I start today’s entry by quoting the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
“This obscure family of ours was early in the Reformation, and continued Protestants through the reign of Queen Mary, when they were sometimes in danger of trouble on account of their zeal against popery. They had got an English Bible, and to conceal and secure it, it was fastened open with tapes under and within the cover of a joint-stool. When my great-great-grandfather read it to his family, he turned up the joint-stool upon his knees, turning over the leaves then under the tapes. One of the children stood at the door to give notice if he saw the apparitor coming, who was an officer of the spiritual court. In that case the stool was turned down again upon its feet, when the Bible remained concealed under it as before. This anecdote I had from my uncle Benjamin.”
Now what was the point of this story? You see, in the time leading up to the Revolutionary War, the Church of England and the Crown were one. It was together that they ruled England with the Crown controlling many aspects of the church through financial control. These Ecclesiastical Courts and their messengers were tools of the government as were much of the clergy. The salaries of ministers were paid by the state and in doing so, many times controlled the message of the church and the lives of men by proxy.
The often misunderstood message of the principals of separation was not that religion wouldn’t control government, but that government should not control religion. In Franklin’s story, it was a matter of religious control that the common man should not read or understand what was in the Bible. That was a matter for licensed clergy. Licensed by whom? Licensed by the state of course.
Our forefathers had seen men dragged from their homes to answer charges under the name of the church and had seen possessions stripped, good names soiled and lives ruined by a government that controlled the church and required homage to the church they controlled. Never did these men require God be taken from the hearts of men, but instead they wanted their church back.
Those at Americans United for the Separation of Church and State know this. They know that holding a high school graduation in a in the assembly hall of a church because it has the largest seating capacity for the best price is in no way the same as Congress passing a law respecting or inhibiting religion. They know it, but that doesn’t matter to them because this isn’t about the separation of church and state. This is about eliminating religion from the United States.
In Cherokee County, Georgia, the school board has a standing deal since 2005 with First Baptist Church of Woodstock to use their facility for their graduation ceremonies. Their sanctuary seats 7000 and has been leased to the school system for a quarter of the cost of ($2000) than any other comparable facility in the area. The use is a purely business and giving back to the community situation for the two sides respectively.
The school board this week, after a lengthy search for an alternate facility, decided to take on Americans United for the Separation of Church and State threats and continue holding their graduation ceremony at the church as planned. This is just one of a long line of attempts to remove God from America and distort our heritage further. Only in this case, it’s just a graduation ceremony at the best place available. It’s time as conservatives we stop bending to the fear of courts, the screaming of the Godless masses and our desire to keep our hands clean. The students of Cherokee County are just one stop on the road for those that would wish to erase God from the history of America.
Benjamin Franklin and the founding fathers were interested in freeing their souls, churches and lives from government control. This story was a matter of pride for Franklin that his great, great, grandfather would risk his reputation, lively hood and even freedom in search of knowing the truth about God’s word. Franklin too gave back to his community by donating to every denomination in Philadelphia and he would be ashamed that these threats of court action are being levied in the name of the himself and the other founders.