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Whatever happened to “freedom of religion”? According to the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), it does not exist.
The latest anti-God tyranny concerns a Twitter post by Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Here it is. Get ready. It’s ominous. It’s devastating: “Philippians 4:13.”
That’s it. Gov. Walker didn’t even cite the content of the verse which is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
The FFRF was so outraged by this free expression of religion that the group sent a letter to Gov. Walker claiming that the tweet was a “misuse of gubernatorial and state of Wisconsin imprimatur.”
How is this possible? It doesn’t matter to these atheists. It’s really all about publicity and fundraising. They know that their protestations don’t carry any moral, constitutional, or historical weight.
First, the Preamble to the Wisconsin Constitution states unequivocally that there is a God and it is the goal of the people to secure the blessings of freedom that come from God:
We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, form a more perfect government, insure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare, do establish this constitution.
If those freedoms don’t come from God, then they are the creation either of the individual, which could result in anarchy, every person doing what he or she believes is right, or of the State where they can defined and redefined at will.
If the people of Wisconsin are grateful to Almighty God, it seems to be very obvious that Gov. Walker was actually in full compliance with the Constitution since his tweet was an expression of gratitude.
Under the “Freedom of Religion” provision, there is “the right of every person to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of conscience,” and such a right “shall never be infringed.” Notice that it does not say, “except when a person becomes an elected official.”
Second, the Constitution of the United States guarantees that “Congress shall make no law” that would “prohibit the free exercise” of religion. In addition, the First Amendment also guarantees the freedom of speech.
The letter that was sent to Gov. Walker was signed by FFRF co-presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker. Here’s a portion of what they wrote: “As governor, you took an oath of office to uphold the entirely godless and secular United States Constitution.” How absolutely, profoundly ignorant.
Third, the United States Constitution states that it was completed on “the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth.” The use of “Lord” is a reference to Jesus Christ, the same person cited in the verse that Gov. Walker tweeted. “The Twelfth” is a reference to the Declaration of Independence that references God as the “Creator” and “Supreme Judge of the world.”
So far, Gov. Walker is on solid ground, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation is trying to tread constitutional water while holding a two-ton anchor.
Fourth, there are so many historical examples of governors expressing their religious views publicly that it would take a book to list all of them. Here is a portion of what Samuel Adams, Governor of Massachusetts and signer of the Declaration of Independence, included in a 1795 Thanksgiving proclamation:
I have thought fit, according to the ancient and laudable Practice of our renowned Ancestors, to appoint a day of Public Thanksgiving to God, for the great benefits which He has been pleased to bestow upon us, in the Year past. And I do by the advice and consent of the Council, appoint THURSDAY, the Nineteenth day of November next, to be observed as a DAY of PUBLIC THANKSGIVING and PRAISE throughout this Commonwealth: Calling upon the Ministers of the Gospel of all Denominations, with their respective Congregations to assemble on that Day, to offer to God, their unfeigned [sic] Gratitude, for his great Goodness to the People of the United States in general, and of this Commonwealth in particular.
The second is a Thanksgiving proclamation from 1791 under the signature of John Hancock, also a signer of the Declaration of Independence and governor of Massachusetts:
I HAVE therefore thought fit to appoint, and by the advice and consent of the Council, do hereby accordingly appoint, THURSDAY, the seventeenth of November next, to be observed as a Day of Public THANKSGIVING and PRAISE, throughout this Commonwealth:—Hereby calling upon Ministers and People of every denomination, to assemble on the said Day—and in the name of the Great Mediator, devoutly and sincerely offer to Almighty God, the gratitude of our Hearts, for all his goodness towards us; more especially in that HE has been pleased to continue to us so a great a measure of Health—to cause the Earth plentifully to yield her increase, so that we are supplied with the Necessaries, and the Comforts of Life—to prosper our Merchandise and Fishery—And above all, not only to continue to us the enjoyment of our civil Rights and Liberties; but the great and most important Blessing, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Notice the reference to “Jesus Christ,” the subject of Philippians 4:13.
Governor Walker is in good constitutional and historical company, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation doesn’t have a constitutional leg to stand on.