Letters to the Editor

Saturday, Dec 08 2012 10:00 PM

Differing view of Constitution

By The Bakersfield Californian

In his Dec. 7 op-ed "Birth of Christ far from being only 'reason for the season,'" Ken Hill helps perpetuate a false view of the Constitution. He states, "Government is constitutionally prohibited from endorsing or supporting any religion in any way." This is absolutely false. The founders were against the establishment of a particular denomination. They were not against the support or promotion of Christianity.

The very men who signed the Constitution used government buildings to hold church services and opened Congress with prayer, used tax dollars to print and distribute Bibles, and encouraged public schools to teach religion. All of this is well-documented by the founders' own writings and by numerous courts. Does Hill really believe the men who wrote and signed the Constitution either had no understanding of what it truly meant, or that they maliciously defied the law of the land that they had just ratified?

If only we could concur with James Madison, who declared, "I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful, exercise of its powers. ... What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense." Metamorphosis, indeed.

Robin Tomlinson

Bakersfield

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