Runkel v. Winemiller

Ten Commandments radio program delivered in the early 90's.

Separation of Church and State

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The Myth of Separation: What Is the Correct Relationship Between Church and State?

David Barton

In Association with



OPENING MUSIC: My Country Tis Of Thee.

ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the Bible Law Course Program. This is a series of broadcasts about The Ten Commandants, not as a means to salvation, but as a code of conduct for Christians. In these programs we will show that all our nations problems can be solved with the application of God given law. 

SPEAKER: Hello, today I will talk about the first commandment and separation of Church and State. Listen to these words from your Old Testament, from Deuteronomy chapter 5;

ANNOUNCER: "(1) And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.

(2) The Lord our God made a covenant with us ...(3) The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, {even} us, who {are} all of us here alive this day.

(4) The Lord talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire, (5) ... saying,

(6) I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

(7) Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me."

SPEAKER: That is the first commandment. Now let's think about separation of Church and State. Most of you believe that this phrase is in our constitution. And most of you believe, that this is a fundamental doctrine of our form of government.

    The first amendment to our constitution says this, "Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The word separation, and the word church, they are not there.

    Back in early America the states encouraged Christianity, but no state allowed an exclusive state-sponsored denomination as they did in England, and often times in Europe. Many citizens still had memories of the earlier times in their home countries when one denomination did rule over, and did oppress others. So to prevent this from ever happening here in America, they wrote the first amendment.

    But the first amendment went through many rewritings. By September 3 of 1789, it was stated this way.

    "Congress shall not make any law infringing the rights of conscience, or establishing any religious sect or society."

    This was changed. It was changed to;

    "Congress shall make no law establishing any particular denomination of religion in preference to another, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, nor shall the rights of conscience be infringed."

    And changed again, they wrote;

    "Congress shall make no law establishing one religious society in preference to others or to infringe the rights of conscious."

    And at the end of the day, it was written;

    "Congress shall make no law establishing religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

    They went home, still not satisfied. They returned on September 9th and wrote this.

    "Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion."

    And finally, they came to agreement. And these are the words of agreement;

    "Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

    After many rewritings, that is now the first amendment to our constitution. It is obvious from the historical record, that this is the understanding at that time; That Congress shall make no law establishing one Christian denomination as a national denomination.

    That my friends, is the true meaning of our first amendment as established by historical documents. And that is a far cry from what is taught by the liberal press, the television talk shows, and the government class rooms.

    And, although the statesman who framed the Constitution had made it very clear, that no one Christian denomination would become the official denomination. There was a problem in Danbury, Connecticut. The Danbury Baptists had heard a rumor. A rumor, that in spite of the amendment, a particular denomination was soon to be made official. This rumor so worried the Danbury Baptists, that they wrote a letter to President Jefferson. To put this rumor to rest, on July first, of 1802 President Jefferson went to Danbury, Connecticut to speak to a gathering of Danbury Baptists.

    The modern separation of church and state propaganda is based on that   meeting, and it is based on the letters between President Jefferson, and the Danbury Baptists. I will be back right after this message.

MUSIC: All hail

ANNOUNCER:  Something is terribly wrong here in America! Foreigners are buying up our business and industry; factories are being closed. Millions who had good jobs now struggle to make ends meet. Everything bad is on the increase - what's wrong? What's the explanation? What are the practical solutions? The explanation is in your Bible, but the Bible's forbidden in public schools - ridiculed in the media, and chased out of government. You can have a part in turning things around. Call now - toll free- 1 800 (deleted). And we'll send free sample Bible Law Course lessons, No obligation. 1 800 (deleted).

MUSIC: Long May Our Land Be Bright With Freedoms Holy Light.

SPEAKER: The subject on this program is The First Commandment and Separation of Church and State. Before saying more about President Jefferson and the Danbury Baptists, let's talk about a lawsuit that took place way back in 1799. A lawsuit that took place just eight years after the writing of the first amendment. A lawsuit that explains the true understanding of the first amendment.

    The first amendment is part of The Bill of Rights The bill of rights was added to our Constitution in 1791. Eight years later, in 1799 there was a lawsuit titled, Runkel v. Winemiller. It can be found at your local law library. I obtained my copy at the University of Akron. This is not a vague, hard to find citation. And it should be in almost every court house law library. And it should be in every college law library. You can go there and you can read it for yourself.    

    The case involved a minister of The Dutch Reformed Church. He had been improperly removed from his pulpit by a dissenter. He sued to get his pulpit back. And he won the lawsuit. And here are the interesting words having to do with the, so called, separation of church and state. I will read from the court report, it says;

    "The Christian religion is the established religion by our form of government, and all denominations are placed on an equal footing and equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty."

    How about that! Listen again. The Court said; "The Christian religion is the established religion by our form of government and all denominations are placed on an equal footing and equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty."

    This was in a Maryland Court. This Maryland Court said, while we do not have an established church here in America, but we do have an established religion. And the established religion of the United States is Christianity. And all denominations are equal under the law.

    This case takes up seventeen pages in the law book. Pages 276 to 292. On page 288 at reference number 450, I find these words; listen to this;

  "Religion is of general and public concern, and on its support depends, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the safety and happiness of the people. By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and all denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty. The principles of the Christian religion cannot be diffused, and its doctrines generally propagated, without places of public worship, and teachers, and ministers to explain the Scriptures to the people, and to enforce an observance of the precepts of religion by their preaching and living. And the pastors, teachers and ministers, of every denomination of Christians, are equally entitled to the protection of the law, and to the enjoyment of their religious and temporal rights."

    Well, that is all I will read from this court report. That is what the court said eight years, eight years after the adoption of the first amendment. That court decision was way back in 1799. And it was just three years later, in 1802, that President Jefferson went to Danbury Connecticut to speak to a gathering of Danbury Baptists.

    Jefferson went to Connecticut, because the Danbury Baptists had heard a rumor' that in spite of the first amendment, and in spite of what the courts had said, that a particular denomination was soon to be made official. The Danbury Baptists were afraid that there would be, not an established religion, but an established church. An established church such as happened far too often in Europe. A established church, such as The Church of England.

    The first amendment to our Bill of Rights says, "Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Government was not to prefer any one denomination of Christians over any other denomination.

    The phrase, separation of church and state, it is not recorded in the records of the Constitutional Convention. Separation of Church and State is not found in the records of the congress that produced the Bill of Rights. So why did Jefferson use these words? And where did these words come from?

    Well, to prepare for this meeting, President Jefferson had read some of the writings of the Baptist leadership. One prominent Danbury Baptist minister was Roger Williams, and Williams had written about his fears of government preference for one particular denomination. In Williams pamphlet he wrote: "they have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of separation, between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world."

    These are the words that President Jefferson found in Williams writings, and he used Williams own words to assure the Danbury Baptists, that the federal government would not establish them or any other denomination of Christians as a national denomination, and Jefferson did this by saying; well, this is what Jefferson said, speaking of The First Amendment, Jefferson said, "I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."

    These words of assurance to the Danbury Baptist Association were soon forgotten. They were forgotten, until seventy six years later, when they were used, for the very first time, in a court case, I'll tell you how that court, seventy six years later, how that court used Separation of Church and State, to impose a Christian moral standard. Yes, at that time, the court used Jefferson's words on separation of church and state to impose morality, to impose Christian morality. I'll be back right after this message.

ANNOUNCER: Shrinking pay checks, loss of health insurance, high taxes, more taxes, disappearing pensions; why does the most productive most advanced nation that ever existed find itself with a national debt that seems unpayable? The people in Nehemiah five of your Bible had a similar problem. The solutions that worked then will work now. Your Bible offers practical solutions to our national problems. You can have a part in turning things around. Call now - toll free, at 1 800 (deleted). and we'll send free sample Bible Law Course lessons, No obligation. 1 800 (deleted). 

MUSIC: Our Fathers God.

SPEAKER: Now you might ask, how in the world did a court of time past, use Jefferson's words about separation of church and state to impose Christian morality? The court case that came about because the Mormon Church wanted legalization of bigamy and polygamy. And that court used Jefferson's words to show that, while the court was not free to interfere with religious opinion, it was still responsible to enforce civil laws. And to enforce civil laws according to basic Christian standards. That court said, the separation of church and state had to do with Christian principles. The court said, polygamy and bigamy was a violation of the constitution. Why?

    Well, because polygamy and bigamy was a violation of basic Christian principles. Now, seventy years later. In 1947, a more modern, a more liberal court resurrected Jefferson's words, turned them inside out, and upside down, It gave Jefferson's words a new, and unheard of meaning.

    This was in the U.S. Supreme Court decision titled, Everson vs. Board of Education. In 1947 this court used Jefferson's words, not to enforce Christian moral standards, but to divorce Christianity from public affairs. Actually, to nullify The First Commandment. This was the very first occasion on which a Court declared that there was a separation of church and state in the First Amendment. And since then, since 1947, the courts have been ruling by this new 1947 standard.

    This is the court, the court that twisted and misapplied Jefferson's words. The court that made Jefferson's words, the law of the land. And to take Jefferson's words spoken from a pulpit, to the Danbury Baptists, and make that, a part of a speech, to make that the law of the land, well that is absurd!

    All Jefferson did was make a political speech, to a group of concerned Christians. But Jefferson was not even a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He was not a member of Congress when they debated the Bill of Rights. Jefferson was not a member of any state legislature. Not a member of any ratifying convention.

    So you might ask, where was Thomas Jefferson? At that time Thomas Jefferson was our ambassador to France. Very few Americans know the origin of the words, separation of church and state. That these words are not in the Constitution, but that they came from a speech to the Danbury Baptists. And they don't know how it was originally applied. Applied by government to enforce Christian moral standards by forbidding polygamy and bigamy. Nor do they know when it was introduced into American life in 1947 and now being used to destroy everything Christian. Since 1947, the courts have been ruling by this new standard.

    The courts have used this doctrine to reverse, long standing Christian traditions. The courts have been using Separation of Church to unravel the fabric of American life. For example, in 1962* the Court used this new doctrine to prohibit prayer in school. Before 1962, we Americans had been praying in school for 340 years. What schools and students were doing then was never ruled unconstitutional. Between 1947 and 1962, the phrase had been used so often that some justices were just simply tired of hearing about it.

* Correction, actually 1963

    One Justice said, "Much has been written in recent years concerning Thomas Jefferson's reference in 1802 to a wall of separation between church and state. Jefferson's figure of speech has received so much attention, that one would almost think at times that it is to be found somewhere in the Constitution."

    That's right my friends, this justice of the Supreme Court knew. He knew that, separation of church and state was NOT in the constitution.

    So why do the wicked work so hard? Working to make us think these words are in our constitution. Why have they worked so hard to kick God, the Bible, and prayer, and Christianity out of the schools?

    Well, they know, the philosophy of the school room in one generation, will be the philosophy of government in the next. And they know, to get God and Christianity out of the government - in the future all they need do is to get God and Christianity out of the classroom today. The wicked work very hard to make the public to believe, that a bunch of non-Christians and atheists wrote our constitution. And nothing could be farther from the truth. At the time of the Constitutional convention, every state constitution had a requirement, that all office holders must be Christians.

    For example, Delaware's constitution required this declaration from all office holders. I do profess faith in God the Father and in Jesus Christ his only son and in the Holy Ghost. One God blessed for ever and ever.. and I do acknowledge the scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given of divine inspiration.

   And so Delaware sent John Dickinson a Quaker, George Reed an Episcopalian, Richard Bassett, a Methodist. Gunning Bedford, a Presbyterian and Jacob Broom, a Lutheran.

   Pennsylvania sent Benjamin Franklin. And Franklin is often accused of being a Deist, but what is a Deist? As a Deist, Benjamin Franklin attended every kind of public worship. He called for public prayer.  And he contributed to all denominations. Today he would be called, not a deist, but non-denominational.

   Pennsylvania had other representatives, like Thomas FitzSimmons, a Catholic. And Jared Ingersoll, a Presbyterian. State by state, in every state, the story is the same. All the delegates were Christians. The delegates were not selected by their states because they were good politicians. They were selected because they were good Christian politicians. All the men at the Constitutional Convention were Christians. There were 29 Anglicans, 18 Calvinists, 2 Methodists, 2 Lutherans, 2 Catholics, and so on;

    And for the next 150 years, this was common knowledge. This is what Patrick Henry said. Words no longer taught in the public schools. Patrick Henry said. "It can not be emphasized too strongly, or to often, that this great nation was founded by Christians. On the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

    My friends, to say that these Christians met in a constitutional convention, opened their meeting with prayer, then set about to write a document that kept Christianity out of their government, well that is simply preposterous, yet that is what the television talk shows, the modern history books, and the liberal newspapers want, expect, and even demand that you to believe.

    The Bill of Rights is a declaration of what the Government is NOT to do. Today it is being turned upside down, and used to tell Christians what they are not to do. Not to have prayer in schools; not to have the Bible or The Ten Commandments in the school, And for us to keep our religion out of our own government. If that kind of "separation of church and state" had been in the Constitution or in the Bill of Rights, All original 13 states, all of them, they would have vetoed any such document, unanimously and instantly. The phrase 'separation of church and state' is an over-used, misused, and abused phrase. Everyone knows the words, but almost no one knows their history. And almost nobody knows how these ungodly words have been forced on this nation.

    Now, my friends, listen to the wisdom of today's courts, The very courts taking jurisdiction over your children in your public schools. This is what the modern courts have said, listen to this; The courts have said, "If the posted copies of The Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce school children to read, meditate upon, and perhaps venerate and obey the commandments ... this is NOT a permissible state objective under the establishment clause."

    How about that? And what would be the results that the court fears, the court fears that students might read, think about, respect, or even obey The Ten Commandments? Why students might start to respect their parents, or not become involved in promiscuous sex. And no doubt with condoms supplied by the school with the court's blessing.

    Now, ladies and gentlemen, today's courts have said, that the mere posting of copies of The Ten Commandments in a public place is a violation of The First Amendment. What would Benjamin Franklin or Patrick Henry have thought about that?

   That's what the court said, but here is what James Madison said, Madison said, "We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of Government, far from it. We have staked the future upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to The Ten Commandments of God." And James Madison helped write that first amendment.

    It is ludicrous to think, that today's atheistic, humanist, liberal courts have a better understanding of The First Amendment than the very people who wrote it! In fact, brethren, this demonic 'separation of church and state' doctrine will eventually destroy Christian America, if we Christians do not wake up and take action. This is the third commandment. listen:

ANNOUNCER:  "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. "(Exodus 20:7)

    "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." But what does the modern court think about God's name and God's commandment? Here is more from the modern courts: and listen to this blasphemy; The court has said;

   "On the one hand free speech is protected by the Constitution, including the right to use the word God in a derogatory or vulgar manner. Recall from the 1971 case of Cohen vs. California, that the court declared that it was a sign of our societies strength to permit the air to be filled with profanity. And recall from the 1985 case of Grove vs. Meed, that the court defended the right of the school to use a text book describing Jesus as a "poor white trash God" and to describe Jesus as, "a white s.o.b." With such language permitted, it would appear that nearly any expression or word is constitutionally protected."

    Well, how about that? That is what your courts are saying. But there's more, listen to this;

    "Although there is protection for free speech, and although the word God when hyphenated with any other profanity is protected by the court, such constitutional protection does not include the right to use the word God in a respectful manner. From the 1965 case Reed vs. Van Horn, furthermore it is improper to provide opportunity for the expression of respect for God. During the school day, no themes will be assigned on such topics as, why I believe in religious devotions. Not only is it improper for school officials and students to use the word God in a respectful manner. In the 1965 case of Despain vs. Decalb that it is also improper for students to think about God."

    Now my friends, think about what you have just heard. Your courts. American courts! They have said it is improper to think about God. Are the courts on the way toward making thinking about God a thought crime? Is silent prayer on government property and in schools going to be a thought crime? The modern courts of our land have said it is constitutional to express contempt for God, but unconstitutional to express respect for Him. And how does that square with the first and third commandments?

    Well, what I have just read from today's courts should make you furious. Should make any Christian furious. But, shame on us Christians for tolerating such filth for so long from our courts. The bottom line is this. The evil separation church and state doctrine protects the breaking of The Ten Commandments, and forbids their observance by government.

    This vile, doctrine of demons, makes it unconstitutional for your government to respect God, or to keep His commandments. How can we call ourselves, "One Nation Under God" when we put up with this filth from our courts? The separation of church and state doctrine makes it public policy to blaspheme God and to break His commandments.

    It's no wonder that God is turning his back on America. Separation of Church and State is the battle cry of those who would destroy Christian  America. We Christians need to wake up and we need to take action. We need to put this separation of church and state doctrine where it belongs, and press the lever.

SOUND EFFECTS: The flushing of a toilet.

SPEAKER: There it goes.

ANNOUNCER: This broadcast was prepared and sponsored ….

END FILL MUSIC: Worship His Majesty.

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