The Creator, God, Lord, Divine, Supreme Being

While the Declaration of Independence did mention the Creator, God was not specifically referenced in the US Constitution. His name was invoked numerous times during its composition, including time-outs for prayer, and a good case can be made that the Bible was used as a major source throughout.  But when it comes to state constitutions, God or the divine in referred to in all 50 state documents. Here’s the story from Pew Research:

…God or the divine is mentioned at least once in each of the 50 state constitutions and nearly 200 times overall, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.  …

In addition to the 116 mentions of God, there are also 14 mentions of a Supreme or Sovereign Being, seven mentions of the “Creator,” three mentions of “providence,” four mentions of “divine” and 46 instances of the word “almighty.” While there are 32 mentions of the word “Lord,” all but one refer to “the year of our Lord” and so are not direct references to God. (Indeed, the U.S. Constitution also makes reference to “the year of our Lord.”) There also are seven mentions of the word “Christian.”

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Response: It is now ‘common knowledge’ that there is suppose to be a ‘separation between church and state.’ But that separation was not clearly defined or supported in the past. When you read the original historical documents referencing religion, particularly those of Jefferson who actually coined the phrase: ‘separation of church and state;’ you find that the real concerns were not about keeping religion out of government, but were more about allowing different forms of sectarianism without regulation and for providing an environment of religious freedom. In fact, at the founding of our nation, a number of the states actually supported state churches.

Now there is a push to take God out of the public square entirely. Atheist groups like the FFRF are on the attack daily looking for what they consider to be ‘church and state’ violations. The fact is, every state constitution probably violates the atheist group’s perception of the way it should be. In reality, these documents actually stand as a testimony against the current understanding of ‘freedom from religion’ and the eradication of God and religion from the public square as being the proper interpretation of the First Amendment.

The major concern of the founders, when it came to religion, was to insure that the government left it alone and did not pass laws to regulate or control religion like many of the early Americans had experienced in Europe.

When it comes to the state constitutions, they were written at a time in America, which included most of our history, when the vast majority of folks believed in God. That common belief was naturally reflected unapologetically in the state documents.

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