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Is America’s Government Secular? [Video]

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Is America’s Government Secular?

Was America founded to be a secular nation? In other words, does religion have no role in American politics or public policy-making? The answer is more complex than you might think. Robert George, Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, explains.

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Script:

It has become a dogma of progressive ideology that America is a “secular” nation. What do people mean by secular?

Their argument goes this way: “Since the Constitution establishes a strict separation of church and state, religion has no place in how the country is to be governed. Religion is a purely ‘private’ matter and therefore must be kept out of politics or public policy-making.”

There is a problem with this claim, however:

It’s false.

What the Constitution actually does when it comes to religion is, first, ban religious tests of any sort for public office—that’s in Article 6—and, second, forbid the enactment of any “law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”— those are the words of the First Amendment.

The plain meaning of those words is that Congress was forbidden from one, establishing a national church (on the model of the Church of England); and two, attempting to disestablish or interfering with the established churches that existed in some of the states—in certain cases for decades after ratification of the First Amendment.

But what about the “separation of church and state”? That’s in the Constitution, too, isn’t it?

Well, no. 

Try as you might, you will not find the words “separation of church and state” in the Constitution. The famous phrase comes from a letter that Thomas Jefferson, who was not at the Constitutional Convention—(he was in France at the time)—wrote years later to a Baptist community in Danbury, Connecticut.

Jefferson in his characteristically eloquent way was simply trying to capture the spirit of the first amendment prohibiting the establishment of a national religion. The author of the Declaration of Independence was committed to an America where people were free to practice any faith or no faith, as their consciences dictate.

None of the Founding Fathers, including Jefferson who was among the least religious of them (though not an atheist), ever entertained the idea that there was to be a separation of religion from public life or from politics. 

The secularist claim that our Constitution consigns religion to the purely private sphere is contradicted by the words and actions of the greatest figures in American history, from Washington, who called for national days of prayer; to Lincoln, who proclaimed a national day of prayer and fasting; to Martin Luther King.

King, of course, was the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, a Baptist clergyman, who fought racial segregation and discrimination in the most explicitly Biblical terms. 

If you believe the secularist understanding of the separation of church and state, Martin Luther King violated that doctrine in almost everything he did.

And so did every president in American history. Every single one invoked God in his inaugural address. 

For Martin Luther King, as for so many other Americans, racial injustice was not only a violation of the Golden Rule but, first and foremost, a violation of the teaching of the Book of Genesis that every human being is made in the image and likeness of God.

There are in the world truly secularist regimes. France, with its system of “laicite”—religion must be exercised only in the private, not the public, sphere—is one. So, of course, are the communist regimes of China, Cuba, and North Korea.

In such regimes, secularism is the official public philosophy, and religion is, to the extent it is permitted at all, restricted to the private domain. 

But that is not an accurate description of the United States—at all. 

And how could it be? Although we separate the institutions of religion from those of government, we do that not to make religion subservient to the state, but rather to protect it from the state. 

We are, after all, a nation which in its very founding document acknowledges the Creator—God Himself—as the source of justice owed to all human beings.

For the complete script as well as FACTS & SOURCES, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/is-americas-government-secular

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Can You Trust the NY Times? [Video]

The most influential news source in the world is the New York Times. Every day, hundreds of newspapers and news stations around the world follow its lead. After all, isn’t the Times the gold standard of journalism? Investigative reporter Ashley Rindsberg reveals the truth in this eye-opening video.🚨 PragerU is experiencing severe censorship on Big Tech platforms. Go to https://www.prageru.com/ to watch our videos free from censorship!SUBSCRIBE 👉 https://www.prageru.com/join/📲 Take PragerU videos with you everywhere you go. Download our free mobile app! Download for Apple iOS ➡ https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/prageru/id1115115779Download for Android ➡ https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cappital.prageruTo view the FACTS & SOURCES and Transcript, visit: https://www.prageru.com/video/can-you-trust-the-ny-times📳 Join PragerU's text list! https://optin.mobiniti.com/prageruSHOP! 🛒 Love PragerU? Visit our store today! https://shop.prageru.com/Script:The most influential news source in the world is the New York Times. Every day, hundreds of newspapers, and TV and cable news stations around the world follow its lead—literally. Why wouldn’t they? Isn’t the Times the gold standard of journalism? The place where the facts of the story are presented without bias or agenda?Actually, the answer is no. When it comes to episodes of major historical significance, the New York Times has routinely failed to provide the public with unbiased journalism. Instead, it has chosen to manufacture false narratives—often with catastrophic consequences.It has done this in service of its own financial and ideological interests. This goes back, at least, to 1932. That year there was a terrible famine in the Ukraine. Between 5 and 7 million Ukranians starved to death. The disaster had nothing to do with bad weather and everything to do with the ruthless regime of the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Walter Duranty, the Times foreign correspondent in Moscow, knew all of this and covered it up. In fact, his reports flatly denied there was any famine at all. The American media took its lead from the Times star reporter. So did America’s political elite, including newly-elected President Franklin Roosevelt who personally met with Duranty to discuss “the situation” in the Soviet Union. Duranty had another admirer, Josef Stalin. The brutal tyrant had nothing but praise for the New York Times man: “You have done a good job in your reporting of the USSR… because you try to tell the truth about our country.” Had Duranty exposed the facts about Stalin and the famine, the American people would have better understood the true nature of the Soviet Union. Instead, many were fooled. When it came to reporting on the persecution of Jews in Germany leading up to World War II, the Times was even worse. Initially, the paper refused to publish reports on the concentration camps. And when it finally did, those reports were relegated to the back pages. Again, the Times set the tone for the rest of the American media. If the Times didn’t think the genocide of the Jews was a major story, it must not be one.In 1957, the Times flipped this script. It took a minor story—a rebellion in Cuba—and turned it into a major one. In the process, it helped destroy an entire country. New York Times reporter, Herbert Matthews, tracked down an all-but-defeated rebel named Fidel Castro at his mountain hideout. From this interview came a flurry of front-page New York Times articles hailing Castro as Cuba’s democratic savior. The Times transformed the down-and-out Marxist revolutionary into an international sensation. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Times made Castro. Without its assistance, the Cuban revolution would have almost certainly failed. A very similar phenomenon played out a few years later in Southeast Asia. This time instead of making a hero out of a villain, the Times made a villain out of a hero. With the paper’s blessing, a brash, young Times reporter, David Halberstam, decided that South Vietnamese elected leader Ngo Dinh Diem was a murderous madman. Caught up in the prevailing leftist notion that the American war effort was immoral, and that the North Vietnamese communists were the real freedom fighters, Halberstam wrote piece after piece designed to bring down Diem. The one that did it was his reporting that the Diem government had massacred 30 Buddhist monks who were protesting Diem’s policies. Only it didn’t happen. Halberstam manufactured it out of whole cloth, basing it on anonymous sources and rumors. When a United Nations team later investigated the killings, they found that all the “murdered” Buddhists were alive and well.For the complete transcript visit visit: https://www.prageru.com/video/can-you-trust-the-ny-times