him. But I guarantee you you'll recognize his handiwork. This is the man who physically wrote the Constitution of the United States. He's the penman of the Constitution.
  Now, doesn't it make just a little bit of sense that the guy who wrote the Constitution might understand the intent of the Constitution?
  I mean, maybe that's a stretch, but it certainly seems to make sense.
  But when is the last time we've had a court quote Gouverneur Morris or even care what he said? And one of the cases we're involved with in the Supreme Court, one Supreme Court Justices made a very ill-advised statement, which is nothing new for that group; they do that on a fairly regular basis anyway. But this particular case the Justice said, "Well, you know, 200 years ago, that's a long time. We just can't be sure what our Founding Fathers wanted 200 years." Absolute nonsense. Go to the public library, look for the writings of George Washington. George Washington has 97 volumes of personal writings that have been published.
  Now, that's a man with an opinion on every subject under the sun, and I mean literally, from abortion to homosexuals in the military, he wrote about all of them. The Founding Fathers were prolific writers.
  Jefferson has 60 volumes of writings, John Adams has 33, Franklin has 40, Hamilton has 60. They wrote it all down. He's no different. Gouverneur Morris wrote the Constitution in 1787. 1789 it's ratified. 1790, 1791 he wrote two books on the Constitution.
  Interesting to see what he said in both of those books. Gouverneur Morris said, "Religion is the only solid basis of good morals.
  Therefore, education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man toward God." Does that sound anywhere close to our educational policy today? Ah, what did he know? He just wrote the Constitution.
  See, this is the irony of not knowing our history. We're told our Founding Fathers wanted a complete secularization of education; they didn't want religion anywhere close to it, and yet the guy who writes the document says, "It has to be. This is the way we designed it. It's got to be involved."
  And then you get into people like this man. Now, this man is James Wilson. James Wilson is a distinguished Founding Father. There are only six Founding Fathers who signed both the Declaration and the Constitution; he's one of the six. In addition, he's the second most active member at the Constitutional Convention. And significantly, after George Washington became President, he chose James Wilson as an original Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. So here's James Wilson, who helps fight for our independence, who helps lead us through it to it, who helps write the Constitution, the second most active member, he's now in the court. You would think that the guy might understand constitutional intent. And like the other Founding Fathers, he's a prolific writer.
  For those of you that were with us last night at the Capitol, you saw that we have a lot of their original writings. We own about 70,000 writings that predate 1812. I own thousands of the Founding Fathers' original handwritten documents. Not only was he a Supreme Court Justice, but while he was a Justice on the Supreme Court, he started the first American law school, the first American forum of legal education. And this is a textbook that he used. This is one that he wrote. This is an original that he gave to students there. Of course, classes then were 15 to 20 students, but this is what the students studied. And it's interesting to see what he says about the relationship between law and the Bible, between law and religion. Because as you are aware today, that's a very touchy situation. Just ask Judge Moore about that. I mean, this is one of the things, you can't have a judge that does something religious in a courtroom. That's deplorable. At least that's the current mindset. That's why he got in so much trouble. Judge John Devine in Texas, he is now in his third lawsuit because he has the Ten Commandments up in his courtroom. We have had Judge Constangy in North Carolina who got in all sorts of trouble for allowing prayer in his courtroom. I mean, there's something that says religion and law, you can't mix those two.
  And then you look at what James Wilson taught. He says, "Human law must rest its authority, ultimately, upon that authority, which is divine." He starts out saying, "Kids, if you are going to have good civil law, it's got to be built on God's word. You've got to build on divine law. There's no way to separate those two." And the law books of the day, for example, Blackstone's Commentaries on the Law, which Thomas Jefferson said was the Bible for American attorneys, Blackstone's Commentaries on the Law explained that. It said, "Whatever God has ruled on in the sacred scriptures, human legislatures are not free to change." And he gave the example. He said, "For example, in the case of murder, God has said everything that needs to be said about murder, including how to punish it; therefore, legislatures are not free to do anything different." But the textbook said, "However, God has not told us how to import or export wool, so we can do that in the legislature. We can decide what we are going to do." The textbook is very clear. If God has ruled on it, legislatures are not free to do otherwise. So he continued and he said, "Far from being rivals or enemies," he said, "religion and law are twin sisters. They are friends.
  They are mutual assistants. Indeed these two sides should run into each other." Boy, he got that right. They do run into each other; it's like a head-on train collision now. But back then it was like two yoke of oxen pulling the same direction. They were friends. They were twins.
  They were mutual assistants. They did exactly the same direction of point.
  One other guy I want to point to that I have a lot of fun with is this man, William Samuel Johnson. He's a signer of the Constitution, obviously, therefore, qualified to speak to its intent, but he's also a leading educator of the day. As a matter of fact, it turns out he's the first President of Columbia College. And he did an interesting practice back in his day, he spoke at public school graduations. Now public schools are nothing new. The first public school law in America was 1642. Public schools were 120, 130 years old when the Founding Fathers were around. Do you know they did the same kind of things at public school graduations that we have debates over today? I mean, you know what the trouble is? For example, the case we were involved in in 1992 that went to the Supreme Court, it was called Lee versus Weisman, that dealt with can you have a graduation invocation, graduation benediction.
  It came out of Providence, Rhode Island, which is a good place to start because they have had public schools up there for over 300 years.
  Well, it started when the school went to Rabbi Leslie Gutterman.
  They said, "Rabbi, would you deliver an invocation/benediction for us this year?" And the Rabbi said, "I'd be happy to." Then the school board went to him and said, "Now, Rabbi, we need to remind you of a few simple things here. Number one, this is a secular setting. Number two, this is a secular meeting. Number three, we need for you to pray a secular prayer."
  Now what is a secular prayer? How would you pray a secular prayer? I mean, how do you know if it's secular? Well, he got the idea what they were after is a politically correct, nonoffensive prayer. And he tried his best to accommodate that. As a matter of fact, his prayer was so bland that when this case was challenged and taken to court in District Court there was actually a discussion over whether or not he had prayed.
  They weren't even sure it was a prayer or not. "Does that look like a prayer to you?" "I don't know. I guess it could be. Well, I don't know, maybe not." See, what had happened was his graduation oration, he dealt with civic duties and patriotism, responsibility and justice and all these great things, but he made the mistake of using the G word. He mentioned that word one time in there, the God word. And so they said, "Oh, look there, he mentioned God. It had to be a prayer." So it worked its way to the Supreme Court and by a 5-4 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court we lost, but by a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court said that if a student were to hear the public acknowledgment of God, if a student were to hear God mentioned aloud in public, the Supreme Court said that would constitute not only religious, but also psychological coercion against students; can't do that. Supposedly that's because the Founding Fathers didn't want it.
  So let me show you what he did at public school graduations. William Samuel Johnson said, in the speech that he gave, he said, "You this day, gentlemen, have received a public education, the purpose whereof has been to qualify you better to serve your Creator and your country." Ooh, that's the purpose of public education? And then he continues, he says, "Now", he said, "your first great duty, students, if you are sensible, are those you owe to Heaven, to your Creator, and your Redeemer. Let these be ever present to your minds and exemplified in your lives and conduct", and for the next 20 minutes he went through specific Bible verse after specific Bible verse. The very next one he said, he said, "Students, we're told in Acts 17:28 that in Him we live and move and have our being." He said, "I want you to remember that apart from Jesus Christ you can do nothing in your life." And he went through verse after verse after verse after verse. This is what they did, now, they didn't just give prayers at graduations, they gave sermons at graduations, probably should have had altar cloths at graduations. But these are the guys who signed the Constitution, and we're told, "Oh, no, Jefferson, his separation of church and state phrase. Well, we can't do that." There's a good reason we didn't use Jefferson for the first 150 years, because he was not an authority. These guys were. These are the guys that we used.
  And I even have fun going to the least religious Founding Fathers.
  Nobody debates that Ben Franklin is one of the absolute least religious of the Founding Fathers, no question about it. But "least" is a comparative term. "Least" as compared to what? Well, he's the least religious one compared to the other Founding Fathers. As a matter of fact, when I go in to secular universities and the law schools, I love to take nothing but the writings of Franklin and Jefferson because just out of their writings I can make these two guys look like a couple of Bible-thumping evangelicals. That's just out of their writings. And I concede they are the least religious of these guys.
  And there's two great examples I want to give you from Franklin.
  And as I do this, I want you to keep in mind that he is the least religious Founding Father. We all agree on that. At this point in his career he's 81 years old. Now the arrange lifespan in America at that time, at the time of the Constitution we mentioned, the average lifespan was 35 years old. So there he sits at 81, that's fairly impressive. If you go to Independence National Hall in Philadelphia, go across the street to what they call Franklin Court, and you'll find there the early form of a wheelchair that they used to get him on and off the floor of the Convention. His body's falling apart. Now his mind is still sharp, but his body is just not working like it used to. And the longest speech he gave at the Convention was Thursday, June 28, 1787. And in that particular speech he said, "Gentlemen", he said, "in the beginning of the contest with Great Britain when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for divine protection." He said, "Our prayers, Sir, were heard and they were graciously answered." He said, "All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor. And have we now forgotten this powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need His
  He said, "I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God governs in the affairs of men." He said, "If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"
  "We've been assured in the sacred writings, that 'except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.1" He said, "I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel."
  He said, "I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business."
  Now, I might point out that's not bad for the least religious of the Founding Fathers. He's chewing the other guys out for not praying enough. And how does he do it? Why, he just beats them over the head with the scriptures; quotes to them out of Genesis 10 and Psalms 127 and Matthew 6. And he's the least religious Founding Father, and he's calling for prayer in what? A government setting? The least religious guy?
  And better yet is the letter that he wrote, one of the last letters he wrote in life, because Franklin was approached by his old friend, Thomas Paine. Thomas Paine, you may recall, is the guy who wrote The Age of Reason. The Age of Reason was a very specific attack on Christianity, a very general attack on religion. The Age of Reason set forth two hundred years ago the same arguments that we still hear today. Thomas Paine said, "Religion is a terrible thing for the nature. Look at all the atrocities committed in the name of religion, look at all the wars caused by religion. Keep religion out of the nation." He said, "Now, if you can't do that, at least isolate it; keep it at home, keep it at church, but don't let it get out in real life. You don't want it in education or law or government. The same thing we hear today. But before Thomas Paine wrote that work, he took and he sent to Ben Franklin a manuscript copy and wrote those all of his ideas down and he said, "Ben, before I publish this, I want you to look over it and tell me what you think about it."
  Franklin got the manuscript, he went through it, he read it and wrote back what I consider to be one of the greatest letters in American history. Now, recall, before I show you excerpts from that letter, that Franklin was really good with turning a statement, his proverbs, his pithy statements. Remember Poor Richard's Almanac, all those little things he could spin? The early bird gets the worm, and a penny saved is a; penny earned, and all the kind of stuff that he went through. He does a lot of the proverbs-type, pithy statements in here.
  He says, "Thomas," he said, "I've read your work with interest and you've asked for my opinion. Okay, I'll give it to you." He said, "But," he said, "at present I shall only give you my opinion that the consequence of printing this piece" - attacking religion - "will be a great deal of odium drawn on yourself, mischief to you, and no benefit to others. He that spits in the wind, spits in his own face."
  Whoa! Now, this is Ben Franklin, our least religion Founding Father, saying, "You've got to be kidding me. Secularize society? You've got to be crazy." He said, "Thomas," he said, "were you to succeed, even if you could do it," he said, "do you imagine any good would be done by it?" He said, "Think how great a portion of mankind has need of the motives of religion to restrain them from vice, to support their virtue. We need religion in public life." He said, "I would advise you, therefore, not to attempt unchaining the tiger, but to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person."
  He said, "By the way, if men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it?" He said, "I intend this letter itself as a proof of my friendship." He said, "I'm just trying to save you grief. You don't understand what's going to happen here." And truly, Thomas Paine did not. As a matter of fact, when he died, no church would accept his body in their graveyard when he died. They buried him in a cow pasture.
  That's where he ends up. And he's supposed to be the great hero of the American Revolution? He was so ostracized. That is so typical of the culture of the Founding Fathers. "There is no way we're going to support anyone who wants the secularize this society." And Ben Franklin, the least religious of our Founders, is the leading voice on this.
  See, that's where we've moved so far in the wrong direction, and when you look at how well we understood this. There is a great example that happened in 185-, I guess it would have happened at that time in 1852. There's a group that came to the Congress with signed petitions that said we want secular government in America. We want you to get rid of the chaplains in the House and Senate. We want you to get rid of chaplains in the military, Army and Navy. We want religion out of education. We want this thing secularized. Well, Congress took those petitions, they referred them to the House and the Senate Judiciary Committees where they investigated for one full year to see if they should do this; should they secularize the American government and American culture.
  Well, that Senate report came back in 1853. It's a matter of public record, it's a public document. It's interesting to see what the Senate said about the Founding Fathers. 1853, now this is 75 years after the American Revolution, and look at what we so understood in America. The Senate report said, "The Founders had no fear or jealousy of religion itself and they did not wish to see us an irreligious people. They didn't want to us to be secular." They said, "They did not intend to spread over all the public authorities and the whole public action of the nation, the dead and revolting spectacle of atheistic apathy." They said, "There ain't no way we're going to secularize this. That would cause the Founding Fathers to spin in their grave."
  And the next year, the House report came out in 1854, and look what the House report said. They said, "Had the people, during the Revolution 75 years ago, had their suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. If they thought they were doing anything that limited Christianity, they wouldn't have picked up a gun." It says, "At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the Amendments" - including the First Amendment, because that's what these people were appealing to was the First Amendment, they wanted to secularize it - they said, "At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the Amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, but not any one denomination." They said, "In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity. That was the religion of the Founders of the Republic, and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants." And they closed out by saying, "The great, the vital, the conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in pure doctrines from the divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
  That's the House Judiciary? Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Maybe that's a seminary. No, it was the House Judiciary, which we couldn't get that from a theological school today. And this is what our government leaders were saying back then. We understood so well what the Founding Fathers wanted with religion in America, religion throughout our culture, and that's why even if you look at the Supreme Court decisions all the way up until, say 1952, a great decision in 1952 called Zorach versus Clauson. The question before the Supreme Court was whether they should secularize education, should they take religion and religious instruction out of education, because we were still teaching the Bible in schools in 1952. And so the decision came down, this is what the U.S. Supreme Court said in 1952, they said, "Whoa!" They said, "Take the Bible and take religion out of U.S. public schools?" They said, "When the State encourages religious instruction or when it cooperates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions."
  "You don't really think we're going to secularize education. That would go against all of our traditions. I mean, this is the best of our traditions when we cooperate with religious authorities in giving religious instruction." They said, "We find no Constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion and to throw its weight against efforts to widen the effective scope of religious influence."
  "We can't find anything in the Constitution that even comes close to letting us do that." They said, "That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do." Guess where we are today?
  Let's see, this is 1952? Whoa! We go from 1952 to here, giving six-month jail sentences to kids who pray out loud in the name of Jesus?
  That's a pretty radical change in a relatively short period of time.
  Well, the change obviously came in the 60's with the Earl Warren court. It started here in 1962, Engel v. Vitale when the Court said, "You know, this thing about praying in schools, we can't let you do that any more. The Founding Fathers never wanted that." Now this is great. The ACLU and the left types love to point to this and say, "This activity right here is one of the chief reasons the Founding Fathers gave us the Constitution. They didn't want this going on. That's why we have the First Amendment. The Founding Fathers they found school prayer reprehensible, repugnant. They didn't want it."
  And my response has always been real simple. Okay. If they didn't want it, why in the world didn't they take it out? Why was it constitutional for 170 years? Why was it a practice going in their day? Why did they pray at school? Why did they encourage prayer at school if they were so opposed to it? Of course, that always stops them. But they assume that people don't know our history. And so when you throw history back at them, it's a little tough to deal with. And in '63, of course, the Court said, "Oh, this thing about the Bible, can't let you do that either. The Founding Fathers wouldn't have wanted that." And I think the most absurd case I've seen is one that came down in Stone v. Graham, where the Court said, "You know, we've noticed that schools in Kentucky have The Ten Commandments hanging on the walls." Well, duh. They hang in all State Legislatures, they hang in the Supreme Court, they hang in most courtrooms across the nation.
  What's wrong with them hanging in schools? As a matter of fact, I speak to four hundred groups a year, and I have been in hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of churches; I've only found three copies of The Ten Commandments hang in all the hundreds of churches that I've been in. I have learned that I can find The Ten Commandments real quickly going to a government building, not to a church building; I go to a government building if I want to find The Ten Commandments. I walk outside the Texas Legislature, the Capitol there, the Northwest Mall, they built a seven-foot high, five-foot wide, one-foot deep marble engraving of all The Ten Commandments right there, just like it is outside the Capitol in Denver, just like all the states are that way.
  Now, here the kids at school have this hanging on the wall and the question was raised, they said, "You know, what if one of the kids were to see that Ten Commandments hanging over there on the wall, and what if they were to walk over there and read it? Is it constitutional for a student to voluntarily", that is the key word, "is it constitutional for a student to voluntarily read a copy of The Ten Commandments?" And we felt there's no way the Court is going to tell us the kids can't see what's hanging all over government buildings in America. But, of course, we were wrong. The Court said, "No," they said, "There's no way." They said, "If the posted copies of The Ten Commandments were to have any effect at all, it would be to induce the school children to read them.
  And if they were to read them, they might meditate on them. And if they were to meditate on them, they might respect and obey them, and this would be unconstitutional."
  Now, the basis of civil law in the Western World for two thousand years has been The Ten Commandments, not religious law but civil law.
  Things like don't steal and don't kill and don't perjure - oh, we can't use that one any more - but don't steal and don't kill. Perjury is now kind of out of limits; that's no longer a part. I mean, the whole legal concept of divorcing that out and we see where we are when we no longer have respect for that fundamental system of laws that we had for so long.
  So that's where the change occurred, and that is where, this is the court, and I tell you this is the court that popularized the phrase separation of church and state. This is the first civic courts to start using Jefferson's phrase without using the full letter to Jefferson's phrase. And there's where things have really gone wrong.
  So the question today is how do we get back there? And people, conservative say, "Get back to the Constitution." That's a nice, appealing piece of rhetoric, but it just flat will not work. And please forgive me, don't think I'm being heretical. I'm quoting the Founding Fathers on that. You know, when you go to the Constitutional Convention, they actually discussed what role the Constitution would have in the governing of America, and they concluded the Constitution actually would have a fairly minimal role governing America. And this is the way they explained it. This guy, John Francis Mercer has a great quote on this.
  He said, "It's a great mistake to suppose that the paper we will propose will govern the United State." He said, "If you think the Constitution is going to govern America," he said, "that's a major league error."
  He said, "It's the men that will bring in the government, and the interests they have in maintaining it, that's what will govern us." He said, "The paper will only mark out the mode and the form. Men are the substance who administer the business." He said, "All we have the Constitution for is to show us how to elect people. It's the people we elect that's more important than the Constitution we have."
  I'll give you an example. That 1992 case, Lee v. Weisman, we were called into the case specifically to give the Supreme Court the information on the historical views of the Founding Fathers concerning graduation prayers, invocations, benedictions. We did that. And we went through the Founding Fathers, like William Samuel Johnson, who not only prayed, but he had sermons at public school graduations. We went through all this history showing that the Founding Fathers were involved in all of this, obviously, therefore, the Constitution required no hostility to graduation prayers. Those who wrote the Constitution required no hostility, so don't be hostile; let prayers go on. We still lost the case five to four, but one of the justices felt so compelled, was so struck by the arguments that he wrote an entire concurring opinion strictly on our brief, what we had given the Court on historical evidence. Because this is new to them. You've got the Founding Fathers participating in school prayer, condoning school prayer, actually advocating school prayer.
  This justice said, "The fact that the Founding Fathers would do that with school prayer proves one of two things." A justice of the Supreme Court has said, "It proves either, first, that the Founding Fathers were a complete bunch of hypocrites because they knew it was wrong to pray in public and they did it anyway; or number two, it just proves the Founding Fathers didn't understand the Constitution."
  All right. How good is the Constitution in the hand of justices like that? See, that's exactly what they told us. And we said, "No, no, no.. It's not the Constitution. The Constitution tells you how to get these people in office." We have to chose the right kind of people to put in office. And see, that's the challenge we have, and that's why when you go to people like William Paterson, who was a General in the American Revolution. William Paterson was also a signer of the Constitution. William Paterson was also placed on the U.S. Supreme Court by George Washington. There's another one of the signers of the Constitution on the original Supreme Court. Justice Paterson was a very popular speaker to all sorts of groups, political groups, civic groups, educational groups, and his speeches are recorded. And he made the same point. He said, "It's the not the Constitution that will keep America great." He said, "What will keep America great is embroiled by what God has told us in the scriptures." And he would close his speech with one single Bible versus, Proverbs 29:2. It says, "When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan." See, that's the whole simplicity of civil government. It's not evolved in your documents, although I argue we've got the best Constitution of anybody in the world. But that Constitution is worthless if we don't put the right kind of people up beside that Constitution to handle that Constitution.
  They'll read it any way they want to read it. See, and that's the difficulty with not putting in the right kind of leaders. So I'll close with this thought. The final thought here comes from this man, James A. Garfield. He was the 20th President of the United States. If you happened to be in the Capitol last night, you saw me show you an original letter. I recently purchased an original letter written by James A. Garfield. In that original letter, James A. Garfield records that he had just preached the gospel of Jesus Christ nineteen times in a series of revival meetings, thirty-four folks came to Christ; he personally baptized thirty-one of them. Now, no, that's not your typical
presidential activity today, but that's exactly what Presidents used to do back then. We had no trouble with faith being in public life. Look what this minister, and by the way, he became a minister of the gospel before he became President of the United States, look what he told us one hundred years ago. He said, "Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it's because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If that body be intelligent, brave and pure, it's because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature." He said, "If the next centennial", which is where we are now, "if the next centennial does not find us a great nation, it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces." Bingo. Here we are.
  Do you know just between 1994 and 1998, two election cycles, Christian voter turnout dropped by twenty percent in the last two election cycles? In 1998, nine million less Evangelicals voted than voted in 1994. Our problem is we get frustrated and instead of going and kicking somebody, we go home; we take our ball and go home. In politics, when you get frustrated at somebody, get more active. I mean, don't let our folks get depressed and say, "Well, I'm tired of it. These guys don't do anything. I'm staying home." The more we stay home, the more they are going to do it out; there, the more they are going to keep heading the wrong direction. Our frustration has to be turned into action, not into inactivity. And that's where we have to grow up as a movement. And when we get frustrated over what Congress is doing, great, let's get more active. We'll go get a bunch of friends and we'll go kick somebody real good. But we don't do that. We go home and complain about it. And that's where it has to turn around this election cycle. We've got to see things change in this nation.
  This decision that I've told you about that's so whacky, about now you get all this time in jail for praying in the name of Jesus, judges gave us that decision. If you don't know who Margaret McCann and Susan Oki Mollway and Wayne Michael and Diana Moss, if you don't know those names, you need to learn them. They'll scare you to death. That's what we got on the judiciary for the next 30 to 40 years, and that is the legacy of a President.  And that's why we have to really be careful in the next election. If we want the First Amendment to look different, we've got to start putting people in who have a different philosophy.
  The Constitution is great, but it's the philosophy of the judges that make the difference.
  God bless you guys. I enjoyed being with you.

Somebody spiked the Kool-Aid

   We are in very deep crap; unfortunately most people are clueless as to the spiritual battles being fought over this country and how close we are to loosing.

  Going through life I have tried to live by what in engineering terms is the KISS method, Keep It Simple Stupid, I try not to use the second “s” or substitute it with a different word, reason being most people are not stupid, ill-informed maybe, unknowledgeable of the subject maybe, but rarely stupid. With this article, an over-all explanation of how we got into this state of chaos will be attempted.
  The two most important issues in the world are religion and politics; both subjects are intertwined in the formation of this country; from the Biblical violations that were the religious underpinnings that gave us our Declaration of Independence (27 Biblical violations), to the Bible used at the swearing in ceremonies of our elected officials.
  There was a time not that long ago that the majority of the people in the United States of America believed  the principals put forth in the Bible, in God, in Jesus, in the Holy Spirit; that understood the concept of Heaven and Hell, that understood the concept of good and evil and understood the concept of Spiritual Warfare.
 These days many people snub their nose at the Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God! It was that fundamental belief and the want to practice their Christian belief that led to the pilgrims coming to the “New World” to the Christians establishing the Declaration of Independence, it was Christians who fought the Revolutionary War and then it was Christians who wrote up and then ratified the Constitution. For some reason this is no longer taught in the school systems.
  Unfortunately being human, people forget their ways and misinformation gets taught instead of the fundamentals (KISS) of Christianity and in the 1800’s we had “Christian brother” killing “Christian brother” in the Civil War.
  Somewhere in the bowels of the National Cathedral is a statue of Abraham Lincoln in prayer. President Lincoln was once asked If God was on the side of the North or the South, his response “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right” with both sides professing Christianity and killing people it becomes difficult to envision “whose” side God is on.
  World War II had the Christians of Germany massacring Blacks, Gypsies, Jews or anybody who got in there way it took a large number of American Christians to stop the massacres.
  Some people naturally gravitate toward power and there is nothing wrong with that when it is not abused, but when the Preachers, the Rabbi’s and the Iman’s are confused enough not to speak out on injustices that come from abuses of power and money everyone suffers.
  Where does the misinformation come from; people who laugh at the concept of God, also laugh at the concept of Satan. People that have no knowledge of Spiritual Warfare, because “we” are to enlightened to believe in Angles and Demons, “we” are way too intelligent to think of the Bible as anything other than a child’s fairy tale.
  WAKE-UP, Satan, devil, Lucifer, serpent, ancient serpent, dragon, evil spirit, demon or demons is mentioned or addressed at least 217 times in the Bible. In the spiritual world these are some big, ugly, powerful creatures (thugs). This battle between the forces of good and evil has been going on for thousands of years. We are but a small pawn, a deposit on a pledge (foot soldier) in a very large battlefield. It is inexcusable for a man or woman of the cloth who has read the Bible not to speak-up.
  I realize that for most people this will be a difficult concept but try to think of God as a Father and Jesus as his son, his son that is willing to fight for us and think of Satan as a Thug. (Remember KISS method)
  Satan the Thug and his buddies are alive and well, he got his butt kicked by Jesus at the cross but that didn’t finish him off, it did piss him off. But it also gave us someone akin to a big brother or big friend or mighty warrior to call upon when we get into trouble.
  Friendships are not free or easy, they take a lot of work, Jesus died because of his desire to be our friend. Just like in real life if you want a friend be a friend. You have to acknowledge that you have a friend and remember to call to get help, wait too long and you can get slapped around pretty good by the Thugs.
 Jesus is the best nonjudgmental friend we could possibly have, ever killed any one, had an abortion, lied, cheated, stole he knows, he understands, talk to him he will understand (this does not mean you get a free ride, there are still consequences for actions).
  The Thugs and the bullies will torment you just like Thugs (Satan) and (his) bullies have throughout the course of time but a friend wouldn’t.
  Do not think for one moment that you are big enough to take on Satan and his demons yourself; the founders of this nation knew they needed help and the smart ones asked for help every day. Were they perfect? No, they made mistakes but they acknowledged their friend who walked beside them and helped in the establishment of this nation.