Category Archives: George Washington

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.

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY" (for kids too) The Constitution is 226 Years Old Today''

by Larry Peterson

The following is a Primer on the basics of the United States Constitution. There is much more detailed and insightful information available on-line and in libraries and text-books. I am posting this  primarily for young people so  they might get an overview of where the laws in America come from.

226 years ago today The Constitution of the United States of America was ratified. Congress has declared this day, CONSTITUTION DAY and the period form September 17 thru September 23 of each year as CONSTITUTION WEEK.  Below is the Preamble to this magnificent document:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”.

The Constitution, was  signed in 1787 and had VII (7) Articles with Articles I thru IV  having different Sections that stipulated certain laws. For example; Article I has ten (10) Sections. Section 1 states that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.  The other nine (9) Sections define other laws. Articles V thru VII have no Sections as they are straight forward as written.

The Bill of Rights are the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution. They were proposed in August of 1789, adopted on September 25, 1789 and went into effect on December 15, 1789.
Since then an additional 17 Amendments have been added, the last one on May 7, 1992. The 18th Amendment, also known as the Volstead Act, prohibited the sale and manufacture of alcohol and was ratified in 1919. The period of time in our history was known as “Prohibition”. This amendment was repealed  in 1933 when the 21st Amendment was passed, overturning it.

 Article I; Section 8 of The Constitution  is known as the “elastic clause”. This Section spells out the powers of Congress. It might be the most important clause in the Constitution as it gives Congress broad power to enact laws that might usurp the freedoms given the people. This is why it is so important for citizens to stay informed and vote for people they feel represent the freedoms spelled out in the Constitution. 

Here are quotes from two of the signers of this document:
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other”.  John Adams, the 2nd President of the United States

“The adoption of the Constitution will demonstrate as visibly the finger of Providence as any possible event in the course of human affairs can ever designate it.”  George Washington

Every citizen should read through the Constitution. It is a magnificent document created by magnificent minds who trusted in  a Divine Craftsman to oversee their work. The Father of our Country, George Washington, confirmed that belief. The Constitution has changed over the 226 years of its existence with the abolition of slavery, giving citizenship to all people regardless of race, giving equal rights to women, and so forth. It was never perfect but it was flexible enough where, as society changed,  wrongs could be addressed and corrected. We will always have room for improvement. 

We should never lose respect or disrespect this document for its intended purpose was foremost ,’For the People’. It is NOT for those we  entrust the power to, to do what is politically expedient for them. Those empowered by the people have a sacred trust to do what is best for their constituents. It reads, “WE the people’, not “Me, your President, senator or congressman.”