RE: Freedom From Religious Group Objects To Prayer At County Commission Meetings
"Attorney Elliott said, "I remind Hamilton County commissioners that the U.S. was the first nation to adopt a secular constitution, investing sovereignty in We the People, not a divine entity. Significantly, there was no prayer during the Constitutional Convention."
From the Declaration of Independence (where Attorney Elliot got 'We The People'):
"The separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."
"We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world."
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence."
From Benjamin Franklin (arguably, the First American): "I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service."
It should be noted that without exception, the framers were Christian or, at the very least, deists (generally, deists believe in a single god who set the universe on its course and then stepped back to watch; some deists believe their deity is the same God of Judeo-Christian tradition, some do not).
There were no Jews or Muslims, no Hindus or atheists, and only two Roman Catholics. There were members of more than a half-dozen sects of the Protestant side of Christianity, though.
Now, the Presidential oath - set out in the U.S. Constitution - states: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
It was George Washington, the father of our country, who verbally added: "so help me God" at the end.
Attorney Elliott and crew conveniently omit these facts in their feeble attempt to separate 'religion' from this country's founding; which was based upon unalienable rights granted not by a secular government - but by the Creator.
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It surprises me that the very people who object to prayer at local and state government meetings--and everywhere else these days--seem totally unaware that the U.S. Office of the Chaplain of the House of Representatives, founded in 1789, opens every session of the U.S. House with prayer--which today is also posted online for the public to view.
Proceed to the U.S. Office of the Senate site and you will find the history of the Senate Chaplains, a position first established on April 6, 1789. The chaplains in both houses occupy federal buildings and perform other religious services as well.
In fact, the inclusion of a prayer before the opening of each session of both the House and the Senate, traces its origins back to the days of the Continental Congress, and the official recommendation of Benjamin Franklin, June 28, 1787: "“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel . . . I therefore beg leave to move— that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.”
Subsequently, the office of the Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives was established via Article 8, Section II, of the U.S. Constitution: "The House of Representatives shall chuse their speaker and other officers." The fact that the chaplains were chosen for the positions in both the House and Senate indicate that our founding fathers saw a place for religion and for prayer within our own federal government from it's creation.
"The election of the Rev. William Linn as chaplain of the House on May 1, 1789, continued the tradition established by the Continental Congresses of each day's proceedings opening with a prayer by a chaplain. The early chaplains alternated duties with their Senate counterparts on a weekly basis. The two conducted Sunday services for the Washington community in the House Chamber every other week. Since the election of Rev. Linn in 1789, the House has been served by chaplains of various religious denominations, including Baptist (7), Christian (1), Congregationalist (2), Disciples of Christ (1), Episcopalian (4), Lutheran (1), Methodist (16), Presbyterian (15), Roman Catholic (1), Unitarian (2), and Universalist (1). In addition to opening proceedings with prayer, the chaplain provides pastoral counseling to the House community, coordinates the scheduling of guest chaplains, and arranges memorial services for the House and its staff. In the past, chaplains have performed marriage and funeral ceremonies for House members."
Proceed to the U.S. Senate page and you will find: "When the Senate first convened in New York City on April 6, 1789, one of its first orders of business was to appoint a committee to recommend a candidate for chaplain. On April 25, the Senate elected the Right Reverend Samuel Provoost, Episcopal Bishop of New York, as its first chaplain. Since that time, the Senate has been served by chaplains of various religious denominations, including Episcopalians (19), Methodists (17), Presbyterians (14), Baptists (6), Unitarians (2), Congregationalists (1), Lutherans (1), Roman Catholic (1), and Seventh-day Adventist (1). The Senate has also appointed guest chaplains representative of all the world's major religious faiths."
I would suggest that those who continue their ongoing childish arguments against religion and open prayer take the time to educate themselves as to the history of this nation and what our founding farthers actually intended: To prohibit the founding of a state-mandated church...and nothing more.
A little education would go a long way for those who practice U.S. religious revisionist history.