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I.5 Deism Is Not Subject to the Separation of Church and State

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Applying the
First Amendment

The First Amendment forbids Congress from enacting any “law respecting an establishment of religion,” but Deism is not an establishment of religion. A religious establishment is a faith tradition that professes belief in doctrines that transcend human reason. The First Amendment rightly separates these doctrines from our nation’s public life, but it does not separate religious truths that are agreeable to reason.

When the people of this country first entered into union, they did not become members of any establishment of religion. When they publicly professed the principles of our founding, they did not make an act of faith. The founding truths of the United States are not private religious doctrines, but the reasoned conclusions of the mind.

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The Error of the
Supreme Court

The First Amendment to the Constitution does not ban the founding truths of the United States, yet we are no longer permitted to profess, teach, or defend these truths in public.

The Supreme Court has said that public law in the United States must remain neutral between theism and atheism, but this is a serious error. The people cannot be compelled to take a neutral stance toward the founding truths of their own country.

Our nation rests on a body of religious truth that we have declared to be evident to reason. The Constitution does not ban these truths. Why would the Constitution suppress the public profession of the truths that we announced to the world in the Declaration of Independence?

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Professing the
Founding Truths

We must be free to profess, teach, and defend the founding truths of our own country, including, of course, those truths that speak of God and the moral order. These are not the private possession of any faith. They are not the supernatural doctrines of any establishment of religion.

Whatever religious truths are known to the people prior to the establishment of government belong to them by right of nature. The republic, in fact, is founded on these truths. We have the right to join together in the common profession of the theological, moral, and political principles that are the basis of our union. We should be free to profess them in our public life, free teach them in our public schools, and free join them to our public laws. Their present suppression is tyrannical.

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American Deist © 2012 ‒ 2013 Edward J. Furton
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