If there’s one thing that our public education system isn’t teaching but isn’t…

It would be the interpretation and application of the US Constitution.

For decades, the Constitution has been relegated to History classes or Government classes…

When the fact of the matter is, constitutional studies should have its own class. Every American child should have an education that teaches them about their individual rights and the proper role of the government.

That class won’t ever be created, though…

The Constitution will continue to be glossed over in history classes around the country – which is a shame because almost EVERYBODY could do with a better understanding of the document that formed the basis of our society.

Things would be a lot different if people TRULY understood their rights.

If people understood what some of the most essential elements actually mean, our society would only change for the better.

One of those essential elements—and one of the reasons we actually have a nation of our own to begin with—is the Free Exercise clause found in the 1st Amendment.

The Debated Clause In The 1st Amendment

The Establishment and Free Exercise clauses have to do with the establishment of a national religion…

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

This part of the 1st Amendment has come to be commonly known as something else…

“The Separation of Church and State.”

Now, what this all means has been hotly debated…

But if we look closely at WHY this was put in place and combine that with why the Puritans came to the United States in the first place, we’ll get a better picture of what this means.

In the 1500s, King Henry VIII wanted his marriage annulled, which could only be granted by the authorities of the Catholic church. It wasn’t granted. So, in true dictator fashion, Henry separated the English church from its papal ties in Rome and established the Church of England (Anglicanism).

This allowed him to do whatever he wanted, and as head of the state and the church, his will would be tied to God’s will.

The subsequent kings of England used this power to dominate and control their own people through the new Protestant form of Christianity while also keeping some of the customs of Catholicism.

The Puritans, however, were NOT happy with the Catholic overtones of the Church of England and wanted to worship in a “purer” way – and they desperately wanted the freedom to do so…

However, the Act of Uniformity of 1662 took this freedom away, dictating how public prayer and religious ceremonies would be enacted…

This essentially gave the Puritans their walking papers. Many packed up their families to make the dangerous trek to the New World to carve out a new life.

Not Making The Same Mistake Twice

The anger over being forced to leave their homes to practice their religion as they saw fit was something fresh in the minds of America’s earliest citizens…

So when the Forefathers wrote the Constitution, they put guarantees in place to ensure that the government could NOT exercise power over its people’s free will…

And the 1st and 2nd Amendments are the start of that effort.

The Founders put the Establishment and Free Exercise clause in the Constitution not so American’s wouldn’t let Christian ideals be a part of their government, but so that our government wouldn’t create a “Church of America” where the President’s will became God’s will.

They didn’t want a repeat of what happened in Britain.

However, many have come to believe that it means that religion can’t have any influence on the government…

But they’re wrong.

Christian principles are what this country is built on – and allowing politicians to let these principles guide them in their roles is EXACTLY what the Forefathers wanted.

They wanted a connection with Christian virtues, but not government control of the church.

And this is where many get this wrong – especially those on the Left.

The Forefathers were fine with Christianity being the lantern that guides our way – they just didn’t want future leaders to usurp the power of God for their own gains.

Or…

I may be wrong. I’m no Constitutional scholar or lawyer—I’m just a guy that reads.

Maybe other people should give that a try.

 

“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be one nation gone under.” ― Ronald Reagan