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Who said …

“I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.”If you answer-ed Roger Baldwin, founder of the ACLU, give yourself a gold (or perhaps a red) star. With that underpinning from its founder, is it any wonder that the ACLU has filed lawsuits to remove military chaplains from our armed forces, halt the singing of Christmas carols in public facilities, deny tax-exempt status for churches, remove “In God We Trust” from our coins, and remove the word God from the Pledge of Allegiance? Predicated upon its position in hundreds of lawsuits, if the ACLU had been in existence in 1776 it’s doubtful the Declaration of Independence would have contained the words “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” I suspect the following would also have been stricken from that document, “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to … assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.” While purely speculative, these are other examples of our national legacy that would have outraged the ACLU and spurred lawsuits:n The Bible located in cornerstone of the Washington Monument.n The prayers inscribed on the twelfth and twentieth and twenty-fourth landings of that monument.n The cap on the east side of the obelisk bearing the words “Laus Deo” (“Praise God”).n The words located in the interior dome of the Jefferson Memorial, “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”n Three of the four panels inside the dome of the Jefferson Memorial that make references to God. (Note: the section completed in 2000 has no references to God – interesting!)n These words from the Gettysburg Address inscribed into the Lincoln Memorial, “We are highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom…”n The 14 references to God that Lincoln made during his second inaugural address that is also inscribed into the Lincoln Memorial.n The image of the Ten Commandments displayed across the floor of the National Archives Building. n In the Capitol rotunda there would be no depiction of the pilgrims embarking from Delft Haven with William Brewster holding a Bible, nor would a crucifix been included in the painting of De Soto as he discovered the Mississippi. There would also be no Apotheosis of Washington ascending into heaven, and most certainly the painting “Religion,” also located in the rotunda, would never have passed the ACLU’s Argus eye.n In the House wing of the Capitol the words, “America, God shed his grace on thee,” and “In God We Trust” would never have been etched into its walls.n At the east entrance of the Capitol, the words “Annuit coeptis” “God has favored our undertakings” also would not have been inscribed.n Moses holding the Ten Commandments is sculpted over the east portico of the Supreme Court Building, the depiction of Moses and the commandments in the actual courtroom along with the commandments engraved over the chair of chief justice and on the bronze doors of the Supreme Court.n There would be no statue of Mohammed or of Charlemagne holding a cross in those august chambers, and of course, each Supreme Court session would not begin with “God save the United States and this honorable court.”n The non-attributed sayings running along the ceiling of the Library of Congress: “Nature is the art of God,” and “Ignorance is the curse of God, Knowledge the wing where with we fly to heaven” would also be stricken.n In the viewing area of the Library of Congress lies a plaque that reads, “One God, one law, one element, and one far off divine event to which the whole creation moves.”n A copy of the Gutenberg Bible would not be displayed in the Thomas Jefferson Building.The only reference to separation between church and state in the Constitution is written into the First Amendment, it states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; (the establishment clause) or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Those familiar with the Federalist Papers understand that the Founding Fathers never envisioned a wall between God and state. They wanted one between religion and government. There is a difference!The separation of church and state is essential to our republic, but optional school prayer, supplications before sporting events and the words “one nation under God” do not constitute a theocracy. The Founding Fathers predicated our form of government on the belief that our rights come from an authority higher than man, which is why no government can take them away.The continuing debate over the “establishment clause” is good for America and we must remain mindful that the founders wanted a secular nation. However, the ACLU is attempting to foist an interpretation of the Constitution not imagined by Franklin, Jefferson, and Madison.Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion.Butch Mazzuca, a local Realtor and ski instructor, writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at bmazz68@earthlink.net


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