Happy Godless Constitution Dayby Don Lacey on Sep. 17, 2013, under Atheism, AZ Politics, Critical Thinking, Education, Freethought, Government, History, Responsible Government, Separation of Church & State, Supreme Court
This is a good day to celebrate our godless constitution! In spite of the recent disinformation from talk show hosts and companies like Hobby Lobby, the founding document of the country was not based on Christian principles. In fact, the founding document is completely godless. An advertisement put out by the Freedom From Religion Foundation expressing their view on the Constitution through quotes of Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison can be found HERE. This day was established as an official holiday way back in 2004 by Senator Robert Byrd. People don’t get off work but the schools receiving any kind of federal funding are mandated to take a moment to focus in some manner on the importance of the country’s founding document. The particulars of that “moment” aren’t specified, just that it happen on this day. If you’d like to make your own “moment” of remembrance, you can take the quiz located HERE. According to the posted answer to one of the quiz questions, the Constitution contains 4,543 words and takes a half hour to read. There are a few people I know that carry a pocket sized version with them. The constitution was not perfect and has been successfully amended 27 times. It is the longest lasting written constitution in the world.
One thing that you’ll not find in the Constitution or any of its amendments is God, or creator, or Jesus. You’ll only find the word “lord” one time and it is in the signatory section where it is not used as a religious reference, “Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven.” The framers, though many were spiritual, decided that the new government should not involve itself in matters of religion. There is one mention of religion and it is a negative one. The Constitution, in Article 6, specifically bars any religious test as a qualifier to hold “any office or public trust under the United States.” In 1997 in the case of Silverman v. Campbell, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution requiring an oath to God for employment in the public sector violated Article 6 of the federal constitution. While seven states still have provisions requiring religious belief for public trusts, they are not enforced due to the realization that any challenge of those provisions will succeed due to precedent and the application of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.