A couple of posts back, I seem to have struck a nerve with the funny little story about the father/daughter meeting of minds. One of the comments that followed that posting decided to use the Founding Fathers of our country as support his point of view. In particular, this person fell upon James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, to support his point of view. Why don’t we let James Madison speak for himself? His written words should suffice, since he’s no longer with us to verbally defend his name.
From his “Religious Freedom, A Memorial and Remonstrance,” given during the 1785 session of the General Assembly of the State of Virginia:
“It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage . . . before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.
Because the policy of the bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who ought to enjoy this precious gift, ought to be, that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind. Compare the number of those who have as yet received it, with the number still remaining under the dominions of false religions, and how small is the former! Does the policy of the bill tend to lessen the disproportion? No; it at once discourages those who are strangers to the light of Truth, from coming into the regions of it . . .
Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offense against God, not against man: To God, therefore, not to man, must an account of it be rendered.
Earnestly praying, as we are in duty bound, that the Supreme Lawgiver of the Universe by illuminating those to whom it is addressed, may, on the one hand, turn their councils from every act which would affront His holy prerogative, or violate the trust committed to them; and, on the other, guide them into every measure which may be worthy of His blessing.”
James Madison also wrote, regarding the future of America:
“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to government ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.“
(Bold and italicized emphasis added by me.) It seems to me that James Madison, while speaking against establishment of religion by law, still managed to convey a missionary heart. A heart that firmly believed in God and His commandments, but believed that each man must come to know God of his own free will. Be that as it may, Madison still believed that the scriptures, particularly the Ten Commandments were the rule by which we should measure and sustain ourselves.
I wonder what James Madison would think about the Ten Commandments being routinely ripped from the walls of courthouses and town squares throughout the country in our “enlightened” age? I, personally, think it would break his heart.