Lee v. Weisman


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"Separation" Defined and Refuted
By Examining Separationist Cases

Back in 1892, when Separationism, Darwinism, and Secularism were starting to gain a foothold in America, the U.S. Supreme Court took some time to declare in no uncertain terms that America is a Christian Nation (Holy Trinity v. U.S.). The Court's opinion in this decision can single-handedly reverse the effects of 12 years of government schooling civics classes. It is then a comparatively easy task to expose the foolishness of "separationism."

Separation: The Original Intent

The First Amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . .

As we show elsewhere, this Amendment was designed to prevent the Federal Government from creating:

  1. A church denomination officially recognized and protected by the sovereign over other denominations;
  2. A church denomination whose members alone were eligible to vote, to hold public office, and to practice a profession;
  3. A church denomination which compelled religious orthodoxy under penalty of fine and imprisonment;
  4. A church denomination able to expel dissenters from the commonwealth;
  5. A church denomination financed by taxes upon all members of the community; (even those not members of the denomination);
  6. A church denomination which alone could freely hold public worship and evangelize;
  7. A church denomination which alone could perform valid marriages, burials, etc.

This description of "church-state separation" is based on:

  • What the Founders did
  • What the Founders fought against
What they did. Christianity was made the center of American culture. The same Congress that approved the First Amendment immediately passed a resolution asking President Washington to lead the new nation in prayer and thanksgiving for the new constitution. The Supreme Court and the Congress both have always begun their work with prayer to the God of the Bible. School textbooks were filled with Biblical references and catechisms.
What they fought. The great debates of the day came largely out of America's experience with the Church of England, as Carl Bridenbaugh has shown. Nobody was urging that the Bible, prayer, and the Ten Commandments be removed from schools. No arguments were made that teaching that God created the earth was "an impermissible teaching of religion." Nobody believed that the government must never acknowledge that God exists, for fear that atheists would feel like "second-class citizens" (Allegheny v. ACLU). The Holy Trinity case accurately described the character of the nation when the Constitution was ratified. It was "a Christian nation." The American Revolution was a revolution of "dissenting" preachers against the Church of England, as John Adams explained in his celebrated letters to Jedediah Morse, William Tudor, and Benjamin Rush. 
Mitre and Sceptre,
Oxford University Press, 1962
"[N]o understanding of the eighteenth century is possible if we unconsciously omit, or consciously jam out, the religious theme just because our own milieu is secular."
"[R]eligion was a fundamental cause of the American Revolution."
Richard Hofstadter says of the book: "[P]uts the religious issue in the Revolution back closer to the center where it ought to be."

Separation: The Secularist Myth

Orwell could not have imagined a more successful flushing of history down the "memory hole" than Secular Humanists have pulled off. Secularists have convinced most Americans that the Constitution requires America to be a secular nation, a nation whose government does not take sides between believers and unbelievers. It is certainly true that the American government must never force atheists to go to any church, much less a government-approved denomination. Presbyterians will not be taxed to support Episcopalian clergy. But the First Amendment was not intended to keep the government from acknowledging that God exists and that all men have a duty to obey Him. "Freedom of religion" was not demanded by atheists, but by those for whom the freedom to worship publicly and devoutly was a religious passion.

"Freedom from religion" was not in the mind of a single person who signed the Constitution.

The religious character of the nation has been overthrown—largely since 1947. In order for Christians to go on the offensive and tear down the "wall of separation," these are the questions that should be asked of any "separationist" who denies that America is a Christian nation:
  • Did the Congress which drafted the First Amendment intend to separate God and country? To create a secular nation rather than a nation "under God?"
  • Do atheists have a constitutional right never to hear the government admit that
    • God exists
    • our nation ought to obey His Laws
    • our nation trusts in God
    • our nation is grateful to God for all our blessings
  • Do atheists have a constitutional right to keep Christians and Jews from seeing and learning God's Ten Commandments?
  • Do atheists have a constitutional right to keep Christians and Jews from knowing that our nation's laws were based on God's Ten Commandments?
  • Do atheists have a constitutional right not to be reminded by the courts that America is a Christian nation?
  • Do atheists have a constitutional right to go through the entire month of December without seeing any Christmas decorations?

Those who signed the Constitution would have said "NO!" Every single person who signed the Constitution would have laughed at such ideas. "Separationists" answer each of these questions "yes," and courts in recent years have agreed with them.

One of the most important vehicles for imposing the religion of secular humanism on this Christian nation has been the so-called "Lemon Test." It was first invented in a tax case, then packaged a year later in the case for which it is named.

WALZ v. TAX COMSN. OF CITY OF NEW YORK , 397 U.S. 664 (1970)

Court Opinion at

This case concerned tax-exemption for churches, and as is often the case, even when the Supreme Court seems to rule in favor of religion, they have succeeded in digging its grave a little deeper. Justice Brennan, concurring, declared:

Their principal effect is to carry out secular purposes—the encouragement of public service activities and of a pluralistic society. During their ordinary operations, most churches engage in activities of a secular nature that benefit the community; and all churches by their existence contribute to the diversity of association, viewpoint, and enterprise so highly valued by all of us. The means churches use to carry on their public service activities are not 'essentially religious' in nature. They are the same means used by any purely secular organization—money, human time and skills, physical facilities. It is true that each church contributes to the pluralism of our society through its purely religious activities, but that state encourages these activities not because it champions religion per se but because it values religion among a variety of private, nonprofit enterprises that contribute to the diversity of the Nation.  [397 U.S. 664 , 692-93]
Second, government grants exemptions to religious organizations because they uniquely contribute to the pluralism of American society by their religious activities. Government may properly include religious institutions among the variety of private, nonprofit groups that receive tax exemptions, for each group contributes to the diversity of association, viewpoint, and enterprise essential to a vigorous, pluralistic society. See Washington Ethical Society v. District of Columbia, 101 U.S.App.D.C. 371, 373, 249 F.2d 127, 129 (1957)  [397 U.S. 664 , 689]

("Ethical Society" is a branch of the religion of Secular Humanism. That case gave them tax exemption, and was cited in Torcaso's infamous "Footnote 11.")

In other words, the State no longer grants tax-free status to churches because we render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and the things that are God's to God, nor because the State is "under God" and churches are a holy sanctuary which even the greatest emperors would not breach, but because the Humanistic Supreme Court magnanimously views churches as having a tolerable role to play in the creation of their new "pluralistic" secular society.

Justice Douglas would throw out the exemptions entirely, but would agree with Justice Brennan on the mandate for "pluralism":

[O]ne of the mandates of the First Amendment is to promote a viable, pluralistic society and to keep government neutral, not only between sects, but also between believers and nonbelievers. [397 U.S. 664 , 716]

It is true that the Founding Fathers were not hostile toward non-Christian religions. See their comments here. And of course, the Founders believed in denominational pluralism, in which each Christian denomination is on an equal legal footing. But the Framers did not espouse pure pluralism. Non-Christian religions could exist only insofar as they stayed within Christian boundaries — no sacrificing virgins, no polygamy, no pagan perversions. See the evidence here. We were one nation "under God" — a particular God, with particular moral standards. Pluralism is a myth. It is political polytheism. America was a distinctly Christian nation. Read the Founders' views here.

Walz held that tax exemptions had a long history and were therefore constitutional. Justice Douglas challenged the Court by noting that school prayer had an equally long history, but that did not stop the Court from throwing prayer out of schools. Despite its apparently favorable ruling, Walz is a dangerous case. And Lemon v. Kurtzman proves it.

LEMON v. KURTZMAN, 403 U.S. 602 (1971) 

Court Opinion at

Taking its cue from the Walz case, this case may be more frequently cited than Everson. The so-called "Lemon Test" dominated church-state cases for more than 20 years, and is still pulled out in emergencies, despite its criticisms.

Every analysis in this area must begin with consideration of the cumulative criteria developed by the Court over many years. Three such tests may be gleaned from our cases. First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion, Board of Education v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236, 243 (1968);  finally, the statute must not foster "an excessive government entanglement with religion." Walz, supra, at 674. [403 U.S. 602, 612-13]

This is certainly convenient for Secular Humanists. Every legislation must have for its purpose a goal which is acceptable to Humanists, its primary effect must not be to advance the interests of those who oppose Humanism, and it must not bring the government "under God" in an "excessive" way. Is there any wonder that Secularism has advanced so?

How does this "secular purpose/secular effect" test conform to the principles and practice of the Founding Fathers? Here is how James Madison argued against a very important piece of legislation. He opposed it

12. Because, the policy of the bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who enjoy this precious gift, ought to be that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind. Compare the number of those who have as yet received it with the number still remaining under the dominion of false Religions; and how small is the former! Does the policy of the Bill tend to lessen the disproportion? No; it at once discourages those who are strangers to the light of (revelation) from coming into the Region of it; and countenances, by example the nations who continue in darkness, in shutting out those who might convey it to them. Instead of levelling as far as possible, every obstacle to the victorious progress of truth, the Bill with an ignoble and unchristian timidity would circumscribe it, with a wall of defence, against the encroachments of error.

Madison felt no compulsion to muster up a "secular purpose." He said the bill should be defeated precisely because it did not advance "the light of Christianity." Today, however, legislation will be struck down by the Court if one of those who sponsored the bill hoped it might benefit Christianity in some in indirect way. (Wallace v. Jaffree, 1985; Edwards v. Aguillard, 1987)

The "secular purpose" and "secular effect" prongs of the "Lemon test" are corollaries of the view that society should be secular and religion kept out of the public square. As Justice Brennan would write in Marsh v. Chambers (1983), the "Lemon test"

embodies a judgment, born of a long and turbulent history, that, in our society, religion "must be a private matter for the individual, the family, and the institutions of private choice . . . ." Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S., at 625.

It is true that the Framers gave no power to the new government to tell churches which scent of incense they must use. Many other questions of "worship" or belief are rightly considered "private" questions. But the Founders also agreed with Ben Franklin, who knew quite well the value of Christianity to society, and who, in the context of teaching history to the youth of Philadelphia, said:

History will also afford the frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion, from its usefulness to the public; the advantage of a religious character among private persons; the mischiefs of superstition, &c. and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern. (Benjamin Franklin, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1749), p. 22.)

The Founders believed in public religion. Official proclamations of national days of prayer and public appeals to the God of the Bible in the Addresses and Orders of every single Congress and President this nation has had since its inception in 1776 (and before) show that no one intended the Constitution to exile Christianity to the world of the "noumenal" and require every law to pass in review before the religion of Secular Humanism.

Observing the evolution of the Court's many "tests" and the increasing hostility toward Christianity, one is reminded of Thomas Jefferson's warning:

The Constitution . . . is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please.
(to Judge Spencer Roane, Sept. 6, 1819.)

The "separation of church and state" as promulgated by the Supreme Court, is a myth.

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