The Constitution Alone

In middle school & high school, I was taught the U.S. Constitution. We memorized the Preamble, learned the Bill of Rights, and so on. We were taught the Constitution, and very little “commentary” was shared with us.

In other words, we took the Constitution at face value, letting it say what it says without mucking it up with our own ideas or those of the teachers’.

In Christianity, regarding the Bible, we have the doctrine of sola Scriptura, a beautiful principle that states the Bible alone defines for us matters of faith, practice, morals, etc, and that it is authoritative in everything it says.

What if the same principle was applied to the Constitution regarding American politics?

It would certainly change the way many viewed the First Ammendment, for there would be no room for, “So and so explains it like this,” “I believe this…” or “Judges say this…” It would mean what it says, and it will say that because that’s what the Founding Fathers wanted it to say.

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

In other words, Congress shall make no law favoring one church over another or otherwise creating a state church, and Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

That is all the Constitution says about religion. That is what the Founding Fathers wanted us to have. Notice that it does not call for a separation of church and state, but that it does prohibit a state church, which is entirely different.

This means if the President wants to stand up and call on the nation to pray, then follow it with a prayer “in Jesus’ name,” he is in no way being unconstitutional, for Congress has made no law favoring Christianity. If a President wanted to stand up and offer a Buddhist blessing or pray towards Mecca, fine. He’ll answer one day to God for it, but it is within his Constitutional rights to do so.

This means that national monuments, court buildings, and so on can display crosses, the Decalogue, biblical figures, etc., and not be unconstitutional. In displaying crosses, Congress is not making a law favoring one church over another. Likewise, if someone wanted to build a courthouse with quotes from the Koran displayed on a rock, the builders are at liberty to do so.

If Congress, however, mandated that all courthouses must display the Decalogue, then they are making a law respecting the establishment of religion. Similarly, if they banned courthouses from displaying any religious symbolism, they are not only making a law concerning religions, but they are prohibiting the free expression thereof.

These are the conclusions that must be drawn if the Constitution is to be taken literally and authoritatively.

But just as poor Bible interpretation will lead to a christ who wasn’t God or a salvation that requires being dunked under water, a poor understanding of the Constitution will lead to all sorts of stupidity.

Yes, stupidity. The Constitution says Congress cannot make laws respecting religion, so now people are misusing the courts to restrict the free exercise of religion. Perhaps the framers of the Constitution should have said, “the government shall make…” but then again they were setting up a system in which it was Congress made laws and the Supreme Court judged their constitutionality.

In other words, if Congress was to make a law banning crosses from public places, the Supreme Court should be smart enough to realize that Congress cannot make any laws concerning religions.

Seems like a simple enough system to me. But leave it to those too foolish to even recognize that God exists (Psalm 14:1; 53:1) to misinterpret and misuse the system.

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

The very first phrase of the very first Constitutional Amendment. When learning the Bill of Rights, it is the first thing taught. And it is so simple, so elementary. But it is being tread upon. Looking at the rest of the Amendment and those that follow, what could be next after the very first portion is rendered meaningless? Maybe freedom of speech? Perhaps someday this post will be illegal for it speaks out against the State, if ever so slightly. What about my right to vote? To bear arms? To peaceably assemble with others? To have a fair trial? How safe are those rights in the hands of activist judges and foolish citizens who want their way enforced upon the nation?

I have made my opinion about America known before. I am an American, but first and foremost I am a Christian. I recognize that our leaders are ordained by God and are to be obeyed and honored. I also recognize that the world system (governments, economies, etc.) are under the sway of Satan. For reasons most people don’t care to take the time to find out, he could legitimately offer all the world’s kingdoms to God Himself (Matthew 4:8,9). I know that there can only be a real Christian kingdom when Christ Himself returns and sits upon David’s thrown in Jerusalem, from there ruling the nations of the world.

So I don’t worry that the Constitution is being trampled upon, like pearls before swine. Americans will make a mockery of their Constitution just as Christians make a mockery of their Bible. It would seem human nature to corrupt, even something as simple as the First Amendment.

I realize I oversimplified certain government-related concepts. I don’t claim to be an expert. However, I do know how to read, and I am able to understand what the Constitution means based upon what it says.

2 thoughts on “The Constitution Alone”

  1. Rick, that’s the most thoughtful and down-to-earth thing I’ve read in a long time. With the passing of independence day I wonder how many people really get what the whole day is about, you know aside from beer and fireworks shows.

    I especially appreciate your closing statement (or disclaimer?) because I hear that a lot about over-simplifying and I think it’s so sad because the world has actually over-complicated things. The founding fathers indended things to be so simple. We gain independence from Mother England and we have the freedom to worship Christ on our own, without the Queen’s interference. Today, Satan has convinced the world that the intention was to wipe out religion (or at the very least keep it behind closed doors – private doors). In fact, religion is more taboo than sex to display publicly. We see pornographic images all over and yet a cross is somehow so inflamatory.

    You’re right on, Rick, and I pray the Lord will continue to use servants like you to simplify things for people who need to get past the gray muck and see His world in black and white.

  2. I’ve tried to reply to this a few times but couldn’t come up with anything… So, I’ll just say thank you for your comments, Natalie. The thought of your last paragraph humbles me each time I read it. As my friend Glen has said, sometimes we just feel so unworthy to do what we do.

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