Note the following timeline:
1776/03/16 – Continental Congress earnestly recommends that May 17th be observed by the Colonies as a day of HUMILIATION, FASTING, and PRAYER.
1776/05/17 – Colonies observe day of HUMILIATION, FASTING, and PRAYER.
1776/07/04 – Declaration of Independence declares as self-evident truth that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights
1777/07/07 – The Congress desire to have a Bible printed under their care & by their encouragement
1777/09/11 – The Congress of the United States of America moved to import 20,000 copies of the Bible
1778/05/02 – General George Washington’s orders directed
that divine Service be performed every Sunday and “expected that Officers of all Ranks will by their attendance set an example to their men… To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian—The signal Instances of providential Goodness which we have experienced and which have now almost crowned our labours with complete Success, demand from us in a peculiar manner the warmest returns of Gratitude & Piety to the Supreme Author of all Good.” (note how this language echoes the language of the Continental Congress document from 1776/03/16)
1783/06/08 – General George Washington’s Circular Letter of Farewell to Army ends with a description of “the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.”
1787/09/17 – Final draft of the Constitution sent to Congress
1787/12/07 – Delaware ratifies the Constitution
1787/12/12 – Pennsylvania ratifies the Constitution
1787/12/18 – New Jersey ratifies the Constitution
1788/01/02 – Georgia ratifies the Constitution
1788/01/09 – Connecticut ratifies the Constitution
1788/02/06 – Massachusetts ratifies the Constitution
1788/04/28 – Maryland ratifies the Constitution
1788/05/23 – South Carolina ratifies the Constitution
1788/06/21 – New Hampshire ratifies the Constitution
1788/06/21 – Constitution Ratified
1788/06/25 – Virginia ratifies the Constitution
1788/07/26 – New York ratifies the Constitution
1789/03/04 – The Constitution goes into effect
1789/04/30 – President George Washington takes office
1789/09/25– Congress passes 12 Amendments (which became Amendments 1-10, 27, and one unratified)
1789/10/03 – At the request of Congress, President George Washington issues Thanksgiving Proclamation
1789/11/20 – New Jersey ratifies Amendments 1-10
1789/11/21 – North Carolina ratifies the Constitution
1789/12/19 – Maryland ratifies Amendments 1-10
1789/12/22 – North Carolina ratifies Amendments 1-10
1790/01/19 – South Carolina ratifies Amendments 1-10
1790/01/25 – New Hampshire ratifies Amendments 1-10
1790/01/28 – Delaware ratifies Amendments 1-10
1790/02/24 – New York ratifies Amendments 1-10
1790/03/10 – Pennsylvania ratifies Amendments 1-10
1790/05/29 – Rhode Island ratifies the Constitution
1790/06/07 – Rhode Island ratifies Amendments 1-10
1791/03/04 – Vermont ratifies the Constitution
1791/11/03 – Vermont ratifies Amendments 1-10
1791/12/15 – Virginia ratifies Amendments 1-10
1791/12/15 – Amendments 1-10 ratified
1795/01/01 – President Washington issues another Thanksgiving Proclamation
The Bill of Rights is about preserving our God-given (Endowed by our Creator) inalienable rights.
The First Amendment is about preserving our God-given (Endowed by our Creator) inalienable rights in our expression of religion: in speech, in press, in assembly, in petitioning for redress of grievances.
The First Amendment is about ensuring that the government never takes away our freedom of religious expression.
Yet today, that has been turned 180 degrees, and a phrase that doesn’t even exist in the Constitution or Bill of Rights is now being used to take away the very rights the first amendment was written to protect.
Those who best understand the “original intent” of the first amendment are those who were there when it was written and subsequently ratified in 11 states. If the original intent was as the ACLU claims, then why did President George Washington issue these religious proclamations? Why didn’t anyone object and claim that they were unconstitutional?
Realize this truth: The same congress that passed this amendment on September 25th, 1789…
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
…was the same Congress that asked President George Washington to issue the Thanksgiving Proclamation that was delivered a mere eight days later: October 3rd, 1789.
And whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint Committee, requested me
“To recommend to the People of the United States, a Day of public Thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful Hearts the many and signal Favors of Almighty GOD, especially by affording them an Opportunity peaceably to establish a Form of Government for their Safety and Happiness.”
Many people, including the atheist Hitchens, are wrong about the Founders.
Some, like Dan Riehl, like to make hay about “What Washington didn’t say about God and the Bible“. Let them go back and read the multitude of primary source documents that clearly show how the overwhelming majority of our founders based both their lives and founding of this country upon the Bible.