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Archive for December, 2011

When Was Christ Born? The Bible Says September 11, 3 B.C-the Day of the Feast of Trumpets

Posted by faithandthelaw on December 22, 2011

The birth of Jesus Christ is the one of the most significant events in all of history and when we understand the truths regarding the true date of his birth it will thrill and inspire your heart.  Tradition has made December 25th the birthday of Jesus. but the Bible clearly reveals he was not born on that day. It was not until the 4th century after Christ that December 25th began to be celebrated at the day of Christ’s birth. It was the old pagan holiday celebrating the winter solstice and the birth of the sun god and celebrated when the days began to get longer.  In Rome it was the festival called Saturnalia and later the Roman Empire baptized it and began to celebrate the birth of Jesus. All biblical scholars know that Jesus was not born on December 25th. Tradition is never an accurate measurement for truth. 

God has a significant meaning in everything He does and this does not exclude the birth of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The subject of the entire bible is Jesus Christ and his first coming was prophesied first in the book of Genesis right after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.  This prophecy of the future coming of Christ became the polestar of the Old Testament. When it seemed that all was lost and the devil had succeeded in ruining Adam and Eve, God promised a coming Savior, who will redeem mankind from the penalty of sin and ultimately crush the devil into oblivion. This was a promise of hope, goodness, and salvation, as God would not leave the world helpless, but would give them His only begotten Son. What a God of love and goodness to promise this to His children who had just committed high treason against Him. God threw the glorious light of His Word right back at the serpent, as the coming redeemer would not only restore everything Adam and Eve lost in the garden, but utterly destroy the devil and all his works. This was the final death blow of the curse of God on the devil that was boldly pronounced in the garden. God heralded forth this good promise so every fallen angel, including the devil himself, would hear about His magnificent goodness and shudder about their ultimate defeat. 

Genesis 3:15 (Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible):

And enmity shall I put between thee and the  woman, and between thy seed and her seed,-

He shall crush thy head, but thou shall crush his heel. 

This is a declaration of war! This verse sets forth the fulcrum point of all history and defines the ceaseless battle that has raged since Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden. This verse is the central theme of all scriptures, as the red thread of the coming Redeemer is interwoven into every book of the Old Testament. Its message is even written in the heavens, as each night the stars proclaim the sufferings and glorious triumph of Christ.

Who is the seed of the woman? In conception the seed comes from the male, but God’s Word clearly refers to the woman’s seed here. Seed implies birth, and this verse indicates a virgin birth of a man who would crush the arch-enemy of God. This man is the Savior, the Redeemer, the Liberator, the Messiah, the Second Adam, and the Conqueror over sin and death. This man is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Satan has raging hostility toward the second Adam, for he knows that his head will be crushed by him. This is a fatal blow from which there is no recovery. Once a serpent’s head is crushed, he cannot inject his poison into the world anymore or operate his schemes and deceptions on all mankind. The devil knew that there was a genealogical Christ line that would pass through Eve, as the seed of the woman would have to be born. Later, the Word of God was more specific that this Christ line would pass through Abraham and King David. The entire Old Testament is a record of the fierce attempts of the devil to wipe out the Christ line, and prevent Jesus Christ, the seed of the woman, from ever being born. It is a record of God’s magnificent works and actions that repeatedly delivered the Christ line from extinction. Sometimes the survival of the Christ line rested on the faith of one individual like Noah, Joseph, Abraham, and Esther. Read the Old Testament with this truth in mind, and the Word of God will come alive in new and wonderful ways.

There is not enough space in this article to go into detail of the countless schemes and plots of the devil to destroy this Christ line, and God’s miraculous protection of it. The salvation and redemption of the human race depended on the preservation of the Christ line.  The devil started with the murder of Abel and was absolutely relentless to try to destroy the Seed of the woman who would utterly crush and defeat him. He was not going to go out without a vicious and violent battle where he marshaled all his evil forces to bring about the destruction of the Christ line.

O what a day his birth would be! It had been anticipated and prophesied about for about 4000 years.  How glorious it must have been when the angel of the Lord pronounced to the shepherds in the fields:

Luke 2:11-14 (NIV 1984):     

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to  you; he is Christ the Lord.                                                                                                                                       This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host  appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,                                                                                      “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace  to men on whom his favor rests.”

The question becomes when was the “Today” that the angel proclaimed his birth? The book of Revelation gives us critical information in determining the day of the birth of Jesus Christ and it is so amazingly accurate that we can pinpoint the birth of Jesus Christ to a specific day and even that it occurred sometime within a time frame of eighty one minutes during that day.

Revelation 12:1-5 (KJV):

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon  under her feet, and upon her head a crown of  twelve stars:

And she being with child cried, travailing in birth,  and pained to be delivered.

And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and  behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

The Greek word for “wonder” in verse 1 means “sign” and God’s Word declares that there will be a sign in the heavens when Mary went into labor and gave birth to Jesus Christ. The Word of God is written across the heavens and in the stars. The signs of the Zodiac were originally not used in astrology but each one signified a characteristic of the life and ministry and kingship of Jesus Christ, the promised Savior and Son of God. The sign of the women that the Bible is referring to here is to the constellation Virgo and the twelve stars are the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Revelation 12 further states that this woman was “clothed with the sun” another celestial body. The sun, as it appears to travel through the ecliptic each year, enters into the mid-body between the neck and the knees of the constellation Virgo, clothing her with the sun for approximately a 21 day period during any given year. In the year 3 B.C. which we later show by other celestial events in the heavens to be the year of the birth of Jesus Christ, the sun was in this position from August 27th through September 15th. Revelation also declares that “the moon was under her feet.” With these two specific details, we can pinpoint the birth of Christ very precisely. In 3 B.C. the sun and the moon in Virgo occurred on only one day and that was September 11. The configuration of the sun and the moon was visible inPalestine between sunset and moonset, this twilight period being called “night” in the Bible. On September 11, 3 B.C., sunset was at 6:18pm and moonset at 7:39pm. Jesus Christ was born on September 11, 3 B.C sometime in that eighty-one minute span of time between 6:18pm and 7:39pm. Amazingly this corresponds to Tishri 1 on the Jewish Calendar which is the First day of the festival of the Feast of Trumpets.  We will discuss the wonderful significance of this in a minute but I also wanted to share that was another significant astronomical display on September 11, 3 B.C.

From sunset of September 11, 3 B.C. to September 11, 3 B.C. Jupiter and Regulus could be seen approaching conjunction before dawn. Although the precise astronomical conjunction occurred on September 14, the angle of observation and Jupiter’s slow apparent motion would have made their close rendezvous obvious as early as the predawn hours of Thursday, September 12, within hours of the Messiah’s birth. At that time the king planet Jupiter could be seen approaching the king star Regulus in the constellation of Leo, the sign ofJudahfrom whose seed the Messiah, the promised seed came.  

Exactly one month before (on August 12) the world would have witnessed the close conjunction of Jupiter (reckoned astrologically as the Father) and Venus (the Mother) when they were only .07 degrees from one another when they appeared as morning stars on the eastern horizon. This was a very close union. But then, nineteen days later (August 31), Venus came to within .36 degrees of Mercury in a very similar astronomical display. Then, on September 11th, the New Moon occurred which represented the Jewish New Year. This happened when Jupiter (the King planet) was then approaching Regulus (the King star). And, on September 14, Jupiter and Regulus came to their first of three conjunctions in this extraordinary year. Then, over an eight month period, Jupiter made its “crowning effect” over the King star Regulus. There could hardly have been a better astronomical testimony to the birth of the new messianic king from the Jewish point of view. Why? Because every one of these celestial occurrences I have mentioned happened with the Sun or planets being positioned within the constellation of Leo the Lion (the constellation of Judah — from whence the Messiah was destined to emerge) or in Virgo the Virgin. The apostle John may have seen importance in these extraordinary occurrences when he symbolically showed that Jesus was born at the New Moon of Tishri, the Day of Trumpets (Revelation 12:1–3).

Jesus Was Born on the Day of Trumpets

If one can realize that the New Testament shows Jesus born on the Day of Trumpets (the first day of Tishri ― the start of the Jewish civil year) an impressive amount of symbolic features emerge on the biblical and prophetic scenes. Before the period of the Exodus in the time of Moses, this was the day that began the biblical year. It also looks like this was the day when people were advanced one year of life ― no matter at what month of the year they were actually born.

Notice that the patriarch Noah became 600 years of age “in the first month [Tishri], the first day of the month [later to be called the Day of Trumpets]” (Genesis 8:13). That was the very day when “Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry” (v. 13). This was not only Noah’s official birthday, it became a new birth after the Flood for the earth as well.

There is more. Even the first day of creation mentioned in Genesis 1:1–5 could be reckoned as being this very day. The early Jews discussed whether the actual creation took place in spring or in autumn. But since the autumn commenced all biblical years before the Exodus (Exodus 12:2), and since all the fruit was then on the trees ready for Adam and Eve to eat (Genesis 1:29; 2:9, 16–17), it suggests that the month of Tishri was the creation month, beginning near the autumn. If so, then the first day of creation mentioned in Genesis was also the first of Tishri (at least, Moses no doubt intended to give that impression). This means that not only was this the birthday of the new earth in Noah’s day and what was later to become the Day of Trumpets on the Mosaic calendar, but it was also the day which ushered in the original creation of the heavens and the earth.

As shown before, among the Jews this day was called Rosh ha-Shanah (the Feast of the New Year). The majority belief of Jewish elders (which still dominates the services of the synagogues) was that the Day of Trumpets was the memorial day that commemorated the beginning of the world. Authorized opinion prevailed that the first of Tishri was the first day of Genesis 1:1–5. It “came to be regarded as the birthday of the world.” 1 It was even more than an anniversary of the physical creation. The Jewish historian Theodor H. Gaster states,

“Judaism regards New Year’s Day not merely as an anniversary of creation ― but more importantly ― as a renewal of it. This is when the world is reborn.” 2

Gaster’s insight is so germane to the interpretation of the significance of biblical festivals that I will be referring to his research several times in my following references.

When Was the “Last Trump”?

The matter does not stop there. Each of the Jewish months was officially introduced by the blowing of trumpets (Numbers 10:10). Since the festival year in which all the Mosaic festivals were found was seven months long, the last month (Tishri) was the last month for a festival trumpet. This is one of the reasons that the day was called “the Day of Trumpets.” The last trump in the seven months’ series was always sounded on this New Moon day. This made it the final trumpets’ day (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1).

This was the exact day that many of the ancient kings and rulers of Judahreckoned as their inauguration day of rule. This procedure was followed consistently in the time of Solomon, Jeremiah, and Ezra 3 The Day of Trumpets was also acknowledged as the time for counting the years of their kingly rule. Indeed, it was customary that the final ceremony in the coronation of kings was the blowing of trumpets.

  • For Solomon, “Blow ye the trumpet, and say, ‘God save king Solomon’” (1 Kings 1:34).
     
  • For Jehu, “And [they] blew with trumpets, saying, ‘Jehu is king’” (2 Kings 9:13).
     
  • At the enthronement of Jehoash, “The people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets” (2 Kings 11:11).

There could well be a reflection of this symbolic feature in the New Testament. The Day of Trumpets was the time for the start of the seventh month (since the time of Moses), and the time for the “last trump” to introduce festival months. Note that in the Book of Revelation, we have the record of a heavenly angel who will blow the seventh and last trumpet blast. And recall what happens at the exact time this “last trump” is sounded.

“And the seventh angel sounded [blew the last trump]; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever [for the ages of the ages].’”Revelation 11:15

In New Testament parlance this shows the time of the coronation of Jesus, and it

In New Testament parlance this shows the time of the coronation of Jesus, and it happens at the seventh (or last) trump in the Book of Revelation ― the Day of Trumpets.

Further Significance of the Day of Trumpets

The early Jews also recognized that the Day of Trumpets was a memorial day for considering those who had died. It was not a simple type of “Memorial Day” that we moderns are accustomed to. Gaster said it was a symbolic time when “the dead return to rejoin their descendants at the beginning of the year.” 4 Such a day was a time when Israel would rally to the call of God for the inauguration of God’s kingdom on earth. Gaster also states this was the time that became “a symbol of the Last Trump.” 5 Since the apostle Paul was Jewish, it is possible that his reference to the “Last Trump” and the resurrection from the dead was also connected with the same biblical theme. The “Last Trump” of the early Jews was when the dead were remembered. To Paul the “Last Trump” was the time for Jesus’ second advent and the resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

Truly, the Day of Trumpets theme is that of kingship. There may even be a reference to this in the elevation of the patriarch Joseph to kingship on this New Moon day which began the month of Tishri. Notice that he had been in a dungeon for “two full years” (Genesis 41:1). It was not simply a two year period which Moses was intending, but the passage of two full years. The implication is that the story of Joseph’s rise to kingship happened on a New Year’s Day. This is manifest in Psalm 81, a New Year’s psalm commemorating Joseph’s royal enthronement (Genesis 41:40). As with Jesus, in Revelation 11:15, the kingdoms of the world became Joseph’s on the day intended for coronations ― the day that later became the Day of Trumpets. Of course, Pharaoh retained top leadership, but as the New Testament shows, God the Father still maintains supreme rule over Jesus even when Jesus is prophesied to rule the kingdoms of this world.

The Crowning of Kings

As we have shown from the Bible, the blowing of trumpets was the sign that kings could then begin to rule (1 Kings 1:34; 2 Kings 9:13; 11:11). Jewish authorities long acknowledged this royal import to the Day of Trumpets. Gaster states, “The Sovereignty of God is a dominant theme of the occasion [and] it is one of the cardinal features of New Year’s Day.” 6 The main issue that prevailed in the significance of the day was the triumph of God as a king over all the forces of evil. The symbolic motif of the Day of Trumpets, as Gaster shows, was God

“continually fighting His way to the Kingdom, continually asserting His dominion, and continually enthroning Himself as sovereign of creation. At New Year when the world was annually reborn that sovereignty was evinced anew.” 7

The theological thrust of the early Jews within their synagogue services for the Day of Trumpets was the fact that God rules over all and that he is the King of kings. On Trumpets it was common to quote Zechariah 14:16. “The king, the Lord of hosts.” Indeed, some scholars have suggested that psalms which begin “Yahweh is become king [or ‘The Lord reigns’](Psalm 93 and 97) were originally designed for recitation at the New Year festival.” 8 Recent study shows this to be true. It is postulated by many scholars that in Israel, Yahweh was crowned annually at the “New Year feast of Yahweh.” The scholar Mowinckel has argued that the “enthronement psalms” (Psalms 47, 93, 96–99) in which Yahweh reigns were a part of the liturgy of the ancient synagogues. 9 There is no doubt that this is true. This was also the very day when Jesus was born.

Jesus as the King of Kings

The central theme of the Day of Trumpets is clearly that of enthronement of the great King of kings. This was the general understanding of the day in early Judaism and it is certainly that of the New Testament. In Revelation 11:15, recall that the seventh angel sounds his “last trump” and the kingdoms of this world become those of Jesus. This happens at a time when a woman is seen in heaven with twelve stars around her head and the Sun mid-bodied to her, with the Moon under her feet. This is clearly a New Moon scene for the Day of Trumpets.

And note: Professor Thorley who reviewed the first edition of my work has shown that there are exactly twelve stars surrounding the head of Virgo as we see them from earth. And indeed there are. If one will look at Norton’s Star Atlas, twelve visible stars will be seen around Virgo’s head. They are (according to astronomical terminology): (1) Pi, (2) Nu, (3) Beta (near the ecliptic), (4) Sigma, (5) Chi, (6) Iota — these six stars form the southern hemisphere around the head of Virgo. Then there are (7) Theta, (8) Star 60, (9) Delta, (10) Star 93, (11) Beta (the 2nd magnitude star) and (12) Omicron — these last six form the northern hemisphere around the head of Virgo. All these stars are visible and could have been witnessed by observers on earth.

Thus, the description of the apostle John describes a perfectly normal heavenly scene that could be recognized by all people. Here was Virgo with twelve stars around her head, while the Sun was in uterine position and the Moon under her feet. And again, the only time this could have occurred in 3 B.C.E. was on the Day of Trumpets. This is when the “king of kings” was born.

Another explanation of the Twelve Stars around the head of Virgo is that it represents the headship position (the “head” of Virgo is situated in the last ten degrees of Leo) for the beginning of the story found within the Twelve Constellations as reckoned in the biblical Zodiac. In the biblical Zodiac, the tribe of Judah (the Lion, or Leo) was situated around the Tabernacle directly east of its entrance. This meant that half of the tribe of Judah was south and the other half north of the east/west line from the Holy of Holies through the court of Israel and then eastward through the camp of Israel (in this case, Judah) to encounter the altar outside the camp where the Red Heifer was burnt to ashes. This means, unlike some Gentile reckonings which started their zodiacal story with the zero line between Cancer and Leo (that is, at the very commencement of Leo), the biblical Zodiac that Drs. Bullinger and Seiss were talking about began with the 15th degree of Leo (ofJudah). This signifies that the first constellation to be met with in this celestial story would have been the “head” of Virgo the Virgin which occupied the last ten degrees of Leo. So, John began his story at this point.

The Significance of Being Born on New Year’s Day

The Day of Trumpets in the biblical and Jewish calendars is New Year’s Day for commercial and royal reckonings (just as we have January the first on our Roman calendar as the start of our New Year). This New Year’s Day signified a time of “new beginnings” to all those in Israelwho accepted the teachings of the Bible. As a matter of fact, the Jews over the centuries have held to the belief that the Day of Trumpets was a cardinal date in the history of Adam (our first parent). It was the very day when Adam and Eve came to the recognition of whether to obey God or to defy him (see The Complete Artscroll Machzor, p.xvi). But that was not all that occurred on that day. No day in the year could be reckoned as being of more esteemed value and symbolic influence than Rosh Ha-Shanah. That day is important for the birth of the Messiah in several ways that are very profound in Jewish symbolism.

The book The Complete Artscroll Machzor gives some chronological details that the early Jewish theologians and scholars worked out from indications in the Old Testament to show when important individuals were born or major events happened in association with their lives. And what an array of significant things occurred on the Day of Trumpets and the month of Tishri. The book gives a summary of accounts found in the Jewish Talmud (Rosh Ha-Shanah 10b–11a).

Note what the Machzor states about this particular Day of Trumpets. The quotes are interesting and of value,

“The Patriarchs Abraham and Jacob were born on Rosh Ha-Shanah. Abraham was a new beginning for mankind after its [mankind’s] failure to realize the promise of Adam and Noah. Jacob was a new beginning for the Jewish people, for it was with him that Jews advanced from the status of individuals to that of a united family on the threshold of nationhood”

  • Artscroll Machzor, p.xvi, italics and bracketed word mine

The Machzor does not stop with Abraham and Jacob. Look at the following quote,

“On Rosh Ha-Shanah God remembered three barren women, the Matriarchs Sarah and Rachel, and Hannah the mother of the prophet Samuel and decreed that they would give birth. Not only was Rosh Ha-Shanah a turning point in the lives of these great and worthy women, but the births of their children were momentous events for all Jewry, because they were the historic figures Isaac, Joseph, and Samuel.”

  • Ibid., italics mine

If the Jewish people would realize that the New Testament in the Book of Revelation (chapter 12:1–5) also places the birth of Jesus on the very same Day of Trumpets, they might begin to understand just how important Jesus is in a Jewish sense as well as to the world. The New Testament states that he is the Messiah. He shares many similarities with the births of Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Joseph and Samuel. People should begin to realize the significant coincidences of the birthdays of these prominent men as understood by the Jewish people. And standing out above them all, is the teaching of the apostle John that Rosh Ha-Shanah is also the birthday of Jesus.

More Significance of the Day of Trumpets

Jewish chronological evaluations show other important events associated with the Day of Trumpets (Rosh Ha-Shanah). The Machzor continues,

“On Rosh Ha-Shanah, Joseph was freed from an Egyptian prison after twelve years of incarceration. He became viceroy of Egypt, provider to the world during the years of famine, and the leader of Jacob’s family. God’s plan called for Joseph to set in motion the years of exile and enslavement that were the necessary preparation for Israel’s freedom, nationhood, and emergence in a blaze of miracles to accept the Torah and march to the Land of Israel.”

  • Ibid.

This shows Rosh ha-Shanah as a day of freedom. There is more on the theme of freedom. The Machzor continues:

“On Rosh Ha-Shanah, the Jewish people in Egypt stopped their slave labor [they began their time of liberty and freedom], while they waited for the Ten Plagues to play themselves out so that Moses could lead them to freedom”

  • Ibid., words in brackets mine

The Final Festivals of Israel

As I stated, this day at the beginning of the month of Tishri was the day when the seventh trump (or the last trump) was sounded to introduce the final month when the festivals of God ordained at the time of Moses would be held. This last trump is mentioned by the apostle Paul as heralding the events associated with the Second Advent of Christ back to this earth (1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17). This last or final trump is also mentioned by the apostle John in Revelation 11:15 as the warning sound that theKingdomofGodwill soon be coming to earth. And soon after, the seven angels of the Book of Revelation will bring on the seven last plagues (in the same fashion as the Jewish analyzers of chronology saw that from the same day of Rosh Ha-Shanah the Ten Plagues were sent forth on Egypt in the time of Moses).

What is certain is the fact that the Book of Revelation (with its teaching that Jesus was born on the Day of Trumpets) is giving us in a symbolic way the time for the nativity of Jesus whom Christians considered to be the king of the world. He was prophesied to lead all people into a time of freedom and profound peace. This is the central reason why the apostle John in Revelation 12:1–5 shows that the birth of Jesus occurred within the first few minutes (the twilight period) of the Day of Trumpets that works out to be September 11th in 3 B.C.E.

Tishri 1 (Sept)
The Feast of Trumpets

This occurs on Tishri 1 in the Fall (Sept.-Oct.). On this day the High Priest blows the ram’s horn announcing the beginning of the New Year. Jewish Tradition gives this day a fourfold meaning:

  1. New Years day.
  2. The day of remembrance.
  3. The day of judgment.
  4. The day of blowing the Shofar.

On this day Isaiah 60-61 is read in the Synagogues to teach the lesson that eventually the Lord will be revealed as King and be accepted as the ruler of the world. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus read from section of scripture in the synagogue atNazareth for his first sermon as he described his ministry?

Luke 4:16-21 (NIV): He went toNazareth, where he                                     had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went                                    into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to                               read,

And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.  Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to  proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight  for the blind, to set the oppressed free,

To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant  and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue  were fastened on him.

He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

So on September 11, 3 B.C. Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son was born inBethlehem. Unknown to the people, the trumpet sounds which blew from morning to evening inJerusalemheralded the birth of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What a glorious day in the redemption of mankind for unto this world a Savior was born.

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Disturbing Radical Homosexual Agenda Promoted in Congress

Posted by faithandthelaw on December 21, 2011

By Eugene Delgaudio
President,Public Advocate of the U.S.

The Radical Homosexuals infiltrating the United States Congress have a plan:

Indoctrinate an entire generation of American children with pro-homosexual propaganda and eliminate traditional values from American society.

Their ultimate dream is to create a new America based on sexual promiscuity in which the values you and I cherish are long forgotten.

I hate to admit it, but if they pass the deceptively named “Student Non-Discrimination Act,” (H.R. 998 & S. 555) that’s exactly what they’ll do.

Better named the “Homosexual Classrooms Act,” its chief advocate in Congress is Rep. Jared Polis, himself an open homosexual and radical activist.

And it’s dangerously close to becoming the law of the land.

H.R. 998 already has 150 co-sponsors in the House!

And S. 555 already has 34 co-sponsors in the Senate!

That’s why I need you to act quickly — right away — to protect our nation’s youth.

I have prepared the official “Protect Our Children’s Innocence” Petition to Congress for you to sign.

Please click hereto sign it right away so I can rush it to the Capitol with thousands more.

You and I must defeat this disastrous legislation.You see, the Homosexual Classrooms Act contains a laundry list of anti-family provisions that will:

*** Require schools to teach appalling homosexual acts so “homosexual students” don’t feel “singled out” during already explicit sex-ed classes;
*** Spin impressionable students in a whirlwind of sexual confusion and misinformation, even peer pressure to “experiment” with the homosexual “lifestyle;”
*** Exempt homosexual students from punishment for propositioning, harassing, or even sexually assaulting their classmates, as part of their specially-protected right to “freedom of self-expression;”
*** Force private and even religious schools to teach a pro-homosexual curriculum and purge any reference to religion if a student claims it creates a “hostile learning environment” for homosexual students.
And that’s just the beginning of the Homosexual Lobby’s radical agenda.In fact, it will set them up to ram through their entire perverted vision for a homosexual America.

My friend, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this is not a fight we can afford to lose.

That’s why Public Advocate is leading the fight against this immoral legislation.

This is a battle for the survival of American values and the fact is, there’s no time to waste.The Homosexual Classrooms Act will turn America’s schools into indoctrination centers and its classrooms into social laboratories — and they’re pulling out all the stops to pass it.

You see, they’ve disguised the bill’s wicked purpose behind an innocent name: “The Student Non-Discrimination Act.”

The Homosexual Lobby knows that if the public knew the truth about their radical agenda, they’ll have no hope of success.

And their dangerously close to ramming their perversity into law.

H.R. 998 already has 150 co-sponsors in the House!

And S. 555 already has 34 co-sponsors in the Senate!

You and I need to take action right now to stop the growing momentum of this disastrous legislation.

I’ve developed a massive program to launch the second they try to push this bill through — mail, email, phones, and even radio and TV ads.

But that’s only possible with your support…

None of these things are cheap. In fact, running a program of the size necessary to defeat this bill can get quite expensive especially with increases in postage and printing costs.

That’s why I need your generous contribution. In addition to your signed “Protect Our Children’s Innocence” Petition, will you contribute $250, $100, $50 or even just $35 right away.

And every dollar counts in this fight so even if you can only chip in $10 or $20, it will make a difference.

Unfortunately, this agenda is nothing new.In fact, other countries like Britain are already experimenting with this kind of legislation, such as mandating public schools inject pro-homosexual content into every aspect of education.

Word problems in math classes are now to include homosexual characters. History classes will document the “civil rights” struggle against the “oppressive” pro-family establishment.

And it’s even started to infiltrate our state governments.

In California, lawmakers want to “require schools to portray lesbians, homosexuals, transsexuals … as positive role models to children in all public schools.”

Sexual deviants being held up as models of virtue?

If that makes you as sick as it makes me, you simply must join me in this battle for America’s children.

Please sign the “Protect Our Children’s Innocence” Petition to Congress and then send a generous contribution right away. Your action will make all the difference.

And if all that wasn’t enough to convince you that action must be taken immediately, there’s more.Many say that there will always be private schools and traditional homeschool families to teach traditional values to the next generation.

But the truth is, this radical agenda is NOT restricted to public schools.

Kevin Jennings, Obama’s “Safe Schools Czar,” has clearly stated that “every school, public, private or parochial has an obligation” to teach a pro-homosexual curriculum.

In fact, Jennings denounced school choice programs as “very dangerous” because they make it much harder to impose the Homosexual Agenda on our kids.

“Lord forbid a Baptist or Mormon school,” he added.

Jennings’ ultimate goal is for all curriculum in “kindergarten, and first grade, and second grade – every grade” be infused with a pro-homosexual slant.

Traditional values will be squashed and demonized as old fashioned or out of date, or even as bigotry.

You and I cannot let them succeed.

Please sign the “Protect Our Children’s Innocence” Petition to Congress I’ve prepared for you right away.

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Did George Washington Actually Say “So Help Me God” During His Inauguration?

Posted by faithandthelaw on December 19, 2011

By David Barton 1

In December 2008 following the election of Barack Obama as president, noted atheist Michael Newdow filed suit to prohibit religious acknowledgments or activities from being part of the inaugural ceremonies, specifically seeking to halt the inclusion of “So help me God” as part of the presidential oath as well as halt inaugural prayers by clergy. 2

Newdow has an established record of bringing suits to eradicate long-standing public religious practices, including to:

  • remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance 3
  • eliminate “In God We Trust” (the National Motto) from coins and currency 4
  • prohibit California textbooks from mentioning Biblical events found in Genesis 1-3 5
  • exclude clergy prayers from presidential inaugurations 6
  • reverse the time-honored tax exemptions for housing provided by churches to clergy 7
  • abolish chaplains hired by Congress 8

Newdow insists that his quest for a completely secular public square is based on constitutional mandates, Founding Fathers’ intent, and American history. Regarding the latter, in his 2008 lawsuit, Newdow claimed that the use of the phrase “So help me God” in presidential oaths was of relatively recent origin – that George Washington had not used the phrase and that it did not become part of legal oaths, especially for presidents, until the inauguration of President Chester A. Arthur in 1881. 9 Although courts and scholars have routinely rejected Newdow’s preposterous historical assertions, this specific one, for some inexplicable reason, gained traction among some media and academics, pitting them against many distinguished historical authorities.

The Chief Historian of the United States Capitol Historical Society, the Library of Congress, the U. S. Supreme Court (and numbers of its Justices), the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, the Architect of the Capitol, and other notables have affirmed that “so help me God” is a traditional practice dating back to George Washington. Significantly, for almost two centuries, it was universally accepted that “So help me God” had actually been said as part of the official oathtaking process, but Newdow and his fellow travelers insist that everyone except themselves has been wrong for the past two centuries. 10

One of those who agrees with Newdow is Matthew Goldstein, a regular writer for atheist and secularist sites. To help prove his case, he cites with approval an article by USA Today claiming that there is “no eyewitness documentation he [Washington] ever added ‘so help me God’.” 11 (So USA Today is now an authoritative historical source? Really?) Other secularist voices have joined the chorus, including attorney/writer Jim Bendat, who claims that George Washington’s use of “So help me God” is a “legend”; 12 Professor Peter Henriques of George Mason University calls it a “myth,” adding that any such claim to the contrary “is almost certainly false”; 13 and Charles Haynes of the First Amendment Center says that not only is it a “popular myth” but also that it’s time to completely get rid of “So help me God” as part of the oath. 14

What is the historical basis for claiming that George Washington did not say “So help me God” as part of the presidential oath? According to Newdow and other critics, no records of the day specifically show Washington reciting the phrase, therefore he did not say it.

Numerous historical documents and practices disproving Newdow’s claim will be shown below, but first consider the historical unreasonableness of claiming that someone did not do something unless it is specifically written that he did so. Even Wikipedia characterizes this type of logic as an “appeal to ignorance” – an approach asserting that something is false only because it has not been proven true – that the lack of evidence for one view is substitutionary proof that another view is true. 15

Consider all the inaugural absurdities that can be “proven” under the approach taken by Newdow. For example, since there is no detailed record that President James Monroe did not launch into a string of profanities at his inauguration, then he certainly must have done so; and since no one wrote on Inauguration Day 1825 that the sun rose in the east and set in the west, then it must have been otherwise. These scenarios are ridiculous, but they illustrate the inherent fallacies in the methodology used by Newdow.

Three specific strands of historical evidence will be presented below that demonstrate the absurdity of the modern claims. First, at least seven different religious activities were part of the first inauguration, thus the proceedings were indisputably heavily religiously-permeated. Second, the entirety of American legal practice at that time, including the specific stipulations of statutory law, required the phrase “So help me God” be part of any oath administered by or to government officials. Third, Washington himself, and numerous other Founding Fathers, repeatedly affirmed that an oath of office was a religious act; they explicitly rejected any notion that an oath was secular.

1. RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES AT GEORGE WASHINGTON’S INAUGURATION

Constitutional experts abounded in 1789 at America’s first presidential inauguration. Not only was the inauguree a signer of the Constitution but one fourth of the members of the Congress that organized and directed his inauguration had been delegates with him to the Constitutional Convention that produced the Constitution. 16 Furthermore, this very same Congress also penned the First Amendment and its religious clauses. Because Congress, perhaps more than any other, certainly knew what was constitutional, the religious activities that were part of the first inauguration may well be said to have had the approval and imprimatur of the greatest congressional collection of constitutional experts America has ever known.

That inauguration occurred in New York City, which served as the nation’s capital during the first year of the new federal government. The preparations had been extensive; everything had been well planned.

The papers reported on the first inaugural activity:

[O]n the morning of the day on which our illustrious President will be invested with his office, the bells will ring at nine o’clock, when the people may go up to the house of God and in a solemn manner commit the new government, with its important train of consequences, to the holy protection and blessing of the Most High. An early hour is prudently fixed for this peculiar act of devotion and . . . is designed wholly for prayer. 17

As subsequent activities progressed, things seemed to be proceeding smoothly, but as the parade carrying Washington by horse-drawn carriage to the swearing-in was nearing Federal Hall, it was realized that no Bible had been obtained for administering the oath, and the law required that a Bible be part of the ceremony. Parade Marshal Jacob Morton therefore hurried off and soon returned with a large 1767 King James Bible.

The ceremony was conducted on the balcony at Federal Hall; and with a huge crowd gathered below watching the proceedings, the Bible was laid upon a crimson velvet cushion held by Samuel Otis, Secretary of the Senate. New York Chancellor Robert Livingston then administered the oath of office. (He was one of the five Founders who drafted the Declaration of Independence, but had been called back to New York to help guide his state through the Revolution before he could affix his signature to the document he had helped write. Because Livingston was the highest ranking judicial official in New York, he was chosen to administer the oath of office to President Washington.)

Standing beside Livingston and Washington were many distinguished officials, including Vice President John Adams, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay, Generals Henry Knox and Philip Schuyler, and several others. The Bible was opened (at random) to Genesis 49; 18 Washington placed his left hand upon the open Bible, raised his right, took the oath of office, then bent over and reverently kissed the Bible. Chancellor Livingston proclaimed, “It is done!” Turning to the crowd assembled below, he shouted, “Long live George Washington – the first President of the United States!” That shout was echoed and re-echoed by the crowd. Washington and the other officials then departed the balcony and went inside Federal Hall to the Senate Chamber where Washington delivered his Inaugural Address.

In that first-ever presidential address, Washington opened with a heartfelt prayer, explaining that . . .

it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being Who rules over the universe, Who presides in the councils of nations, and Whose providential aids can supply every human defect – that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes. 19

Washington’s inaugural address was strongly religious, and he called his listeners to remember and acknowledge God:

In tendering this homage [act of worship] to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of Providential Agency. . . . [and] we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious [favorable] smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained. 20

Having finished his address, Washington offered its closing prayer:

Having thus imparted to you my sentiments as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave – but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble supplication [prayer] that . . . His Divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this government must depend. 21

The next inaugural activities then began – activities arranged by Congress itself when the Senate directed:

That after the oath shall have been administered to the President, he – attended by the Vice-President and members of the Senate and House of Representatives – proceed to St. Paul’s Chapel to hear Divine service. 22

The House had approved the same resolution, 23 so the president and Congress thus went en masse to church as an official body. As affirmed by congressional records:

The President, the Vice-President, the Senate, and House of Representatives, &c., then proceeded to St. Paul’s Chapel, where Divine Service was performed by the chaplain of Congress. 24

The service at St. Paul’s was conducted by The Right Reverend Samuel Provoost – the Episcopal Bishop of New York, who had been chosen chaplain of the Senate the week preceding the inauguration. 25 He performed the service according to The Book of Common Prayer, including prayers taken from Psalms 144-150 and Scripture readings and Bible lessons from the book of Acts, I Kings, and the Third Epistle of John. 26

(Significantly, in his lawsuit Newdow claimed not only that “So help me God” was of recent derivation but also that the “practice of including clergy to pray at presidential inaugurations began in 1937.” 27 That claim, like so many of his others, is obviously wrong: the Rev. Provoost had offered clergy-led prayers during Washington’s inaugural activities a century-and-a-half before Newdow claimed they began.)

Significantly, seven distinctly religious activities were included in this first presidential inauguration that have been repeated in whole or part in every subsequent inauguration: (1) the use of the Bible to administer the oath; (2) solemnifying the oath with multiple religious expressions (placing a hand on the Bible, saying “So help me God,” and then kissing the Bible); (3) prayers offered by the president himself; (4) religious content in the inaugural address; (5) the president calling on the people to pray or acknowledge God; (6) church inaugural worship services; and (7) clergy-led prayers.

2. THE LEGAL STATUS OF OATHS AT THE TIME OF WASHINGTON’S INAUGURATION

Significantly, long before and long after the adoption of the Constitution, the legal requirements for oathtaking specifically stipulated that “So help me God!” be part of the official oath of all legal process, whether the oaths were taken by elected officials, appointed judges, jurors, or witnesses in a court of law.

This fact is readily demonstrated by a survey of existing laws at the time – such as those of CONNECTICUT (which will be seen were reflective of what was typical in the other states). Connecticut’s original 1639 legal code governing its very first election required that elected officials were to “swear by the great and dreadful name of the everliving God . . . so help me God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” 28 When new oath laws were subsequently passed in 1718, 1726, 1731, 1742, etc., all retained the same general form, including the mandatory use of “So help me God.” Those same provisions were retained long after the federal Constitution was adopted. 29

GEORGIA required that elected officials, judges, jurors, and witnesses take their oath “in the presence of Almighty God . . . so help me God,” and not only that they take their oath on the Bible but specifically “on the holy evangelists of Almighty God.” 30 (Like the other states, this provision was the same long before and after the adoption of the federal Constitution.)

NORTH CAROLINA required “the party to be sworn to lay his hand upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God . . . and after repeating the words, ‘So help me God,’ shall kiss the Holy Gospels.” 31 In SOUTH CAROLINA, officials were also required to take their “oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God.” 32

Other states had similar requirements, but consider those in place in NEW YORK when President Washington was sworn in by the state’s top judicial official. At that time, New York law required that “the usual mode of administering oaths” be followed (i.e., “So help me God”) and that the person taking the oath place his hand upon the Gospels and then kiss the Gospels at the conclusion of the oath. 33 (Like the other states, these provisions remained the legal standard long after the inauguration. 34 )

Standard oath forms, both state and federal, still in use even decades after Washington’s inauguration, retained those phrases. See some examples below – and notice that each is from a period decades prior to the time that Newdow claims the practice began:


(These are just a few of the many original oath-related documents personally owned by the author; countless others are found in the records of the Library of Congress)

Clearly, using the phrase “So help me God” (as well as placing one’s hand on and then kissing the Bible) was established legal practice throughout the Founding Era.

No one disputes that Washington placed his hand on the Bible or that he kissed it, so why is it now claimed that he did not say “So help me God”? Are critics saying that Washington would not have done the easiest of the three legally required parts of oathtaking? Or would they prefer that officials stop saying “So help me God” but kiss the Bible instead? Their argument is ludicrous. Furthermore, the omission of “So help me God” from the oathtaking ceremony in the Founding Era would have been a clear and obvious aberration from established legal practice of the day, therefore it is the omission of that phrase rather than its inclusion that would have been particularly noticed and commented upon by observers; but such an omission was never mentioned by any witness.

3. THE FOUNDING FATHERS’ VIEWS: WERE OATHS INHERENTLY RELIGIOUS OR INHERENTLY SECULAR?

Five locations in the U. S. Constitution address oaths to be taken by federal officials. As has already been shown, oath clauses were not a unique or original innovation of the federal Constitution but were already in use in each of the states and the national Congress long before the Constitution was written and remained in force long thereafter.

Significantly, every existing law or legal commentary from before, during, and after the writing of the Constitution unanimously affirmed that the taking of any oath by any public official was always an inherently religious activity; and numerous Framers and early legal scholars agreed (emphasis added in each quote):

[An] oath – the strongest of religious ties. 35 JAMES MADISON, SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION

[In o]ur laws . . . by the oath which they prescribe, we appeal to the Supreme Being so to deal with us hereafter as we observe the obligation of our oaths. The Pagan world were and are without the mighty influence of this principle which is proclaimed in the Christian system. 36 RUFUS KING, SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION, FRAMER OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS

Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. 37 JOHN ADAMS, SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION, FRAMER OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS

An oath is an appeal to God, the Searcher of Hearts, for the truth of what we say and always expresses or supposes an imprecation [calling down] of His judgment upon us if we prevaricate [lie]. An oath, therefore, implies a belief in God and His Providence and indeed is an act of worship. . . . In vows, there is no party but God and the person himself who makes the vow. 38 JOHN WITHERSPOON, SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION

The Constitution enjoins an oath upon all the officers of the United States. This is a direct appeal to that God Who is the avenger of perjury. Such an appeal to Him is a full acknowledgment of His being and providence. 39 OLIVER WOLCOTT, SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION, GOVERNOR

According to the modern definition [1788] of an oath, it is considered a “solemn appeal to the Supreme Being for the truth of what is said by a person who believes in the existence of a Supreme Being and in a future state of rewards and punishments . . .” 40 JAMES IREDELL, RATIFIER OF THE CONSTITUTION, U. S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE APPOINTED BY GEORGE WASHINGTON

The Constitution had provided that all the public functionaries of the Union not only of the general [federal] but of all the state governments should be under oath or affirmation for its support. The homage of religious faith was thus superadded to all the obligations of temporal law to give it strength. 41 JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, PRESIDENT

“What is an oath?” . . . [I]t is founded on a degree of consciousness that there is a Power above us that will reward our virtues or punish our vices. . . . [O]ur system of oaths in all our courts, by which we hold liberty and property and all our rights, are founded on or rest on Christianity and a religious belief. 42 DANIEL WEBSTER, “DEFENDER OF THE CONSTITUTION”

There are many other similar declarations. 43 And America’s leading legal authorities and reference sources likewise affirmed that taking an oath was a religious activity. For example, in 1793, Zephaniah Swift, author of America’s first law book, declared:

An oath is a solemn appeal to the Supreme Being that he who takes it will speak the truth, and an imprecation of His vengeance if he swears false. 44

In 1816, Chancellor James Kent, considered to be one of the two “Fathers of American Jurisprudence,” noted that an oath of office was a “religious solemnity” and that to administer an oath was “to call in the aid of religion.” 45

In 1828, Founding Father Noah Webster, an attorney and a judge, defined an “oath” as:

A solemn affirmation or declaration made with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed. The appeal to God in an oath implies that the person imprecates [calls down] His vengeance and renounces His favor if the declaration is false, or (if the declaration is a promise) the person invokes the vengeance of God if he should fail to fulfill it. 46

In 1834, a popular judicial handbook declared:

Judges, justices of the peace, and all other persons who are or shall be empowered to administer oaths shall . . . require the party to be sworn to lay his hand upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God in token of his engagement to speak the truth as he hopes to be saved in the way and method of salvation pointed out in that blessed volume; and in further token that if he should swerve from the truth, he may be justly deprived of all the blessings of the Gospels and be made liable to that vengeance which he has imprecated on his own head; and after repeating the words, “So help me God,” shall kiss the holy Gospels as a scale of confirmation to said engagement. 47

In 1839, Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, considered one of America’s most popular law dictionaries (and still widely used by courts even today), stated that an oath was:

[A] religious act by which the party invokes God not only to witness the truth and sincerity of his promise but also to avenge his imposture or violated faith. . . . . Oaths are taken in various forms; the most usual is upon the Gospel by taking the book [the Bible] in the hand; the words commonly used are, “You do swear that,” &c., “so help you God,” and then kissing the book. . . . Another form is by the witness or party promising, holding up his right hand while the officer repeats to him, “You do swear by Almighty God, the searcher of hearts, that,” &c., “And this as you shall answer to God at the great day.” 48

In 1854, the House Judiciary Committee affirmed:

Laws will not have permanence or power without the sanction of religious sentiment – without a firm belief that there is a Power above us that will reward our virtues and punish our vices. 49

Early legal historian James Tyler penned an extensive work on the historical and legal nature and form of oaths and concluded:

The object of the form of adjuration [oath] should be to point out this: to show that we are not calling the attention of God to man, but the attention of man to God. . . . [T]he mode now universally adopted among us is imprecatory – the invoking of God’s vengeance in case we do not fulfill our engagement to speak the truth, or perform the specific duty, “So help me God.” 50

Significantly, courts had agreed with the conclusions of the Founding Fathers and early legal authorities, issuing numerous declarations making the same affirmations. 51 Even school textbooks in that day taught students that in the American constitutional process, an oath was always a religious act. 52

Additional sources could be cited, but the evidence is unequivocal that the taking of an oath was universally considered to be a religious activity. For this reason a secular oath was not admissible before a court of law, 53 and well into the latter half of the twentieth century, even the U. S. Supreme Court continued to reaffirm the religious nature of oaths. 54 After all, as one early court noted, to remove the religious meaning of oaths and to exclude the Bible on which they were sworn would make “an oath . . . a most idle ceremony.” 55

Returning to Washington’s inauguration, he took the presidential oath of office as prescribed in Article II of the Constitution – an oath he had helped write:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Why was the phrase “So help me God” not specifically included in the Constitution as part of the prescribed wording? Because to have added it would have been redundant: that phrase, as well as placing one’s hand on and then kissing the Bible, was already standard legal practice; there was no reason to duplicate in the Constitution what was already universally required both by law and tradition.

Significantly, Washington was so concerned that the oathtaking process remain inherently religious that in his famous Farewell Address at the end of his presidency, he pointedly warned Americans to never let it become secular:

[W]here is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths . . . ? 56

— — — ◊ ◊ ◊ — — —The evidence is clear that the legal requirements for the performance of oaths long before and after the adoption of the Constitution stipulated that “So help me God!” be part of the legal process. In the critics’ attempts to weaken the religious nature of the oath by suggesting the absence of “So help me God” from Washington’s inauguration, they have actually strengthened the case that the phrase was indeed used by providing the opportunity to unequivocally demonstrate that (1) the laws and legal practices at that time required that religious acknowledgment and phraseology be part of the oathtaking process, and (2) George Washington and the other Founders saw an oath as inherently religious and would have reprobated any attempt to make it secular.


Endnotes

1. David Barton is the President of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious and constitutional heritage. Barton is the author of numerous best-selling books, with the subjects being drawn largely from his massive library of tens of thousands of original writings from the Founding Era. His exhaustive research has rendered him an expert in historical and constitutional issues. He serves as a consultant to state and federal legislators, has participated in several cases at the Supreme Court, was involved in the development of History/Social Studies standards for public schools in numerous states, and has helped produce history textbooks now used in schools across the nation. David has received numerous national and international awards, including multiple Who’s Who in Education, DAR’s Medal of Honor, and the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. (Return)

2. Newdow v. Roberts, 603 F.3d 1002, Ct. of Appeals, Dist. of Columbia (2010) (online at: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=13559298291193146253). (Return)

3. Elk Gove Unified School District v. Newdow, 542 U.S. 1 (2004) (online at: http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2003/2003_02_1624(Return)

4. Newdow v. Lefevre, 598 F.3d 638, Ct. of Appeals, 9th Cir. (2010) (online at: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=753698042392989497&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr). (Return)

5. “Michael Newdow Joins CAPEEM’s Legal Team,” Capeem.org, December 17, 2007 (at: http://www.capeem.org/pressroom.php?item2=1). (Return)

6. Newdow v. Roberts, 603 F.3d 1002, Ct. of Appeals, Dist. of Columbia (2010) (online at: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=13559298291193146253). (Return)

7. “FFRF v. Geithner Parsonage Exemption,” Freedom from Religion Foundation (at: http://ffrf.org/legal/challenges/ffrf-v-geithner-parsonage-exemption/) (accessed on November 23, 2011). (Return)

8. Newdow v. Eagen, 309 F. Supp. 2d 29, Dist. Court of Columbia (2004) (online at: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=13174569001560146686&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholar). (Return)

9. See, for example, Newdow v. Roberts, Complaint 1:08-cv-02248-RBW (2008). See also Cathy Lynn Grossman, “No proof Washington said ‘so help me God’ – will Obama,” USA Today, January 9, 2009 (at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-01-07-washington-oath_N.htm). (Return)

10. “So Help Me God in Presidential Oaths,” nonbeliever.org (at: http://www.nonbeliever.org/commentary/inaugural_shmG.html) (accessed on November 23, 2011). (Return)

11. Cathy Lynn Grossman, “No proof Washington said ‘so help me God’ — will Obama?” USA Today, January 9, 2009 (at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-01-07-washington-oath_N.htm). (Return)

12. Jim Bendat, Democracy’s Big Day: The Inauguration of our President 1789-2009 (New York: iUniverse Star, 2008), p. 21. (Return)

13. Peter R. Henriques, “ ‘So Help Me God’: A George Washington Myth that Should Be Discarded,” History News Network, January 12, 2009 (at: http://hnn.us/articles/59548.html). (Return)

14. Charles C. Haynes, “Inside the First Amendment: Are ‘so help me God,’ inaugural prayer still appropriate?” First Amendment Center, January 18, 2009 (at: http://archive.firstamendmentcenter.org/commentary.aspx?id=21121). (Return)

15. “Argument from Ignorance,” Wikipedia (at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance) (accessed on November 23, 2011).(Return)

16. Significantly, many of the U. S. Senators at the first Inauguration had been delegates to the Constitutional Convention that framed the Constitution including William Samuel Johnson, Oliver Ellsworth, George Read, Richard Bassett, William Few, Caleb Strong, John Langdon, William Paterson, Robert Morris, and Pierce Butler; and many members of the House had been delegates to the Constitutional Convention, including Roger Sherman, Abraham Baldwin, Daniel Carroll, Elbridge Gerry, Nicholas Gilman, Hugh Williamson, George Clymer, Thomas Fitzsimmons, and James Madison. (Return)

17. The Daily Advertiser, New York, Thursday, April 23, 1789, p. 2. (Return)

18. Clarence W. Bowen, The History of the Centennial Celebration of the Inauguration of George Washington (New York, D. Appleton & Co., 1892), p. 52, Illustration; Library of Congress, “Bibles and Scripture Passages Used by Presidents in Taking the Oath of Office” (at: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/pihtml/pibible.html). (Return)

19. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, Joseph Gales, editor (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1834), Vol. I, p. 27. See also George Washington, Messages and Papers of the Presidents, James D. Richardson, editor (Washington, D.C.: 1899), Vol. 1, pp. 44-45, April 30, 1789. (Return)

20. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, Joseph Gales, editor (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1834), Vol. I, pp. 27-29, April 30, 1789. (Return)

21. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, Joseph Gales, editor (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1834), Vol. I, pp. 27-29, April 30, 1789. (Return)

22. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, Joseph Gales, editor (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1834), Vol. I, p. 25, April 27, 1789. (Return)

23. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, Joseph Gales, editor (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1834), Vol. I, p. 241, April 29, 1789. (Return)

24. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, Joseph Gales, editor (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1834), Vol. I, p. 29, April 30, 1789. (Return)

25. Clarence W. Bowen, The History of the Centennial Celebration of the Inauguration of George Washington (New York, D. Appleton & Co., 1892), p. 54; “Chaplain’s Office,” United States Senate (at: http://www.senate.gov/reference/office/chaplain.htm) (accessed on November 29, 2011). (Return)

26. Book of Common Prayer (Oxford: W. Jackson & A. Hamilton, 1784), s.v., April 30th. (Return)

27. Newdow v. Roberts, Complaint 1:08-cv-02248-RBW (2008). (Return)

28. R.R. Hinman, A.M., Letters From the English Kings and Queens, Charles II, James II, William and Mary, Anne, George II, &C., To the Governors of the Colony of Connecticut, Together With the Answers Thereto, From 1635 to 1749; And Other Original, Ancient, Literary and Curious Documents, Compiled From Files and Records in the Office of the Secretary of the State of Connecticut (Hartford: John B. Eldredge, Printer, 1836), pp. 26-28. (Return)

29. See The Public Statute Laws of the State of Connecticut (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1808), pp. 535, Title CXXII: Oaths, Ch. 1, Sec. 6, law passed in May, 1742; 540, Title CXXII: Oaths, Ch. 1, Sec. 25, law passed in May, 1726; 541, Title CXXII: Oaths, Ch. 1, Sec. 30 & 32, law passed in May, 1718. (Return)

30. Oliver H. Prince, A Digest of the Laws of the State of Georgia (Milledgeville: Grantland & Orme, 1822), p. 3, “An Act for the case of Dissenting Protestants, within this province, who may be scrupulous of taking an oath, in respect to the manner and form of administering the same,” passed December 13, 1756. (Return)

31. John Haywood, A Manual of the Laws of North Carolina (Raleigh: J. Gales, 1814), p. 34, “Oaths and Affirmations. 1777.” (Return)

32. Joseph Brevard, An Alphabetical Digest of the Public Statue Law of South Carolina (Charleston: John Hoff, 1814), Vol. II, p. 86, “Oaths-Affirmations.” (Return)

33. Laws of the State of New- York (New York: Thomas Greenleaf, 1798), p. 21, “Chap. XXV: An Act to dispense with the usual mode of administering oaths, in favor of persons having conscientious scruples respecting the same, Passed 1st of April, 1778”; James Parker, Conductor Generalis: Or the Office, Duty and Authority of the Justices of the Peace (New York: John Patterson, 1788), pp. 302-304, “Of oaths in general.” (Return)

34. George C. Edward, A Treatise on the Powers and Duties of Justices of the Peace and Town Officers, in the State of New York (Ithaca: Mack, Andrus & Woodruff, 1836), p. 91, “Of the proceedings on the trial.” (Return)

35. James Madison, The Writings of James Madison, Gaillard Hunt, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1901), Vol. 2, p. 367, observations by Madison on the vices of the political system of the United States, April 23, 1787. (Return)

36. Reports of the Proceedings and Debates of the Convention of 1821, Assembled for the Purpose of Amending The Constitution of the State of New York (Albany: E. and E. Hosford, 1821), p. 575, Rufus King, October 30, 1821. (Return)

37. John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown and company, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, in an letter “To the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts,” on October 11, 1798. (Return)

38. John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. VII, pp. 139, 142, from his “Lectures on Moral Philosophy,” Lecture 16 on Oaths and Vows. (Return)

39. Jonathan Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution (Washington: Printed for the Editor, 1836), Vol. II, p. 202, Oliver Wolcott on January 9, 1788. (Return)

40. Jonathan Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution (Washington: Printed for the Editor, 1836), Vol. IV, p. 196, James Iredell on July 30, 1788. (Return)

41. John Quincy Adams, The Jubilee of the Constitution (New York: Samuel Colman, 1839), p. 62. (Return)

42. Daniel Webster, Mr. Webster’s Speech in Defense of the Christian Ministry and in Favor of the Religious Instruction of the Young, Delivered in the Supreme Court of the United States, February 10, 1844, in the Case of Stephen Girard’s Will (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1844), pp. 43, 51. (Return)

43. See, for example, Zephaniah Swift, A System of Laws of the State of Connecticut (Windham: John Byrne, 1796), Vol. II, p. 238; Jacob Rush, Charges and Extracts of Charges on Moral and Religious Subjects (Philadelphia Geo Forman, 1804), pp. 34-35, 37, 40; Daniel Webster, Mr. Webster’s Speech in Defence of the Christian Ministry and in Favor of the Religious Instruction of the Young, Delivered in the Supreme Court of the United States, February 10, 1844, in the Case of Stephen Girard’s Will (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1844), pp. 43, 5; From an original document in our possession, executed by John Hart on March 24, 1757; Updegraph v. The Commonwealth, 11 S. & R. 394 (Sup. Ct. Pa. 1824); City Council of Charleston v. S.A. Benjamin, 2 Strob. 508, 522-524 (Sup. Ct. S.C. 1846). (Return)

44. Zephaniah Swift, A System of Laws of the State of Connecticut (Windham: John Byrne, 1796), Vol. II, p. 238. (Return)

45. James Kent, Memoirs and Letters of James Kent, William Kent, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1898), p. 164. (Return)

46. Noah Webster, A Dictionary of the English Language (New York: S. Converse, 1828), s.v. “oath.” (Return)

47. James Coffield Mitchell, The Tennessee Justice’s Manual and Civil Officer’s Guide (Nashville: Mitchell and C. C. Norvell, 1834), pp. 457-458. (Return)

48. John Bouvier, A Law Dictionary Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States of America, and of the Several States of the American Union (Philadelphia: T. & J. W. Johnson, 1839), s.v. “oath” (online at: http://www.constitution.org/bouv/bouvier.htm). (Return)

49. Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives Made During the First Session of the Thirty-Third Congress (Washington: A. O. P. Nicholson, 1854), p. 8, “Rep. No. 124. Chaplains in Congress and in the Army and Navy,” March 27, 1854. (Return)

50. James Endell Tyler, B.D., Oaths; Their Origin, Nature, and History (London: John W. Parker, 1834), pp. 14, 57. (Return)

51. See, for example, People v. Ruggles, 8 Johns 545, 546 (1811); Commonwealth v. Wolf, 3 Serg. & R. 48, 50 (1817); City Council of Charleston v. S.A. Benjamin, 2 Strob. 508, 522-524 (Sup. Ct. S.C. 1846); and many others. (Return)

52. William Sullivan, The Political Class Book (Boston: Richardson, Lord, and Holbrook, 1831), p. 139, §392. (Return)

53. Alexis de Tocqueville, The Republic of the United States of American and Its Political Institutions, Reviewed and Examined, Henry Reeves, trans. (Garden City, NY: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1851), Vol. I, p. 334, 344n. See also Daniel Webster, Mr. Webster’s Speech in Defence of the Christian Ministry and in Favor of the Religious Instruction of the Young, Delivered in the Supreme Court of the United States, February 10, 1844, in the Case of Stephen Girard’s Will (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1844), pp. 43; Joseph Story, Life and Letters of Joseph Story, William W. Story, editor (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851), Vol. II, pp. 8-9; Zephaniah Swift, System of Laws (Windham: John Byrne, 1796), Vol. II, pp. 238. (Return)

54. Abington v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963). (Return)

55. Updegraph v. The Commonwealth, 11 S. & R. 394 (Sup. Ct. Pa. 1824). (Return)

56. George Washington, Address of George Washington, President of the United States . . . Preparatory to His Declination (Baltimore: George and Henry S. Keatinge, 1796), p. 23. (Return)

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Alliance Defense Fund to Alabama school: Don’t silence ‘Silent Night’ in Christmas program

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on December 17, 2011

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. — The Alliance Defense Fund sent a letterThursday to an Alabama school district to explain that it should not remove the traditional Christmas carol “Silent Night” from a Christmas program at one of its schools. The letter explains that demands made by Americans United for Separation for Church and State for the removal of the song are baseless.“It’s ridiculous that people have to think twice about whether it’s okay to include ‘Silent Night’ in a Christmas program,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that it’s okay to celebrate Christmas in schools and in the public square, and they are right. There is nothing unconstitutional about inclusion of this song in the school’s program, and that is supported by how the courts have consistently ruled.”

AU sent a letter to Tuscumbia City Schools complaining about inclusion of “Silent Night” as one of nine songs in G.W. Trenholm School’s Christmas program. AU apparently claimed that inclusion of the song or any other religious song would be unconstitutional.

“The school should not succumb to pressure from the faulty legal demands of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which spends its time threatening and intimidating school districts with disinformation to further its own constitutionally incorrect agenda,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Matt Sharp.

The ADF letter disputes AU’s claims and points out several court cases that have upheld the inclusion of religious Christmas carols in school Christmas programs.

“Here, ‘Silent Night’ is but one of the nine other songs included in the Christmas program at G.W. Trenholm,” the ADF letter explains. “Thus, as long as the inclusion of ‘Silent Night’ or any other religious Christmas song is based upon a secular reason–i.e. recognition of the religious heritage of Christmas–then the Constitution does not prohibit the inclusion of the religious song in the school’s Christmas program.”

The Alliance Defense Fund offers a free legal memo that explains the constitutionally protected rights of students, teachers, and public schools to seasonal religious expression.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

 

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Atheists get Santa Monica Nativity’s display spaces in park

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on December 14, 2011

For nearly 60 years at Christmastime, Christian congregations from Santa Monica have come together to organize a life-sized Nativity scene, using 14 display areas in a city park to illustrate the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.

This year, however, the story had to be abridged.

Because of a city lottery system to dole out available spots in Santa Monica’s Palisades Park, along Ocean Avenue, atheists have been able to claim most of the display spaces traditionally used for the Nativity, leaving room for only three of the scenes.

Damon Vix, an atheist, had a display last year that included a quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson: “Religions are all alike — founded on fables and mythologies.” And this year, he told the Santa Monica Daily Press that he encouraged other atheists to join him.

“For 60 years, it’s almost exclusively been the point of view of Christians putting up Nativity scenes for a whole city block,” Vix told the Daily Press.

But the group that has long organized the Nativity scenes bristled at the atheists’ move, saying it upends a long-standing winter tradition for the city — and impedes their freedom of expression.”By trying to push the Nativity scene out of the park and silence us, these people are infringing on our freedom and 1st Amendment rights,” said Hunter Jameson, a Nativity organizer, said in a statement. “The truth is this: The Nativity Scenes Committee has no objection to displays anyone else puts up under the rules that disagree with ours. That is fine. That is the American way of free speech and fair play. Unlike our opponents, we are not trying to push anyone out of Palisades Park. There is plenty of room for all the displays that ever have been erected at Christmas, including this year.”One of the other displays includes a menorah set up by a Jewish group.City officials said it turned to the lottery system to make sure the process for distributing the display spaces was fair. City Atty. Marsha Moutrie told the Daily Press that “everyone has equal rights to use the streets and parks for expressive activities.”

Courtesy of http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/12/atheists-takes-santa-monica-nativity-scenes-spots-in-park.html

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