To the Editor:
The guest meditation “Religion vs. American Law” by David Black in the Jan. 2 edition’s Faith and Values section needs a rebuttal. As a “far right individual,” I would say that Black’s commentary that my position is somehow wrong needs clarification.
While many declare separation of church and state, Thomas Jefferson’s discussion with the Danbury Baptists in 1806 is clear. Jefferson declared the state would be restricted from manipulating the activities of the church. Today we have separation between church and state when churches take absolute positions. Uncompromising biblical responses are forbidden because biblical truth defines sin; it does not excuse it.
America was founded on biblical principles. Our three branches of government are based on Isaiah 33:22. Churches are tax-exempt because of Ezra 7:24. A speedy trial finds biblical support from Ecclesiastes 8:11. No need for founding document writers to use scriptural words; biblical concepts were understood as the Holy Writ was the main textbook for learning to read. Why not display the Ten Commandments? History should not be sanitized or expunged. Explain it. Don’t delete it.
In 1925, Alice Baldwin wrote a book entitled The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution. She read nearly 5,000 sermons preached prior to the Revolution. Her conclusion was that every one of the 26 statements in the Declaration of Independence had been preached from New England pulpits previous to 1762. Who is correct—Baldwin’s dissertational thesis or opinions without facts?
In 1798 while serving as President, John Adams said, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Since David Black mentions Blackstone, all who studied law in America were versed in his writings. “As man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker’s will. This will of the Maker is called the law of nature … dictated by God himself, [it] is of course, superior in obligation to all other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, at all times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.” Where have we heard the words “laws of nature and of Nature’s God”? They are found in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.
One final quote: “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly implore his protection and favors.” President George Washington in 1789 was speaking about his own country, the United States of America. As a “far right” individual who is also a pastor, I stand with facts, not opinions.
By the way, for those who remember, what was the purpose of Blue Laws?
Travis E. Witt, Pastor
Gilboa Christian Church