Evans Experientialism             Evans Experientialism

The Academy Library

The Athenaeum Library

Moore's Metaphysics
The Poetry & Writings of Richard Sansom  
Published by The British Sansom Society
          Religion and the Constitution

Religion and the Constitution

With the increasing lead that Mike Huckabee enjoys in the Republican primaries, many ascribe this to his religious credentials as an ex-Baptist minister and his strong positions on religion. Regardless of his sincerity in these endeavors we, as the voting public must answer the question: Do we want an outspoken religious minister of a specific faith as our President? While the avowed percentage of believers in our nation is large we cannot forget that within that large figure are contained hundreds of separate and often quite disparate beliefs regarding the meaning of religion and whose God may or may not be represented in Huckabee’s pronouncements. We are faced, again, with the question as to the degree of religion that is contained in our Constitution and the various principles on which it was founded. History informs us, should we take the time and effort to consult it, that the founding authors of the Constitution made it explicitly clear, by the omission of “God,” “creator,” Jesus,” and any other significant figure in religious history in that document, religion plays no commanding role . This was not an oversight, but a specific and targeted admission by omission that this nation is to be founded on secular standards that, while acknowledging the existence of religion, is not bound by the tenets of any particular faith and must not be governed by any such tenets. The secular nature of the document is evidence that we are a nation of law that is devoid of an appeal to any deity no matter its origin or preponderance in our society. One would think that such a secular guide to governance would be welcomed by all faiths, since it focuses on the affairs of people in terms of equity, redress, freedoms and rights, none of which are beholden to the vagaries that could arise due to the differences among faiths. This nation, as opposed to those of theocratic governments, gives the rule of law to enlightened credos that have evolved over time to treat all people with equal consideration and fairness in our laws and courts, and not to the whims that arise from the confusions among the prescriptions and proscriptions based on religions dogma. This feature is a blessing to an enlightened and civilized community since it appeals to the basic human instincts of fairness and justice that does not denigrate religion, but sets it aside from disagreements that can best be best settled by a secular administration of law.

Those who wish to introduce God into governance must do so with a specific “God,” – not a generic one. Therefore that specific God will necessarily, in all occasions, be the final arbiter in cases of law, legislation and the mores of our society. This is theocracy, and is blatantly contrary to the intention and words of our Constitution. Those who point to the Declaration of Independence, which refers to our unalienable rights endowed by our “creator,” seem to ignore that this document, the codification of our intentions to break with King George III of England, was not one of governance, but one of rebellion and revolution.

We should rejoice in the purely secular nature of our Constitution, since it raises us far above those nations whose order of government resides in the often ambiguous and ancient rules and obligations above the rule of objective law – law that is determined and changed according to a consensus of the people and not some unseen, transcendent hand.