Is the Constitution a religious document?

The Constitution of the United States does not even mention God, not even by the term "Creator."  Indeed, Article VI expressly forbids consideration of religious affiliation as a requirement for public office.  It says, "[N]o religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."  Therefore, the Constitution cannot be considered religious in nature, can it?

A closer look reveals a different conclusion.  The Framers took great care to avoid creating a sectarian document, which is what Article VI prohibits.  Article VI, instead of inhibiting religious freedom, promotes it by ensuring that anyone of any religion, or even no religion, can hold office.  Article VI, at the time, applied only to the federal government.  Individual state constitutions did, in fact, place requirements limiting public office to members of specific denominations – for example, Protestants.  However, the First Amendment clearly prohibits that same federal government – repeat: federal – from infringing on religious liberty.

So the Constitution is neutral regarding religious affiliation but not neutral as regards religious belief.  Let's look deeper into that.

The religious nature of the Constitution is both far more subtle and far more pervasive than is claimed by those who regard the document as agnostic.  This becomes evident both in its history and in its structure.

Historically, the Constitution is preceded by the Declaration of Independence, the document that unambiguously founded the United States as a sovereign, autonomous nation.  By its statement that our rights are authored by our Creator, the nascent government affirmed that God, not the government, is the ultimate moral authority.

Preceding that, the Mayflower Compact establishes a formal system of government in the New World of North America.  It begins with the words, "In the name of God, Amen."  It also includes the words, "Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith..."  It says, "[I]n the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together into a civil body politic..."  It is dated, in the year of our Lord, 1620.

The history is clear.  What about the Constitution itself?

The Constitution is centered on the idea that man is inherently imperfect, even wicked.  That idea is biblical, and it contradicts many of the more liberal philosophies of its era and since.  Genesis 8:21 states, "[T]he inclination of man's heart is evil from his youth."  

Many liberals find this passage abhorrent.  Why, what about the innocent little baby?  What evil has that child done?  Unless the discussion is about abortion, this is the so-called progressive position.

Others will state that the human soul is neutral, a blank slate upon which will be written the influences of society and government, and that therefore a good government, if it establishes a good society, will result in a utopian state, including a state of mind, in which everyone will joyfully work together for the common good.  Those who believe that recognize no inherent evil in man and therefore find almost every sexual perversion to be normal, indeed even praiseworthy.   Those who say otherwise must be silenced.

Fortunately, the Framers took their cues instead from the Bible and instituted a limited central government, structured with checks and balances, to restrain the inherently evil impulses of men, even of great statesmen.  It had already been noticed by the Framers that government, because of the innately evil nature of man, seeks to continually expand its power, and that if left unrestrained, it will eventually become authoritarian, totalitarian, and oppressive.

Unfortunately, not even the wisdom of the Framers was sufficient.  Almost from the moment the Constitution was ratified, the forces of evil embarked on a campaign to destroy it.  That campaign continues to this day, which is why, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Occasionally the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants."

Not until the final day will the inherent nature of man be freed from its intractable addiction to evil.  On that day, a perfect government will be established, not by man, but by God.

Until then, we are left with the next best thing, the United States Constitution, which gives us a republic, if we can keep it.

The Constitution of the United States does not even mention God, not even by the term "Creator."  Indeed, Article VI expressly forbids consideration of religious affiliation as a requirement for public office.  It says, "[N]o religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."  Therefore, the Constitution cannot be considered religious in nature, can it?

A closer look reveals a different conclusion.  The Framers took great care to avoid creating a sectarian document, which is what Article VI prohibits.  Article VI, instead of inhibiting religious freedom, promotes it by ensuring that anyone of any religion, or even no religion, can hold office.  Article VI, at the time, applied only to the federal government.  Individual state constitutions did, in fact, place requirements limiting public office to members of specific denominations – for example, Protestants.  However, the First Amendment clearly prohibits that same federal government – repeat: federal – from infringing on religious liberty.

So the Constitution is neutral regarding religious affiliation but not neutral as regards religious belief.  Let's look deeper into that.

The religious nature of the Constitution is both far more subtle and far more pervasive than is claimed by those who regard the document as agnostic.  This becomes evident both in its history and in its structure.

Historically, the Constitution is preceded by the Declaration of Independence, the document that unambiguously founded the United States as a sovereign, autonomous nation.  By its statement that our rights are authored by our Creator, the nascent government affirmed that God, not the government, is the ultimate moral authority.

Preceding that, the Mayflower Compact establishes a formal system of government in the New World of North America.  It begins with the words, "In the name of God, Amen."  It also includes the words, "Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith..."  It says, "[I]n the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together into a civil body politic..."  It is dated, in the year of our Lord, 1620.

The history is clear.  What about the Constitution itself?

The Constitution is centered on the idea that man is inherently imperfect, even wicked.  That idea is biblical, and it contradicts many of the more liberal philosophies of its era and since.  Genesis 8:21 states, "[T]he inclination of man's heart is evil from his youth."  

Many liberals find this passage abhorrent.  Why, what about the innocent little baby?  What evil has that child done?  Unless the discussion is about abortion, this is the so-called progressive position.

Others will state that the human soul is neutral, a blank slate upon which will be written the influences of society and government, and that therefore a good government, if it establishes a good society, will result in a utopian state, including a state of mind, in which everyone will joyfully work together for the common good.  Those who believe that recognize no inherent evil in man and therefore find almost every sexual perversion to be normal, indeed even praiseworthy.   Those who say otherwise must be silenced.

Fortunately, the Framers took their cues instead from the Bible and instituted a limited central government, structured with checks and balances, to restrain the inherently evil impulses of men, even of great statesmen.  It had already been noticed by the Framers that government, because of the innately evil nature of man, seeks to continually expand its power, and that if left unrestrained, it will eventually become authoritarian, totalitarian, and oppressive.

Unfortunately, not even the wisdom of the Framers was sufficient.  Almost from the moment the Constitution was ratified, the forces of evil embarked on a campaign to destroy it.  That campaign continues to this day, which is why, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Occasionally the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants."

Not until the final day will the inherent nature of man be freed from its intractable addiction to evil.  On that day, a perfect government will be established, not by man, but by God.

Until then, we are left with the next best thing, the United States Constitution, which gives us a republic, if we can keep it.

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