Wall is needed to protect the Constitution

Published 9:36 am Thursday, September 15, 2016

We must put the Constitution over the Bible when governing the country, preserve our right to freely practice (or not practice) the religion of our choice, safeguard our democracy, and protect our freedoms, there must be a wall (a YUUGE Wall already paid for by the blood of our Founding Fathers) separating church from state.

This nation was founded by devoutly religious people, but they were fleeing from theocratic oppression that denied them the right to worship as they saw fit.

Knowing the history of our nation better than most people do today, the Founding Fathers wanted the Constitution to ensure the religious freedom of every individual, so they made it explicit that the government of the United States would take no action to restrict religious freedom and take no action to promote one religion over another.

Once the state takes sides in religious matters, it’s only a matter of time before that religion becomes sanctioned as the one true religion of the state. From there, it’s only a matter of time before the president and congress must all belong to that religion. Or, as is most often the case, a single individual is declared both the chief religious leader of the nation and absolute dictator of the nation because he (or she) has been appointed by God.

Since Jerry Falwell and his ilk in the ‘80s and conservative lawmakers, a person’s religious beliefs in this nation take precedence over the Constitution’s first amendment rights (but not the second amendment).

They put God’s law above man’s law. Most people would agree that God’s law is more important than man’s law, but even Jesus acknowledged that you render under Caesar that which is Caesar’s.

In other words, if you’re a part of the state, you must adhere to the rules of the state.

It’s not okay to interpret the Bible and act accordingly if you expect to also be a part of the state. If you claim to be a citizen of the United States, you must obey the laws of the United States. Sometimes this might conflict with how you interpret God’s law, but the New Testament, which I thought superseded the Old Testament for Christians, states that you should obey the laws of the state.

Carrying that just a little further, you either obey the law or seek to change the law. Thomas Jefferson felt that if the law was too out of step with popular belief, revolution was the logical step.

I thought the reason Martin Luther and the Protestants broke with the church was because they believed icons were wrong. I thought Protestantism was in part a protest against Catholic iconography based, ironically, upon the second of the Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” — Exodus 20:4

I thought that God’s word was supposed to reside in the heart and soul of an individual, not on the courthouse lawn like a golden bull in the desert.

Sorry about that. I’ve listened and considered their arguments and I utterly reject them. I do not want these people dictating to me how to live, how to think, and how to pray. I’m perfectly capable of making these decisions for my self. I hope everyone in the country will realize that their religious freedom is contingent upon keeping that wall between church and state up. When it crumbles, so, too, does our democratic nation and our freedoms.


Keith Hoggard is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at keith.hoggard@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7206.