This post continues a discussion started here.
Imagine that President Barack Obama declares that the new name of the United States is "The United Socialist States of America (USSA)." He says that we need "new vision" which "transcends individualism" and emphasizes that this nation is united and committed to social purposes above individual "greed," working together "on behalf of a common purpose."
Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glen Beck are up in arms (even though this represents a continuation of Bush Administration policies).
Or, alternatively, imagine that President B. Hussein Obama declares that the new name of the United States is now "The United Sharia States of America (USSA)." Obama joins hands with "moderate" muslims around the world, announcing that Islam is really a religion of peace, and that by joining America with the Muslim world, we have a better chance of fighting terrorists that don't really represent the true teachings of Islam.
The Christian Right would be up in arms (even though this too represents a continuation of Bush Administration policies).
But one thing is clear: either of these Executive Decrees (or even proposals for a Constitutional Amendment) would cause a firestorm of controversy. The Blogosphere would be electrified, talk radio would double its wattage, Fox News would cover the story around the clock. Books, pamphlets, DVD's and fundraisers-disguised-as-petitions would be mailed out by ministries of the "Religious Right." Mountains of paper and electrons would be created in response to these proposed changes.
Imagine now that in 2010 a cosmic cataclysm resulted in the North American continent being fast-frozen under thousands of feet of ice.
The year is now 2209. Two centuries years after Obama, Archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians are all discovering a forgotten civilization as the ice melts.
Assume that the internet can be resurrected, and all the blogs, all the podcasts, and all the webpages can be recovered. All the books, magazines, and direct-mail solicitations published in 2009 are available for study by historians seeking to reconstruct the history of America.
As they examine the record, would they find any evidence of any controversy over Obama's proposed re-naming of the USA? Would there be any record of the dramatic shift from a Constitutional Republic (1776 and 1787) to Sharia Law or Communism?
Now let's return to the discussion that started here.
Recall that the original purpose of the first settlers of America was to propagate the Christian Faith. Every single one of the 13 colonies were Christian Theocracies. The Declaration of Independence (as amended) is Theocratic, insofar is it acknowledges that our nation is "Under God," a phrase that goes back before the 1600's. Even as late as 1892, the U.S. Supreme Court was able to say that the United States is (still) a Christian nation.
If Madison and Jefferson had proposed changing America from a Christian nation to an atheistic nation (some call it "secular," but the point is that America's federal government would no longer acknowledge itself to be "under God," obligated to obey God's commandments, behaving as though there were no God, as though atheism were true and Christianity were false), wouldn't that have created a firestorm of controversy? Why would the 13 Christian Theocracies have ratified a constitution that gave the federal government the power to secularize the states -- to impose atheism on them?
The basic meaning of the myth of "separation of church and state" is that the federal government has the right to prohibit local schools from teaching children that God says "Thou shalt not steal," and even to prohibit local schools from teaching students that the Declaration of Independence is really true. The practical result of the myth of "separation of church and state" is that the federal government has the right to impose atheism on states which were officially and pervasively Christian.
Would 13 Christian Theocracies have adopted a secular constitution which created this "separation?"
Where is the evidence that the federal constitution proposed in 1787 was a secular constitution, was intended to be such, and understood to be such? Where is the evidence that anyone in America believed that the proposed constitution was secular and would impose a "separation of God and Government?"