Welcome to the American Christian Heritage Group blog where we give you glimpses of our country's early Christian foundations. We hope you enjoy these, learn more about our Christian heritage and undertake reading of the many cited sources and end notes. Please feel free to register and leave comments.

U.S. Constitution was not written to separate Christianity from the state

January 4th, 2010

The fact that the United States is a Christian nation, founded on Christian principals, has been assailed by secularists for years. Yet, the facts of our nation’s Christian roots remain unchanged. It has continually been reconfirmed over the years that our foundation and roots are Christian. A Supreme Court Judge wrote,

“Thus, the whole power over the subject of religion was left exclusively to the State governments, to be acted on according to their own sense of justice, and the State Constitutions.” [1]

Joseph Story was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from November 18, 1811 to September 10, 1845. He was the youngest (32 tears old) person to ever be nominated to the Supreme Court. He previously served the Massachusetts House of Representatives and then was elected to the United States Congress. He also became the first Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University during his tenure as a Supreme Court Judge.

A major contribution was his work “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States” written in 1833. Wikipedia states that “…this work is one of the chief cornerstones of early American jurisprudence. It is the first comprehensive treatise ever written on the U.S. Constitution, and remains a great source of historical information of the formation and early struggles to define the American republic.”

An important area Justice Story interprets concerns the First Amendment of the Constitution. He states that it was designed to prohibit the federal establishment of a national Church or the official preference of a particular Christian sect over all others. The First Amendment was not designed to disestablish the Christian religion at the state level:

“Probably, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the…[First Amendment], the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State, so far as such encouragement was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.” [2]

It has been 176 years since this was written and the disestablishment of Christianity has and is  a major agenda of secularists in the United States.  Yes, it is time for change, change that honors our Christian foundations where true freedom reigns.

Sources:

[1] Joseph Story, Commentary on the Constitution of the United States (Boston, MA: Hilliard, Gray, and Co., 1833), 702-703;

[2] Joseph Story, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States (Lake Bluff, IL: Regnery Gateway, [1859] 1986), 316;