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A more perfect union

Gary Wingo

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, & the pursuit of happiness.”– “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union…& secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves & our posterity…”– “Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…”My heart soared as I read these excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. As I read on, I found something curious. In all of these founding documents, no mention of “Separation of Church and State” can be found. However, you will find that the intention concerning religion and government is to keep any entity from interfering with the practice of faith, allowing people to freely express their beliefs and speech! The so-called issue of Separation of Church and State actually comes from a Danbury Baptist minister writing in 1801 to Thomas Jefferson sharing his concerns that the government might interfere with religious freedom. Why do people reference these magnificent documents as their source for separation of church and state when no reference of it exists?What is the “State” anyway? In America, the state is not a monarchy or a dictatorship, nor is it a theocracy. The “State” is the U.S.A.-you and me! “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union…” Those politicians WE elected are not the government, only part of the governing body of our country. We are the government and we rule by majority vote.These awesome documents were thoughtfully written by our forefathers to form a democratic republic. Funny how those two words were meant to work together for the benefit of all Americans. They were designed for freedom. Freedom just as Jesus Christ said in the Bible: “You will know the truth & the truth will set you free.” John 8:32. Between 94 and 96% of Americans believe in God, a Creator who gave us the gift of choice. We can choose how and what to believe; we all have “Inalienable right endowed by our Creator” to be free to live, love, work, recreate, serve, and worship! That’s the “State”: we the people are the government, we the people are free, and we the people stand for freedom. Therefore, the government and the people, are proponents for belief in God!My grandparents emigrated from Italy in 1906. They saw America as a beacon, a light shining to the world for hope, freedom, and a chance to make a fresh start. Our founding fathers didn’t conjure up that ideal. Endowed by their Creator, infused in their very souls were the Scriptural principles that all people were created equal and should be free. America stands as an example for the Biblical precepts that serve as a foundation for the mightiest nation that ever existed! My grandparents saw the truth and bestowed on their children and grandchildren that faith, life, liberty, and democracy go hand in hand. We’re all imperfect; and for sure, religion has been used to hurt and manipulate people. Why not turn to the perfect One from whom our founding fathers received their understanding of freedom? Jesus Christ exuded perfect grace, perfect truth, and perfect love. The Bible speaks of God’s Son almost 700 years before He was even born: “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, & the GOVERNMENT will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government & peace there will be no end.” Isaiah 9:6-7a.We must not revise the Constitution of our great nation to say “Freedom FROM Religion”, and we must stand up for the truth. Faith in God, courage, and the willingness to stand for freedom helped create the greatest nation on earth. Let’s stop fighting one another today, and stand together with that same faith and courage the signers of the Declaration of Independence had, and let no one squelch our beliefs. It’s time to rise up and stand firm against those who would rob us of our freedom. In a fresh, new way, let’s live the truth of the foundation on which we were created, that we “…are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” These are God-given rights, protected and strengthened by the government of this nation the United States of America you and me.Gary Wingo leads the Seekers Fellowship, a gathering meeting at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards, 6:30 pm on Sundays.Vail, Colorado


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