Separation of Church and State???
The founding of America was surely based on Christian principles - even though it was not founded as a Christian Nation. Archival literature is voluminous and pervasive. Not only did the founders and their heirs make plain their beliefs, but their words have been recorded for us to determine the truth of the matter ourselves. Don't be so quick to believe the onslaught of those who would oppose our heritage and our traditions as if they never happen.
His father was Dr. Elisha Story (1743-1805), a member of the Sons of Liberty, who took part in the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Joseph Story, Congressman and Professor of Law at Harvard, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1811 by James Madison, the Father of the U.S. Constitution. He served on the Court for 34 years. Story's great work, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, is considered a classic of American jurisprudence. He was instrumental in establishing the illegality of the slave trade. He also convincingly argued that the United States of America was built on the principles of Christianity. In a speech at Harvard, Story stated bluntly:
There never has been a period of history, in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundation.
In his work, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States, Justice Story, had this to say about the purpose the First Amendment:
We are not to attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment [in the First Amendment] to an indifference to religion in general, and especially to Christianity (which none could hold in more reverence than the framers of the Constitution)....
Probably, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the Amendment to it now under consideration, the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship.
Any 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.
In other words, the purpose of the First Amendment was to protect a religious people from the government -- not to protect the government from a religious people. It is perfectly all right, under the First Amendment, for the Government of the United States to favor Christianity over other faiths -- so long as other faiths are not persecuted by the government, and so long as the national government does not attempt to set up a national church, such as the Anglican Church in England. In his Commentaries on the Constitution, Justice Story stated:
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs, whether any free government can be permanent where the public worship of God, and the support of religion, constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in any assignable shape.
In fact, in his commentary on the purpose of First Amendment, Justice Story stated:
The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects [denominations] and to prevent any national ecclesiastical patronage of the national government.
Also, as a Supreme Court Justice - in a decision he said...
1844, Vidal v. Girard's Executors, 43 U.S. 126,132.
Lawyers speaking for the City of Philadelphia, which opposed the establishment of a Deist school by a Frenchman named Stephen Girard, argued:
The plan of education proposed is anti-Christian, and therefore repugnant to the law....The purest principles of morality are to be taught. Where are they found? Whoever searches for them must go to the source from which a Christian man derives his faith -- the Bible...There is an obligation to teach what the Bible alone can teach, viz. a pure system of morality...
Both in the Old and New Testaments [religious instruction's] importance is recognized. In the Old it is said, 'Thou shalt diligently teach them to thy children,' and the New, 'Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not...' No fault can be found with Girard for wishing a marble college to bear his name forever, but it is not valuable unless it has a fragrance of Christianity about it.
The United States Supreme Court agreed, and in a unanimous opinion read by Justice Joseph Story ruled as follows:
Christianity...is not to be maliciously and openly reviled and blasphemed against, to the annoyance of believers or the injury of the public...It is unnecessary for us, however, to consider the establishment of a school or college, for the propagation of...Deism, or any other form of infidelity.
Such a case is not to be presumed to exist in a Christian country...Why may not laymen instruct in the general principles of Christianity as well as ecclesiastics...
And we cannot overlook the blessings, which such [lay] men by their conduct, as well as their instructions, may, nay must, impart to their youthful pupils. Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as a divine revelation in the [school] -- its general precepts expounded, its evidences explained and its glorious principles of morality inculcated?...
Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?
It is also said, and truly, that the Christian religion is a part of the common law of Pennsylvania...
Source: One Nation Under God, America's Christian Heritage
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