Category Archives: founding fathers

God and Freedom of Religion–Nothing but an Oxymoron

by Larry Peterson

Florida has this peculiar demon called the ‘sandspur’. It is a barbed, pointy thing that is attached to a certain type of grass that sticks to your socks, shoes, shoelaces, and, if you happen to be barefoot, your feet. When they do become impaled in your feet they hurt–a LOT. When you try to pull them from your feet or pick them from your socks and/or shoelaces,  they get stuck in your fingertips. (The trick is to always wet your fingers first.) Here’s the thing. I never intentionally invaded their territory. It was an accident. They were here before I was. Therefore, I do my best to avoid them. I have made no attempt to eradicate them because that would be impossible. They are here to stay–end of story.

It seems that several months ago the  Freedom From Religion Foundation filed suit in U.S. District Court in NY to have the name of God removed from United States currency where it is imprinted with “In God We Trust”. These people are atheists who call themselves “nontheists”  because the word ‘atheist’ is too offensive to most folks. Anyway, they say that using the motto “In God We Trust” is “problematic” because it violates the  First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I maintain that they do not know what they are talking about and neither do all the judges, school administrators, parents, and whoever else complains about using the name of GOD because it violates the Constitution. That is absolute hogwash and I can explain why very simply. God has nothing to do with Freedom of Religion. Nothing at all. It just seems that all of us “Theists” (we are the people who believe in God and number in the countless millions), have become the sandspurs in the heads of the ‘nontheists’ and they cannot stand the pain and, try as they may, cannot seem to weed us no less eradicate us. For crying out loud, why do they even want to get rid of what we believe if they do not believe it to begin with?

This is the First amendment, word for word:  “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.”  I ask you, what is religion? Is it not the manner in which we choose to worship God? God is NOT religion. The Founding Fathers accepted the existence of God as a ‘matter of fact’. They just wanted to make sure all the citizens of the new nation would have the CHOICE of worshiping Him anyway they chose. Remember, many folks came here from Europe to escape religious persecution, ie; the Pilgrims, the Puritans, Quakers, French Huguenots and Mennonites (Anabaptists) to name a few. If someone claimed to be a “nontheist” back in the 17th or 18th century and tried to get the name of God eradicated they would have either been burned at the stake or hanged.

Here is a quote from George Washington, the Father of our Country, from a speech he gave to the Constitutional Convention delegates prior to ratifying the constitution:  “If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards, defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hand of GOD.”

There you have it. Before the Founders even started their work the First President told them that ,”the event is in the hand of God.” They knew there was a God. They accepted that as fact. They also knew that people had many different ways of honoring and worshiping Him. That is the right they wanted to protect. They NEVER considered for a moment that the name of GOD would violate the First Amendment. To me the entire concept is an oxymoron. Without God you can have no Freedom of Religion. Why would you need it?

So, to all you ‘nontheists’ (aka atheists) out there who cannot seem to get we Theistic, God believing sandspurs out of your heads, too bad. You invaded our world. Why don’t you relax and enjoy the rights afforded you. Why do you even care if we choose to believe in God? What is it to you?  You don’t believe he even exists and yet you fight to get rid of Him. You have a problem.

Hey Atheists, Guess What? We are a Judeo-Christian Nation, Like it or Not.

by Larry Peterson

I consider myself a tolerant man. I have always tried to understand, to the best of my ability, the other side. You know the old cliche, “there are two sides to every story”? Well, guess what. Not this time.

So, here it is. When it comes to one topic it seems the tolerance I always prided myself on has somehow evaporated.  I am so over the atheists, these non-God people, who are trying their utmost to have the name of God removed from everything possible in the country. And I am also sick to death of all the ignorant judges who acquiesce to their foolish demands and to school administrators who cater to the slightest little non-God rant by even one person.Our children deserve better (I digress). Anyway, here is what I do not  understand: since the existence of God and freedom of religion are two separate things how do they get away with all their nonsense?

I guess my tipping point came when the “American Atheist” movement sued Bradford County, FL because it had a monument to the Ten Commandments outside the court house. The County “agreed” (such wooses) to take it down but the people who donated it refused to remove it. So the county compromised and allowed the atheists to erect their own non-God monument next to the Ten Commandment monument. Isn’t this absolutely ludicrous. Remember–the existence of God and freedom of religion are two different things.

The beginnings of  the United States had rooted long before the eighteenth century. By 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed,  the words “we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights” were included in that document. The acceptance of a Creator, aka God, was unquestioned.  The Constitution of the United States was ratified on September 17, 1787 and the Bill of Rights on September 25, 1789. The very first Amendment was that which we know as freedom of religion, speech and press.  There was never a question of whether or not God existed. The question was how were we to worship Him. The answer was; any way you choose. The government would make no law establishing or prohibiting any religion. How beautiful is that.


Here is the unvarnished truth: The Constitution of the United States of America was established  based on Judeo-Christian principles. The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing. The very foundation for the Constitution was “Natural Law”. What is that? Natural law  is God’s law. Ever hear of the Ten Commandments? The Jewish law began with Abraham, moved to Isaac and then to Jacob.  Simply said, Jewish law recognized the individual family as the nucleus of their society. This nucleus developed and grew  into the 12 tribes of Israel and by the time of Moses these 12  tribes had numbered over 600, 000. Then Christianity, rooted in Judaism, merged together and Anglo-Saxon law followed. Along came the Magna Carta in 1215 and 572 years after that our Founding Fathers rooted our Constitution into that unbelievably fertile soil. The tree that grew from that soil was the greatest nation ever seen, the United States of America. Sometime the fruit was not perfect. Sometimes it was downright rotten. But for the most part, the tree grew and flourished. Interestingly, it is rooted in Natural law. I know that this is a simplistic explanation of the Judeo-Christian principle but this information is available to anyone who wants to check it out. 

Our Founders believed in God. They KNEW HE existed. There was no doubt. And these were pretty smart guys. Natural Law, which is included in the Ten Commandments, was the very foundation for our Constitutional republic. That is why the Commandments are in so many court houses around the country including the Supreme Court. They do not tell us what religion to belong to. They do not tell us how to worship God. They just tell us what comes Naturally to all of us. You should not kill, you should not steal, you should not lie, etc. We know these things without being told. How we worship the God who gives us Natural Law is up to us. 

For people to fight against the existence of God as unconstitutional or for judges to agree with that premise is absurd.  I for one am sick of it. I do not care if a person does not believe in God. I do not care if a person worships a rock. Knock yourself out–but leave me alone. I am not bothering you, am I? If  I am, get over it. We are a Judeo-Christian nation, like it or not. We must always remember that a magnificent tree cannot survive if you rip out its roots. Rather, it will wither and die.

The "Vacuous Virtuous" Need to Stay Out of Our Churches

I am a blue-collar guy who has, based on my date of birth, become a “senior citizen”. That qualifies me for lots of discounts. No big deal because most of those start kicking in at age 55 and I passed that mark a while back. Now I qualify for Medicare. I am also, and this is most important, a Catholic. Okay, to the point.

I am tired folks. Not because of my age or bad back but because I am worn out from being slapped upside my head because I am Catholic. There are supposedly 77 million Catholics in the United States. That makes me one little pea in a great big pod. And this pea is pee-ode. I am sick and tired of hearing my faith denigrated and mocked by a secular world where the slightest hint of a moral boundary professed or defended is scorned and/or ridiculed by these secularists, many of whom claim to be “catholic”. God forbid anyone (especially someone like Cardinal Dolan of NY and the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)  attempts to defend his faith and his flock by saying “NO” to someone of modern virtue who has their own ideas as to what the Catholic faith should be. The Cardinal and his peers, including Pope Benedict himself, are deemed “out-of-touch”, “radical”, or “outside the mainstream”. Here’s the deal; there is no such thing as “progressive” catholicism.  The basic tenets of the faith have been around for centuries.

My three priorities have always been God, Family and Country—in that order. But you see, no one ever bothered me about that. No one ever bothered you either, right? God bless the framers of the Constitution. Were they SMART. Freedom of Religion–the very first amendment. They knew what kind of lid had to be placed on the pressure cooker of diversity that was to be America. They knew that religion transcended man made law. They knew that a sense of right and wrong was an inborn gift. Religion spelled it out. It provided a moral compass. Therefore, they left it alone and reinforced it with the First Amendment. But then a few hundred years went by and somehow “yes and no” became not only archaic but anathema to so many of our sophisticated and secular 21st century intelligentsia. I would like to dub them the “vacuous virtuous”. Their sense of great smartness has laid waste to any sense of humility they may have once possessed. The result—noxious fumes.

As a Catholic Christian I am supposed to try and live my faith 24/7. We Catholics can go to Mass and Communion every single day of the week if we so choose. There are still many of us, including me, that do. We go for spiritual reinforcement and nourishment so, when we leave the church and confront the world OUTSIDE, we are prepared to live up to out beliefs. We have to work at it, are quiet about it and just do the best we can with what God has given us. Sometimes we succeed, some times we don’t. After all, we are imperfect beings.

Now, unprecedented in American History, an administration in power is telling us that when we go OUTSIDE our church we must violate our beliefs under penalty of breaking the law, facing fine or even imprisonment. They have even suggested that we (as Catholics) have declared “war on women” because we are refusing to give women contraception and abortifacient drugs. Have they lost their minds? Not hardly. They know full well that Title X was signed into law by President Nixon in 1970 and that contraception has been available to all women in this country ever since. The problem with religion, and not just the Catholic religion, is that it sets boundaries and rules and says “NO”. The nerve to tell us we CANNOT do something or have our way. Who in hell do they think they are? Government is the “Great Benefactor”. So,  let’s kick down their doors and take charge.

The powers that “are” think that they have found the “weak link” in the suit of armor. How foolish they are.The Catholic Church has been around for two thousand years. It has survived onslaughts by the “vacuous virtuous” many times and it will again. It will also be around long after all of us here today are not. As for me, I just want them to leave me alone.