GLEN COVE, NY — Revolutionaries and totalitarians
always try to erase the people’s
link to the past. Hitler discontinued the teaching of Latin in the
German schools. Stalin renamed the second largest city in Russia because
it was named for Saint Peter. Henry VIII despoiled the English churches
of their relics, including the incorrupt bodies of saints, and Cromwell
whitewashed over all the murals in the churches. During the Spanish
Civil War, the communists destroyed the body of Saint Louis Bertrand,
which had been miraculously uncorrupted after over 350 years. The French
were particularly malicious in their determination to erase all public
signs that France is a Catholic country. It is still illegal in France
for civil servants to wear small crosses on chains around their necks
In recent years, the youth of America have been bombarded with lies
designed to deprive them of true knowledge of our country’s past.
Most Americans today falsely believe that the Constitution says that
there shall be separation of church and state. Few realize that the
prohibitions on such things as school prayer only came about recently
and that religion used to be an important part of public life. A replacement
of history by politically correct propaganda is made easier by our
dismal system of education. Ignorance and stupidity are no longer bars
to a college education, and few college graduates can say 50 intelligent
words about the history of religion in America. We need to correct
The United States were created out of 13 very different colonies.
The largest of these, Virginia, was the most important in the Southern
region, a heavily Protestant region that was also home to significant
and influential pockets of Catholicism and Judaism. The new state with
the largest non-slave population — Massachusetts — was the most important
in the four New England states. Three of these states had anti-Catholic
laws, and two had established state churches and legal systems quite
hostile to all other churches, even the Church of England. Between
New England and Virginia, the Middle Atlantic states were home to many
different denominations of Protestants, as well as Catholics, Quakers,
and Jews. One of these states was founded by Catholics and another
Part of the genius of our Constitution is that it was able to accommodate
these diverse states and religions. The Bill of Rights forbade Congress
to get involved. Congress could not abolish the government churches
of Massachusetts and Connecticut, or tell any state how many churches
it might recognize. Above all, Congress could not chose a national
church or group of national churches.
Early in our history, the Supreme Court held that Pennsylvania could
not champion atheism, but the Court allowed considerable room to refrain
from promoting Christianity. Later, the Mormons practiced polygamy
in Utah and claimed a religious right to do so. The Court rejected
this claim several times. The Court often characterized America as
Christian, although in context this was never understood to exclude
Judaism. Federal money supported a Catholic hospital in the District
of Columbia, and Indian Tribal money went to religious schools, all
with the approval of the Supreme Court.
In 1947, the Supreme Court changed everything. In effect, the Court
re-wrote the Constitution to forbid not only any state help to a particular
religion or group of religions, but all state action that preferred
religion to irreligion. This ruling gradually led to a prohibition
on prayer and the Bible in public schools and to self-corruption by
religious colleges to keep federal aid.
We need to make sure that future generations know the whole true
story. We must not shy away from teaching them sensitive subjects such
as New England intolerance in the early days of the Republic, the split
in many churches over slavery, the Pope’s efforts to end the
War Between the States, Mormon and Hawaiian polygamy, Supreme Court-imposed
communist control of Russian Orthodox churches in America, religious
prejudice, and the illegitimate role of the Court in banishing religion
from so many public places.
The Confederate Lawyer column is copyright © 2009
by Charles G. Mills and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, www.fgfBooks.com.
All rights reserved.
Charles G. Mills is the Judge Advocate or general counsel for the
New York State American Legion. He has forty years of experience in
many trial and appellate courts and has published several articles
about the law.
See his biographical sketch and additional columns here.
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