The Role of Religion in The Founding Fathers’ Constitutional Formula

Excerpts from The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution

"Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."  Amendment I, Constitution of the United States.

"Americans of the twentieth century often fail to realize the supreme importance which the Founding Fathers originally attached to the role of religion in the unique experiment which they hoped would emerge as the first civilization of a free people in modern times.  Many Americans also fail to realize that the Founders felt the role of religion would be as important in our own day as it was in theirs.

The Founders Emphasized the Need to Teach Religion and Morality in the Schools.

"In 1787, the very year the Constitution was written by the Convention and approved by Congress, that same body of Congress passed the famous Northwest Ordinance.  In it they outlawed slavery in the Northwest Territory.  They also enunciated the basic rights of citizens in language similar to that which was later incorporated in the Bill of Rights.  And they emphasized the essential need to teach religion and morality in the schools.  Here is the way they said it:

‘Article 3: Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.’

"Notice that formal education was to include among its teaching responsibilities these three important subjects:

1.  Religion, which might be defined as ‘a fundamental system of beliefs concerning man’s origin and relationship to the Creator, the cosmic universe, and his relationship with his fellowmen.’

2.  Morality, which may be described as ‘a standard of behavior distinguishing right from wrong.’

3.  Knowledge, which is ‘an intellectual awareness and understanding of established facts relating to any field of human experience or inquiry, i.e., history, geography, science, etc.’

The Fundamental Points to be Taught in the Schools

"Five tenets run through practically all of the Founders’ writings.  These are the beliefs which the Founders sometimes referred to as the "religion of America," and they felt these fundamentals were so important in providing ‘good government and the happiness of mankind’ that they wanted them taught in the public schools along with morality and knowledge.  They are:

1.  Recognition and worship of a Creator who made all things.

2.  That the Creator has revealed a moral code of behavior for happy living which distinguishes right from wrong.

3.  That the Creator holds mankind responsible for the way they treat each other.

4.  That all mankind live beyond this life.

5. That in the next life individuals are judged for their conduct in this one."

The reason our children are not learning this in our public school system is because our government-run schools have been taken over by the Secular Left. 

 

 

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