RUSH: Kevin in Moberly, Missouri. Welcome, Kevin. It’s nice to have you on the program.
CALLER: Hey! It’s an honor, Rush. I’ve been listening to you since the day after the Oklahoma City bombing.
RUSH: I appreciate that, which the Clinton administration tried to blame me for, you might remember.
CALLER: Yeah. (laughing) I remember that. I had a hard time making the connection.
RUSH: Well, so did I. Heh, heh, heh. Anyway, what’s up?
CALLER: Well, this is something that’s been annoying me for about 20 years now: How can there be such confusion in what is presumably an educated country about the firewall between church and state. Now, as I understand it, the church-and-state separation is there to ensure two things. One, that I cannot be compelled by force of law to attend church, and two, that my money cannot be compelled to be given to it — which would mean no federal mandating of attending, and no federal mandating of funding. Beyond that, there is no separation of church and state. If you go back to our earlier founders’ documents, the references to God and religious faith were replete.
RUSH: Yeah. That’s the place to start with this. Kevin, thanks for the call. I appreciate it. The way this all started — and I want to spend a little bit more time on this. I’ve been hearing some of the most incredible stories about how American history is being taught in high school here in south Florida. There is an instance… There’s a teacher who has a doctorate, a Ph.D. She brings in her total hack, liberal political bias and teaches that as American history. For example: ‘God is not part of this country. It was never intended to be. The Founding Fathers were atheists.’ This woman, this teacher, will not even, on papers type, out the word God, probably types ‘G-D.’ The latest is separation of church and state; Thomas Jefferson was an atheist, and it was never intended that the Christian right have this kind of power in this country. She makes them read editorials from the Atlanta Urinal-Constipation newspaper and so forth. The woman does not teach the course. What she does, in order to get the kids passed, is give them the test and the answers — the questions and the answers — 24 hours before the test so they all pass it so that her review looks good. She finally was called on this, and the principal said, ‘You’ve got to stop giving them the questions and answers,’ and the teacher went back to the class and said, ‘Guess what? I can no longer give you the questions and the answers.’
Now, you might be saying, ‘Well, why don’t the kids stand up?’
Folks, let me tell you something. If I was a kid and the teacher is giving me the questions and the answers, I’d shut up. I’d take it. I’d give it, and I’d put up with whatever rhetoric was part it. But, hell yes, I hated school, too. Anything to make it as easy as pie, I did. I took the path of least resistance. This is just absurd what is happening in this classroom. So I suggested to the mother here, ‘Get your daughter George Washington’s first Thanksgiving address and have her take that in — this is an American history course — and see what this nut job teacher does with that,’ and then the Thomas Jefferson separation of church and state thing came up. This has been taken so out of context, and has been amplified far beyond what Jefferson ever intended. For example, Thomas Jefferson — I don’t know how many of you people were taught this, thus I don’t know how many of you remember it. Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence — and, of course, it speaks of God repeatedly. It speaks of unalienable rights which are endowed by our Creator. Now, the Declaration of Independence is our founding document. So if Thomas Jefferson was hostile to religion, the basis of which is God, it’s hard to explain his writings in such an important document. It is actually shameful that a woman with a Ph.D. has access to young skulls full of mush, to pollute their minds with such nonsense. How in the world can you say that Thomas Jefferson didn’t believe in God, didn’t want God anywhere near us? He wrote the first draft of the Declaration! When this all started in 1947, the Supreme Court seized on a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote. ‘The wall of separation between church and state’ was taken out of context in a letter that Jefferson wrote to the Danbury, Connecticut, Baptist community in which he explained why he didn’t call for national days of fasting and Thanksgiving, as George Washington and John Adams had as president. But two days later he went to church! He attended church services in the House of Representatives. He continued as a regular attendant throughout his presidency.
RUSH: I want to finish my thought on this separation of church and state business here, folks, because this is important. I don’t care if you have some wacko teacher teaching your kid wrongly about it, it’s still something that everybody has just come to accept, and it doesn’t exist. There’s no such thing. You can go to the Constitution, go to First Amendment, and freedom of religion is the first thing that’s mentioned. And it just says, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.’ That seals us against the fear of a state church. That’s it. ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Now, the key here is coercion, which I will get to in a moment. But in that First Amendment, there’s no separation clause there.
This phrase, separation of church and state, comes from Thomas Jefferson’s letter. He wrote it on January 1st, 1802, to the Danbury Baptist Association. He used the phrase, ‘a wall of separation between church and state’ to describe what the First Amendment had accomplished so that these Baptists didn’t need to fear state governments’ declarations of days of prayer and fasting, as abridging their religious rights. They didn’t have to fear it because nothing could be done to them. The First Amendment protects religious expression even by individuals in government, and even in public halls and government buildings. Jefferson solidified this by concluding his letter with a reference to the common father and creator of man. Now, this letter ended up being seized on in 1947 by the Supreme Court, in a case called Emerson vs. Board of Education. The Supreme Court in ’47 asserted that separation of church and state is mandated by the Constitution. That was a complete misstatement of Jefferson’s record, to seize a single letter and to ignore the rest of his record and to take that whole phrase, a wall of separation, out of the context of the letter that Jefferson wrote.
Now, as an aside, ladies and gentlemen, Thomas Jefferson was not at the constitutional convention. He was representing our country in France. He was investigating Bordeaux. He didn’t vote on the Constitution. He was a deist, not an atheist. In other words, he believed in a supreme being, but not a supreme being who intercedes simply because someone prays and asks him to. But without getting into all that, the point is that Jefferson was not hostile to religion, his record is not one of banishing it from the public square, at all. So this is something that’s been taken totally out of context, purposefully by liberals, teachers, and so forth, who have a great fear of religion. It dovetails with what I was talking about yesterday. Liberalism can be defined in many ways, and one of the ways you can define it is, it has no meaning beyond itself. Everything’s about them. They are the center of their universe, individually and collectively. They do not have any sense that there’s something bigger than they are. They have never learned that there are things in life that are more important than they are. They’re hostile to religion. They’re hostile to God because that gives people meaning.
You can have everything in the world you want; you can go out and achieve everything you want, and still people have empty lives who have achieved all those things. Those things do not provide happiness and a sense of meaning in life. We’re all searching for meaning, but liberals aren’t. They think they’ve found it in themselves. So when they are confronted with people who know that there are many things larger than themselves individually, and have faith in a God, that is a huge threat, because liberals want themselves to be looked at that way and their government that they run looked at that way. So you have these liberals who take the Supreme Court decision and they run with it, and they use it and point at it, and say, ‘See? See? This country is not about Christians; it’s not about God; it’s not about anything. You can’t put the nativity scene in my town at Christmastime, because that’s a violation of the First amendment.’ It is not, because nobody’s being coerced. You put the nativity scene up, fine and dandy. Nobody has to go watch it; nobody has to understand it; nobody has to go on and pay devotion to it; nobody has to be anything.
Without coercion, there cannot be any forcing by government, local, state, federal, whatever, of religion on anybody. But people get offended — and why do they get offended? It’s not because they hate nativity scenes. It’s larger than that. They get offended because the nativity scene, or any other such expression, represents a threat to the world view they have that they are the center of the universe. They are genuinely afraid of people who have discovered or are on the path trying to discover genuine meaning in life. Now, we human beings are very curious, and we all have questions. Why are we here? Where did this come from? How did it happen? We have questions we are capable of asking, but we have no way of ever answering them. Not on this earth, anyway. That will always be the case, I don’t care what scientists tell us, what they do with the genetic code, what they do with DNA, all this stuff, we are going to have questions we will never ever have the answers to. So what sustains us when we don’t get the answers? Faith.
I remember reading Pascal, the Pensees. Blaise Pascal, French philosopher. By the way, did you see the story about how many French do not brush their teeth? I don’t know if this is true of Pascal or not, but one million French citizens never brush their teeth. Half of all French do not brush their teeth in the evening. Fifty-seven of French children under five have never brushed their teeth. It is amazing French kissing was ever invented. Anyway, Pascal, he was just beside himself trying to prove Christianity to himself. The Bible wasn’t enough for him. He wanted to find ways to establish it for himself. Everybody does. It’s curious, and it has the ability to be somewhat deep. So Pascal, to him — this is just, again, I’m not coercing you to believe this, I’m sharing this information with you, besides, I’m not a government entity. So the First Amendment is not applicable to me here in this sense. But Pascal, the resurrection of Christ was the key. If that didn’t happen, then nothing else in it could be true. And he said, ‘How can this happen? How can somebody die and come back? How can that happen?’ And here’s what he came up with to satisfy himself. Very simple. He said it’s easier to believe that something that has been can be again, than it is to believe that something that’s never been can be. Now, I don’t know what impact that makes on you, but I’m fascinated.
Malcolm Muggeridge was another, British individual, big atheist. He set out to prove Christianity was a fraud, and he became one of the biggest disciples of Christianity ever. This happens a lot of times when you have people who don’t believe it, try to prove that it’s all bogus, and they end up being some of the biggest converts you ever run into. And they’re all profound intellectuals. Now, I’m focusing on Christianity because I am one, but I’m not doing this to disparage anything else. The point is, whatever your religious belief is, it’s based on something larger than yourself, and it’s based on a desire to understand more than we’re capable of understanding. It’s a way to seek explanations, salvation, eternal life, all of these things. None of this applies to liberals, folks. People that do have these quests and people that have come to the realization that there are many things in life larger than themselves are huge threats to liberals because it shakes their total world view and it takes them out of being the center of the orbit. That’s the reason for their hatred of the Christian right. In fact, their hatred of the Christian right is such that they will tolerate violent religions and try to compare the Christian right to them and so forth.
It’s not hard to understand who liberals are, at all, and why it is that they are motivated the way they are. This separation of church and state thing is a great illustration. Why have to go out of your way to distort this and then try to teach it to kids when, by the way, you are a teacher and you’re in the public school, you are part of the state, and you are coercing. If you are telling your students that you’re not going to let God in your classroom because it shouldn’t be part of the country, it was never part of the country, separation of church and state, you are coercing and you are prohibited from doing that. That’s what this teacher in this school down here that I’ve been talking about all day is up to, and is just an idiot, and yet has a doctoral degree. Nothing more than a pure liberal hack who probably has a miserable life, spends a lot of it in fear. It’s just frustrating when you have something that’s so easily understood as Thomas Jefferson’s life, as it relates to God, the Founding Fathers.
How in the world can you teach an American history class and tell your students that the Founding Fathers were atheists if you’ve ever read George Washington’s farewell address, his inaugural address, or the Thanksgiving address? If you’re teaching American history, I would assume that you’ve been taught those things somewhere along the line in your own education. So you throw all that out, you throw the facts out, and you substitute your world view for it because you are a liberal and you’re smarter than everybody else and the world revolves around you. All these beliefs that people have that can’t be proved, why, they’re just distractions.