Charles Haynes: posting of religious codes
david_new at MSN.COM
Wed Nov 13 18:40:38 PST 2002
I support Chief Justice Roy Moore's efforts to post the Ten Commandments in the Courthouse. Based on my reading of history, I believe that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would have no objections to it either. If you recall, Thomas Jefferson submitted his historic "Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom" to the Virginia legislature in June 1779. His great bill for religious freedom was Bill No. 82 on a list of 126 bills Jefferson and a Committee of Revisors had proposed. Bill No. 84 on the list involved the Ten Commandments, in particular the Fourth Commandment, the Sabbath. Bill No. 84 was titled "A Bill for Punishing Disturbers of Religious Worship and Sabbath Breakers." This proposed law would punish anyone who violated the Sabbath (Christian Sunday) by fines imposed by the government of Virginia. Jefferson was unable to get Bill No. 84 passed. However, many years later, James Madison was successful in getting Jefferson's Sabbath law passed. Bill No. 84, was passed under the sponsorship of James Madison on November 27, 1786. You can read about Jefferson's Sabbath law in McGowan v. Maryland 366 U.S. 420 at 494 (1961). Also please consult "The Papers of Thomas Jefferson" Julian P. Boyd, editor. This is compelling evidence that both Jefferson and Madison believed that government as an institution should acknowledge the Sovereignty of God. A casual reading of George Washington's first proclamation as President of the United States on October 3, 1789 would confirm that he also believed that government as an institution should acknowledge ths Sovereignly of God. David W. New, Esq.
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