“Establishment” Vs. “Endorsement”

The words “establishment” and “endorsement” have very different meanings.

If I “establish” a restaurant that is totally different than if I “endorse” a restaurant.

If I “establish” a restaurant, I create it, I own it, and I operate it.

If I “endorse” a restaurant, I am just a customer who likes it enough to tell someone else about it.

The first Amendment prevents Congress from making any law respecting an “establishment” of religion. Our Government is not allowed to create, own, or operate a religion (as was previously done by the Government in England with the Church of England).

The first Amendment does NOT prevent Congress from making any law respecting an “endorsement” of religion. Our Congress has always “endorsed” Christianity, from the moment of the opening prayer at the very first session of Congress.

When the President gives the State of the Union address, do you know what is above his head, LITERALLY CARVED IN STONE?

In God We Trust”.

And do you know whose image is carved in stone on the opposite wall? 

Moses.

——————————

See Also:
God, Moses, Crosses and the Bible in Our Capitol Building

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22 Responses to “Establishment” Vs. “Endorsement”

  1. Pingback: The First Amendment Turned Upside-Down « I Took The Red Pill (and escaped the Matrix)

  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Any endorsement would be an establishment.

    The Constitution is a document that creates a government of limited powers, those powers that We the People delegate to it. Could you comb your copy of the Constitution and tell us from which clause one could take the powers to “endorse” religion? It’s just not there.

  3. Ed Darrell says:

    When the President gives the State of the Union address, do you know what is above his head, LITERALLY CARVED IN STONE?

    “In God We Trust”.

    Do you know the Supreme Court says that’s not an endorsement of religion, and that if it were, it would be illegal?

    And do you know whose image is carved in stone on the opposite wall?

    Moses.

    And the Jew, Maimonides.

    And the Moslem Suleiman.

    And Hammurabi, the pre-Abramic king.

    And the Greek polytheist Solon.

    I suppose that makes us a Moslem nation? It makes us a pagan nation? It makes a polytheist nation?

    Why not just take Thomas Jefferson’s view of religious freedom, since he’s the chief author of the laws in that era? America, Jefferson wrote, is a nation whose laws welcome people of all faiths, including “the Hindoo, the Mahometan, and infidels of all faiths.”

  4. Any endorsement would be an establishment.

    That is what the ACLU would have you believe, but that is wrong. Endorsing a restaurant does not make me the owner and operator of the establishment. The two things (endorsement and establishment) are NOT the same.

    The Constitution is a document that creates a government of limited powers, those powers that We the People delegate to it. Could you comb your copy of the Constitution and tell us from which clause one could take the powers to “endorse” religion? It’s just not there.

    Congress is the Legislative branch, and their purpose is to create new laws. I agree that the Constitution limits what the federal government can do, and in this case the limit is found within the first amendment. Congress is prohibited from creating any law concerning the “establishment” of religion. The first amendment does not put any such prohibition on the “endorsement” of religion. Our Congress has endorsed Christianity since its very first act:

    I suppose that makes us a Moslem nation? It makes us a pagan nation? It makes a polytheist nation?

    All of those “lawgivers” had an influence on law. But look at how each of them looks toward Moses, the central figure, and the only lawgiver who looks out at the Speaker of the House. All of the other lawgivers look not at the Speaker, but towards Moses.

    The eleven profiles in the eastern half of the chamber face left and the eleven in the western half face right, so that all look towards the full-face relief of Moses in the center of the north wall.

    It is clear that the 10 Commandments play a central role in the foundation of our laws.

    The most important business in this Nation–or any other nation, for that matter-is raising and training children. If those children have the proper environment at home, and educationally, very, very few of them ever turn out wrong. I don’t think we put enough stress on the necessity of implanting in the child’s mind the moral code under which we live.

    The fundamental basis of this Nation’s law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days.

    If we don’t have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.

    President Harry S. Truman

    Why not just take Thomas Jefferson’s view of religious freedom, since he’s the chief author of the laws in that era? America, Jefferson wrote, is a nation whose laws welcome people of all faiths, including “the Hindoo, the Mahometan, and infidels of all faiths.”

    I’ll answer you with part of a longer answer I gave in response to an atheist asking:

    So it’s fine for the government to say, “We support the idea that Buddhists are going to hell” (for example)?

    We have always been a Christian Nation, where people of differing faiths are welcomed and allowed to practice their faith freely. The first amendment guarantees the free exercise of whatever religion (or no religion) that you chose to recognize.

    But free exercise also means that Congress cannot restrict the free exercise of religion and free speech of Christians. Which is why LBJ’s amendment to an IRS bill, which limits what church pastors can say, is completely unconstitutional.

    You may also want to read my post De-moral-ization Leads to Totalitarianism.

  5. Ed Darrell says:

    Randy Forbes is an idiot. You have no response other than Forbes?

    As the Treaty of Tripoli said, the U.S. is in no way a Christian nation. Randy Forbes’ attempt to abort history cannot change the First Amendment.

  6. Ed Darrell says:

    By the standards of the second video, the U.S. is a pagan nation. “Open acknowledgements of God?”

    Balderdash. Tributes to the Roman gods far outweigh references to Christian faith. To get into the Library of Congress, for example, you have to get past the Neptune Fountain standing guard.

    You confuse professions of faith by citizens with governmental establishment of religion. Christianity can be expressed, as can other religions. So Mohammed looks over the proceedings of the Supreme Court. Jefferson looks over proceedings of the House of Representatives.

    The Northwest Ordinance doesn’t establish religion, but instead, in the FIRST section guarantees freedom of religion in all territories, and in the fourth section orders that education be preserved, hoping that people like Randy Forbes won’t exist in the future (sometimes education doesn’t take).

    There was no Church of Congress. Shame on those people — teaching such crap will be as a millstone on their necks, as Jesus warned.

    So much history distorted! But still the First Amendment and Constitution are secure from these distortions, untrammeled, unchanged, creating a secular nation where Christianity may flourish.

    It pains me to see anyone urinate on our religious freedoms so. It’s as if they fail to understand what it is they have, the gold of religious freedom in their own hands.

  7. Ed Darrell says:

    Oh, and the Apotheosis of Washington? You’ve never been in the Capitol, I take it. It’s a wonderful building with fantastic and inspiring works of art. It’s not the Vatican by any stretch, by intention of the founders and others.

  8. Randy Forbes is an idiot. You have no response other than Forbes?

    Ad hominem attacks are for idiots. I have plenty of other responses… I suggest you read them all before commenting again.

    As the Treaty of Tripoli said, the U.S. is in no way a Christian nation.

    Educate yourself on both the 1797 and 1805 treaties with Tripoli.

    Randy Forbes’ attempt to abort history cannot change the First Amendment.

    Abortion is the strong suit of Leftists. Randy Forbes is not “aborting” history, you are.

    The Northwest Ordinance doesn’t establish religion

    That’s one thing on which I agree with you.

    There was no Church of Congress. Shame on those people

    A church did meet regularly in the House of Representatives. Historical Fact. And the American Bible Society held it’s 58th Anniversary in the Hall of the U.S. House of Representatives, as well.

    So much history distorted!

    …by the atheists.

    But still the First Amendment and Constitution are secure from these distortions, untrammeled, unchanged,

    The words of the first amendment remain unchanged, but Leftist Judges have tried to change the meaning of those words…taking an amendment that was intended to protect the church from government interference, and instead using the government to unconstitutionally restrict the free exercise of religious expression.

    creating a secular nation where Christianity may flourish.

    Our nation has never been “a secular nation”.

    Not when the pilgrims came here “Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith“.

    Not when the First Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court said:

    “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

    Not when FDR led the nation in a 6-minute prayer on June 6, 1944.

    You say:

    It pains me to see anyone urinate on our religious freedoms so. It’s as if they fail to understand what it is they have, the gold of religious freedom in their own hands.

    I’m not “urinating” on religious freedoms. I’m defending them. You fail to realize that the notion that the 1st amendment somehow prohibits the “endorsement” of religion (it doesn’t), has led to unconstitutional government restrictions on the free exercise of religion. The 1st Amendment has been turned upside down, and judges have been “urinating” on our religious freedoms.

    Oh, and the Apotheosis of Washington? You’ve never been in the Capitol, I take it. It’s a wonderful building with fantastic and inspiring works of art. It’s not the Vatican by any stretch, by intention of the founders and others.

    I was on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives last year. And I visited the Chapel in the Capitol, which contains a stained glass window showing George Washington kneeling in prayer and a Bible verse.

    You point a finger at Randy Forbes and call him an idiot. I think there are three fingers pointing back at you.

  9. Ed Darrell says:

    1. Randy Forbes is still an idiot, and it’s shameful that you parade his distortions of U.S. history. People who do not know the truth can be called ignorant. People who should know the truth but spread false claims anyway are called “idiots” to be polite. I’ve detailed many of the errors of Forbes. He’s continued to push for false history. Shame on him, and shame on you.

    You don’t like religious diversity, that’s clear. As Franklin and Jefferson noted many times, and as Madison was clear about the Constitution, religious diversity is one of the great strengths of this nation. If you read enough history, good history, you can understand that. If you bathe in the revisionist histories of Randy Forbes and David Barton, your millstone will grow, and you may never be enlightened. One of the marks of education is knowing what not to study, as well as studying the right stuff. Forbes and Barton fall into the “what not to study” category.

    They make the error you seem to make — that mere statements of fact, observations on America, might somehow endanger the First Amendment; that noting America’s diversity is a problem; that making America free for the practice of one’s own religion isn’t good unless it’s accompanied by censorship of the faith of others.

    Those errors erode America’s traditions, laws and greatness. Please stop.

    2. I’ve analyzed all the Barbary Treaties, checking my analysis with the archives at the State Department. Article 11 of the Tripoli Treaty is regarded in law, and in historical accounts other than Hunter Miller’s, as delivered to the U.S. Senate. You’d do well to study them. While the Treaty with Tripoli is most obvious, all of them include a clause which says, in effect, that the U.S. is not a Christian nation and so Moslem nations have no inherent religious dispute with the U.S., as opposed to the “Christian nations” of Europe. The Moslems were concerned, as well they may have remembered history, that Christian nations were just looking for new ways to wage war against them. They were encouraged that the U.S. had no established religion, no structural role for religion in government, and they gave the U.S. more favorable treatment as a result. Each of the treaties includes clauses requiring each party to respect the various faiths of the citizens of the other nation.

    Now, to believe the Treaty of Tripoli was in error, a claim for which there is no serious support, one must believe that somehow the United States made the same error in several treaties, and ratified those errors repeatedly, over a period of 30 years. That’s simply uncredible.

    2. Randy Forbes’ attempt to abort history has been unsuccessful so far. If you’re opposed to abortion, why not oppose abortions of history, too? His accounts are simply at odds with the facts.

    3. There was no church of Congress. Yes, the Capitol was used for church services — it was generally the only building around suitable for church services. It continued to serve in that role on days when it was vacant, without official support from Congress, until churches were built in the District of Columbia. Separation of church and state does not mean that public buildings may not be used by religious people or even for a religious service. Buildings are wide open for anyone — you may remember the service in which the Rev. Sun Myun Moon was crowned King of America, in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building. By your standards, I presume you think we all must bow to Rev. Moon now.

    Churches do not meet at the same time as the House or Senate, nor do they meet (nor have they met) under the official aegis of the U.S. government. It’s public use of a public building. Lobbyists use the buildings now — does that make us a tobacco nation? An ACLU nation? Get real.

    Schools across America host churches on Sundays. That merely means a public building is in use. Moslems use the schools, too, as do several other faiths. So what?

    4. The First Amendment was in response to requests from the people of the U.S. to reinforce the state religious freedom clauses (each colony had disestablished its church by 1778, during the revolution, as part of severing ties with England and Europe, and establishing religious freedom). Technically superfluous, Madison argued, since in the Constitution itself there is no role for government nor a role for religion in government — the First Amendment steps up the ante, enumerating religious rights (and other rights) and saying that these areas are off-limits for Congress even legislating. It creates a wall both ways between government and religion — reiterating, and superseding the ban on religion in Article VI.

    No one has restricted expressions of religion. You’re imagining things. See, for example, West Virginia v. Barnette, in which the Court allows faith to trump state laws requiring students to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

    5. Our nation has been a secular nation in the making since 1660, and pretty well since the establishments were ended in 1778. As Jefferson explained it in his Autobiography:

    The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason and right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read, “a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo, and the Infidel of every denomination.

    Still true.

    6. As to the Mayflower Compact, when you get to law school and finish Contracts, or when you remember how to diagram sentences, take a few minutes to read the document. The Mayflower Compact is regarded by historians of all stripes as the first example of government by consent of the governed in North America. While it has all the proper respectful references to God, God is not part of the bargain. Diane Ravitch explains in The American Reader (accurately) that the Compact was made necessary because most of the passengers aboard the Mayflower were not with the religious refugees, but were instead craftsmen and tradesmen sent by the sponsors, the London Company, to make sure the colony was economically viable. When the ship landed so late, so far north of the land where they had a charter to settle, the craftsmen and tradesmen announced the religious group was on its own. Literally at the point of John Bradford’s gun, the group got a charter before they got off the ship (which ultimately cost many of them their lives because of the delay — a topic for another time). The charter simply says that the two groups, each individual signing, agreed that they would establish a good government from among them, and that they would obey the laws of that government. It was a compact without God, with God as an observer only and not a participant. It was a compact outside the purview of the divine-right king, outside the purview of any church — a wholly secular contract.

    Odd that you’d offer that secular agreement as evidence of religious intent, when it evidences secular intent instead — secular intent to produce peace between people of differing religious beliefs.

    6. We have always tolerated our presidents making statements of their own faith, and prayers in broadcast that carry no implication of establishment of religion. It’s highly ironic that you’d cite a prayer for God’s aid on D-Day, when American soldiers fought and died to defend the Firs Amendment, which you wish to eviscerate now.

    Surely you don’t mean to suggest that we must follow the religion of the president.

    7. Look up “endorsement” in Black’s. The First Amendment most assuredly does prevent endorsement of religion — as Justice Jackson noted in the Barnette case:

    If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.

    8. I’ll bet you can’t name any restrictions on exercise of religion. There are none that are really significant.

    9. Glad you saw the Capitol. I hope you saw enough of it to realize that the chapel you saw, installed in the 1950s, is no representation of the founders’ intent. I hope you saw enough of the Bartholdi paintings to realize that there is, in toto, no endorsement of religion, but rather an explanation of American qualities. I note your failure to pay attention to the Apotheosis of Washington, in which Washington is welcomed to Olympus by Minerva and Ben Franklin. It’s the largest painting in the Capitol, lording it over all the others on the top of the dome in the Rotunda. Surely if we are to find religious meaning in the art of the Capitol, it must be that we are Romans working with the Roman gods (think: where did the name “Senate” come from? what about the fasces displayed on either side of the Speaker’s chair in the House?).

    By the way, did you get the Jewish prayer, the Hindu prayer, the Native American prayer, or the Christian prayer? Does the nation change its religion depending on the prayer in the House? What happens when the prayer in the House conflicts with the prayer in the Senate?

    Have you ever read Marsh v. Chambers?

    I don’t point any fingers at Randy Forbes. I describe with deadly accuracy the history sins he commits. If, as you claim, he is not an idiot, the alternative is that he is evil, trying to eviscerate the memory of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson with full understanding of the evil he commits.

    Which are you, ill-informed, or evil?

  10. Pingback: In Congress, March 16, 1776 « I Took The Red Pill (and escaped the Matrix)

  11. When it comes to the Founders and the Constitution, David Barton knows orders of magnitude more than Jon Stewart.

    Jon Stewart threw every straw man (that his staff gave him on note cards) that he could at David Barton, and Barton knocked every single one of those straw men down. Barton has spent decades studying thousands of primary source documents. Stewart has spent minutes, possibly hours, studying the note cards his staff gave him. It was no contest. Every time Stewart threw a false accusation at Barton, Barton countered with the truth. And every time, Stewart would interrupt Barton’s answer. Stewart could only crack a joke or change the subject; he couldn’t have a straight-up discussion of the truth.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-may-4-2011/david-barton-pt–1

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-may-4-2011/david-barton-pt–2

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-may-4-2011/exclusive—david-barton-extended-interview-pt–1

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-may-4-2011/exclusive—david-barton-extended-interview-pt–2

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-may-4-2011/exclusive—david-barton-extended-interview-pt–3

    I would love to see a similar discussion between David Barton and “Constitutional Law” lecturer Barack Obama.

    When it comes to the Founders and the Constitution, David Barton knows orders of magnitude more than Barack Obama.

  12. From WallBuilders

    As Discussed with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show: John Adams 1809 Letter
    A December 21, 1809 letter by John Adams to Benjamin Rush.
    Read Letter »»

    As Discussed with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show: Treaty of Tripoli
    The 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, specifically article XI, is commonly misused in editorial columns, articles, as well as in other areas of the media, both Christian and secular.
    Read Article »»

    As Discussed with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show: The Aitken Bible
    Robert Aitken’s Bible was the first known English-language Bible to be printed in America, and also the only Bible to receive Congressional approval.
    Read Article »»

    As Discussed with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show: The Separation of Church and State
    In 1947, in the case Everson v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court declared, “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”
    Read Article »»

    Letters Between the Danbury Baptists and Thomas Jefferson
    An 1801 letter from the Danbury Baptists and President Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 response in which he used the famous phrase “a wall of separation between Church and State.”
    Read Letters »»

    The Founders And Public Religious Expressions
    An article with quotes by various Founding Fathers on pubic religious expression.
    Read Article »»

  13. Ed Darrell says:

    When it comes to the Founders and the Constitution, David Barton knows orders of magnitude more than Barack Obama.

    The only problem is that none of the stuff Barton “knows” is true or accurate.

    The hebephrenic on the downtown street corner knows more than Barton, too.

    If volume of stuff were the only criterion, they’d be whizzes. It’s necessary, in history, to be accurate, too.

  14. none of the stuff Barton “knows” is true or accurate.

    Projection.

    Practically none of the stuff you say is true or accurate. Barton presents primary sources. Are you claiming that those primary sources are not true or accurate?

    I present a primary source here. Are you claiming that that primary source is not true or accurate?

  15. Ed Darrell says:

    I present a primary source here. Are you claiming that that primary source is not true or accurate?

    That declaration had minimal effect in comparison with the writings of Thomas Paine. Are you saying that you ignore all the sources Thomas Jefferson cited?

    No, of course not. But that’s the logical implication, and the clear statement, from Barton.

    Do you take Barton’s word on what Jefferson thought over Jefferson’s? Why?

  16. Ed Darrell says:

    As Discussed with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show: Treaty of Tripoli
    The 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, specifically article XI, is commonly misused in editorial columns, articles, as well as in other areas of the media, both Christian and secular.
    Read Article »»

    But rarely as abused as when David Barton slaughters history.

    Curious about Barton’s views, I checked out the copy held by the U.S. State Department. It contains the clause.

    Moreover, this was just one of seven treaties approved by the future U.S. and the U.S. between 1786 and 1816 in which similar statements appeared, including the rewriting of this treaty in about 1805.

    The intent of the Washington and Adams administrations was clear, the intent of Joel Barlow was clear, the intent of the Barbary states was clear, and the intent of the Senate was clear: The U.S. was (is) not to be counted among the “Christian” states of Europe (nor of the world) who have religious objections to the existence of Islamic nations, and therefore the U.S. is not to be considered a religiously-based, inherent enemy of any state, including especially these “Barbary” states including the nation then known as Tripoli.

    I’m not sure why Barton wishes to confuse the history, but there is no support for his view in any straight history, nor in the versions of the treaties held by the State Department to establish our history.

    Barton’s prevarications about these treaties over the years is quite wearying — his refusal to correct his record after 30 years indicates his malevolent intent.

  17. So, you acknowledge that the primary source I found and cited is true and accurate, but then you make your own unfounded assertion that it “had minimal effect”. Who are you to judge the effect of unified fasting, prayer, and humiliation across the colonies on May 17, 1776? Who are you to assert that it “had minimal effect”? Who are you to claim that their prayers were not effectual and that God did not answer their prayers?

    One of our Founders clearly disagrees with your assertion that prayer “had minimal effect”.

    On Thursday, June 28, 1787, Ben Franklin said to the Constitutional Convention:

    … In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. — Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance.

    I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that “except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach and a bye word down to future age. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.

    I therefore beg leave to move — that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service.

    You asked:

    Do you take Barton’s word on what Jefferson thought over Jefferson’s? Why?

    I take Benjamin Franklin’s word on what the Founders thought over yours.

  18. Sidenote:

    Barack Hussein Obama said:

    My individual salvation depends on

    our collective salvation.

    I think I’ve found the origin of that thought process…

    There are no supreme saviors,
    Neither God, nor Caesar nor tribune;
    Producers, let us save ourselves,
    We decree common salvation!

    – literal translation of part of Eugène Pottier’s
    “The Internationale”, from “Chants Révolutionnaires”.

    Most other translations are meant to be sung, and so radically change Pottier’s original sense. This is the song as Pottier wrote it. Translated for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor

  19. Thank you so much for this blog. Excellent material my friend.

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