Are the Constitutions of the Several States Unconstitutional? By Robert Greenslade - Price of Liberty
Are the Constitutions of the Several States Unconstitutional?
By Robert Greenslade © Nitwit Press

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April 24, 2006

We are constantly told by the liberal elite and their brethren in the mainstream media that the First Amendment to the Constitution for the United States established a separation of church and state. The Amendment states in part:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”

Any one with a 5th grade education can see, the words “church and state” do not appear anywhere in the Amendment. The sole purpose of the First Amendment’s prohibitions concerning religion was to prevent Congress from establishing a national religion or enacting legislation that would prevent the American people from worshipping the religion of their choice.

The constitutional restraints enumerated in the First Amendment on the powers of Congress can be traced back to June 8, 1789. On that day, James Madison introduced a series of proposals in the House of Representatives that would eventually become the Bill of Rights. His original draft for an amendment concerning freedom of religion read as follows:

“The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established…”

These two provisions were modified by the House and Senate after extensive debate and, in their revised form, became part of the First Amendment on December 15, 1791, when the States adopted the Bill of Rights. However, these restraints only applied to the powers of Congress. The Amendments had no effect on the powers of the States.

On July 9, 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment became part of the Constitution under questionable circumstances following the so-called War between the States [Civil War]. Section 1 of this Amendment, which is commonly called the “due process clause,” states in part:

“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Through what the author believes was a judicial slight of hand and re-interpretation of the English language, this clause, according to the United States Supreme Court, made the restraints enumerated in the First Amendment, and other “selected” Amendments, as determined by the Court, enforceable against the States.

This “assumption” of power through the Fourteenth Amendment could have some interesting consequences. If the reader will recall, several years ago the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the “under God” provision of the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional. In its decision, the Ninth Circuit held: “the statement that the United States is a nation ‘under God’ is an endorsement of religion.” [1] If referring to God in the Pledge “is an endorsement of religion,” then, according to the Court’s logic, citing God in a government document would render the document and whatever flowed from the document unconstitutional.

Most Americans might be surprised to learn that every one of the constitutions of the several States makes reference to God in one way or another. In fact, 42 States specifically use the term “God” in their constitution. Here are a few examples:

“Arkansas 1874, Preamble. We, the People of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government; for our civil and religious liberty; and desiring to perpetuate its blessings, and secure the same to our selves and posterity; do ordain and establish this Constitution.”

“Georgia 1777, Preamble. To perpetuate the principles of free government, insure justice to all, preserve peace, promote the interest and happiness of the citizen and of the family, and transmit to posterity the enjoyment of liberty, we the people of Georgia, relying upon the protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution.”

“Illinois 1870, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors—in order the blessings of freedom and liberty to ourselves and our posterity—do ordain and establish this Constitution for the State of Illinois.”

“Montana 1889, Preamble. We the people of Montana grateful to God for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains, and desiring to improve the quality of life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future generations do ordain and establish this constitution.”

“Rhode Island 1842, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of government.”

As stated above, God was the key component in the establishment of these constitutions. Basically, these preambles state that the individual State, as a political entity, was founded “under God.” They also acknowledge that the rights and liberties of their people flow from God. If uttering the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is an endorsement of religion and unconstitutional, then every one of these constitutions are unconstitutional based on the same judicial logic.

If the constitutions of the 50 United States are unconstitutional based on the use of the word “God,” then every civil and criminal law enacted under these constitutions, since their inception, are null and void. That would mean that every cent of taxes extracted from the citizens of these States was taken unlawfully. Since all counties, cities and towns are municipalities of the individual State, their laws would fall under this same null and void standard.

The chances of the States’ constitutions being declared unconstitutional are slim to none even though there is no difference between them and the Pledge of Allegiance concerning the reference to God. If one reference to God is unconstitutional then all references to God are unconstitutional, including the States’ constitutions.

It is important to note that after the adoption of the Constitution for the United States, the constitutions of the several States had to be approved by Congress before the State was admitted into the Union of States. If the First Amendment established a separation of church and state as modern liberals claim, then why did Congress approve these constitutions and allow the insertion of God? In the author’s opinion, the answer is elementary---the separation of church and state interpretation of the First Amendment being shoved down our throats is a fiction designed to mislead us concerning the intent and scope of the Amendment. The author will allow the reader to fill in the blanks concerning the reasons for this deception.

Footnote-1. What religion? Several different religions make reference to God. The word “God” is simply another term for a creator or Supreme Being. It does not refer to any particular religion or make one religion superior another. In fact, the concept of a creator can be found outside the realm of organized religion. Even those individuals who assert that Mother Nature is responsible for the trees and bunny rabbits are acknowledging the existence of a creator.

According to this “modern judicial logic,” an individual who expressed his or her belief in a creator or Supreme Being would be promoting religion irrespective of whether that individual was a member of a religious institution or even believed in such institutions.

Robert Greenslade focuses his writing on issues surrounding the federal government and the Constitution. He believes politicians at the federal level, through ignorance or design, are systematically dismantling the Constitution in an effort to expand their power and consolidate control over the American people. He has dedicated himself to resurrecting the true intent of the Constitution in the hope that the information will contribute, in some small way, to restoring the system of limited government established by the Constitution.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Constitution, take a look at this book. I use it in many of my articles and it is the best book I've found on this subject. Bob

The Federal Government: Its True Nature and Character: Being a Review of Judge Story's Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States.

Reprint of the 1868 edition. ''Perhaps the ablest analysis of the nature and character of the federal government that has ever been published. It has remained unanswered.'' This review of Judge Story's Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States is perhaps the ablest analysis of the nature and character of the Federal Government that has ever been published. It has remained unanswered. Indeed, we are not aware that any attempt has been made to challenge the soundness of its reasoning. The great vise of Judge Story and the Federalists consisted in desiring the clothe the federal government with almost monarchical power, whereas the States had carefully and resolutely reserved the great mass of political power for themselves. The powers which they delegated to the federal government were few, and were general in their character. Those which they reserved embraced their original and inalienable sovereignty, which no state imagined it was surrendering when it adopted the constitution. Mr. Madison dwelt with great force upon the fact that ''a delegated is not a surrendered power.'' The states surrendered no powers to the federal government -- they only delegated them. 160 pages.


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