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Just where does the Constitution mention God?

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Views  By Bill Lockwood, Minister Of Iowa Park Church Of Christ.


Many who do not wish to believe that a God-centered world view is the foundation of America irritatingly ask, "Where does the Constitution mention God?" They suppose that because the founding fathers did not insert "God" into the Constitution itself that we should have a "Godless" society as far as the public marketplace is concerned. Let us see.

First, the constitutional framers built their structure upon the foundation of Natural Law — a God-centered world view. On this the founders were in agreement. But "Natural Law" to the entire founding generation was defined as the "laws of the Creator." In a 1794 letter to the Massachusetts Legislature, Samuel Adams wrote, "In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator." This is precisely why "Congress shall make no law …" initiates the First Amendment. Freedom of speech, of press, of religion had been given by God and no government can legitimately remove it. Second, it is interesting that the founders relied most heavily upon the Bible for their political justification for the Constitution. William Blackstone, Baron von Montesquieu and John Locke top the list of most-often cited theorists — all of whom believed that God's laws undergird civil law. But the founders quoted another volume much more prolifically than any other. Biblical quotations comprise 34 percent of all the source material offered by the founders! Third, Supreme Court rulings for the entire first century of American existence boldly declared that "Christianity was a part of the common law of the land." In fact, the Constitution is only officially considered to be one of the fundamental laws of the United States. The Declaration of Independence is another and is so stated in the U.S. Code. As Samuel Adams put it: "Before the formation of the Constitution … this Declaration of Independence was received and ratified by all the states in the Union and has never been disannulled." The Declaration, which grounds our liberties upon God, was always considered to be interrelated to the Constitution in the same sense as articles of incorporation are related to the bylaws of a company. The Articles bring the entity into existence and the bylaws manage how that entity is to be run. Thus, the founders needed not place their sense of values in the Constitution since this had already been done in the Declaration. Fourth, the Constitution does, after all, mention God. Article VII reads, "done in Convention … the Seventeenth Day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America."


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