The Godless ConstitutionWhen some people here the words the godless constitution uttered the shrill up their noses and get very defensive.
Kramnick and Moore address this idea of the United States Constitution being godless. They speak about how America has misinterpreted views and how society would benefit from an understanding of what the Constitution stands for and how to correctly use it. They strive to help America understand that politics driven by religion and faith would do the most damage to the political agenda. They also emphasize that America created the Constitution was created to make a persons religious standing irrelevant to hold office or voice a political opinion. They cover many topics addressed by the American public when trying to decide on the placement of God in our Constitution. They are writing to help Americans gain a greater understanding of what our forefathers intended when writing the Constitution.
To understand why these two men are writing about The Godless Constitution, an approach on what they believe are Americas views is needed. In the first paragraph of the first chapter they state that they believe America argues over foolish things. They have come to the conclusion that Americans misinterpret the intentions of the constitution in providing a government for the people of the United States.
They ask the question, Is America a Christian Nation?. They do not condemn religion of any sort but merely state that one God is not in the constitution. One main focus is on the founders of the document.
A major point made is that even though most of the founders were Christian and lived by Christian principles, the envision was of a godless government. Their reasoning behind this idea was not of irreverence but confidence in religion too serve civil morality without intruding into politics. They believe in letting humans exercise their free will to believe in a God or to reject the idea without their decision affecting their role in government. They refer to the one time God is mentioned in the constitution, Article 6. This merely states that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
This one statement is used to declare that America stands as a unity and full of diverse religions. Therefore requiring one religion to dominate would undermine the intent of the nation of variance. Kramnick and Moore also speak of beliefs of specific men in the history of the country.
Roger Williams views, thought ahead of his time, led to a better understanding of why church and state is more beneficial separated. His beliefs that religious purity and good government are two separate issues and should not intertwine. One major point that proclaims why a Christians view of government and religion should be separate is the fact that society, government, and nations play no part in Gods redemption. Roger Williams explains that officials are elected to be virtuous not Godly. They can act in a way they feel God would desire but not claim Gods name in their decision to protect the beliefs of their public. Another man used greatly in concluding the godless Constitution is Thomas Jefferson. During his early public years his reputation was one of as an anti-Christian.
He received many negative opinions about his stands and opinions. Kramnick and More chose to use Jefferson as an example of one who was misunderstood. The public believed that he would further immorality. His draft to separate church and state brought forth many different reactions from the publics. The people who desired to have a known Godly ways in the constitution believed that this would only further corruption in the United States. Others took into consideration the beliefs Jefferson and other leaders proclaimed to be the best way in governing a country.
Jefferson utilized the belief that God gave humans free will and no civil law should burden ones beliefs. Kramnick and Moore believe that knowing why a government should not include God in their ruling will bring about less arguing and conflicts about menial issues. One issue addressed in the battle over mail delivery on Sunday. In the eighteen hundreds the government ruled that The government could not rule to keep Sunday, the Sabbath, holy, therefore delivering mail would be a seven day a week job. Petitions and arguments about this ruling continued for the next twenty years until the courts ruled that the government did not have the power to authorize the violation of the Sabbath day.
This ruling was protecting the acts to perform religious activities without the restriction of the government. Therefore the godless constitution was beneficial in this ruling for a religious practice Kramnick and Moore write their book to establish an understanding of were God should be in society and government. They use interpretations of men from the history of the United States to gather knowledge on how to regard religion in our government.
They give a timeless solution to an understanding of what our government is trying to establish. They propose the conception of America using this awareness of which the object was designed instead of seeing one-sided views to our nation. As citizens in a democratic government an understanding of the reasons laws were created help gain knowledge about how society is to proceed.
This government protects people from politicians who stand for issues on religion. The Godless Constitution acknowledges the large population of Christians that created our Constitution. It does recognize they held the religious values strong while making the laws that govern our country. It also encourages the idea that they desired a godless government to protect the rights and freewill of mankind.
Kramnick and Moore write not to solve problems of society, but to help the public gain awareness of our forefathers intentions when creating our government. The Constitution is godless, and for good reasons. It is up to the individual to decide whether or not our nation is.