“Original Intent” is a book by David Barton about Supreme Court rulings that have allegedly stripped the Constitution of the founders’ original meaning. It was published in 2000 by WallBuilders of Alemedo, Texas.
David Barton Argues Constitution Did Not Separate Church and State
The author focuses on the religious facets of the Constitution, in particular the concept of separation of church and state. He tries to prove that it was not the intent of the founders to set up such a separation.
The book identifies the 1947 Everson case as a landmark that departed from the founders’ original intent by erecting a “wall of separation” between church and state. Mr. Barton points out that the judges misapplied the phrase from a letter by Jefferson and that eight subsequent religious liberty decisions perpetuated the error.
Thesis Is Flawed
But, the book’s thesis is flawed. The founders were in fact intent on separating the new government from the authority of Biblical law by setting up a secular republic. We were shocked to discover that David Barton actually puts his stamp of approval on this formal act of rebellion, as seen below.
Starting out the author rather naively asserts that there is “no historical foundation for the proposition that the Founders intended to build the ‘wall of separation’…” (p.179). While we admit that the phrase itself does not appear, the concept is built into the Constitution at many points, but especially at Article VI, Section 3.
The little known requirement of this section sets up an inviolable wall of separation between the legal system and the law of God: “no religious test shall ever be required for any office…,” This section outlawed the so-called religious test oath that was found in most of the colonial charters and constitutions. These required the prospective officeholder to swear by oath to govern according to the law of God. The ban on the religious test oath thus opened the door for any belief system to compete with God for supremacy in the nation.
David Barton thinks this arrangement is just fine: “…it was therefore not within the federal government’s authority to examine the religious beliefs of any candidate” (p.34). In his discussion of Article VI, Section 3, he agrees with the founders that “the investigation of the religious views of a candidate should not be conducted by the federal government…”
Religious Neutrality Condemned
This assertion of religious neutrality lies at the heart of our national rebellion from God. It would be like Moses descending from Mt. Sinai with the declaration that he would remain officially neutral at the “Sinai level,” and leave religious matters to the preference of the individual tribes.
And so we see that David Barton does not comprehend this most foundational building block of Biblical civil government. That is, the requirement that the government only install officials who are willing to commit by oath to uphold the law of God in judgment. God requires this commitment to Christianity — not a particular denomination — and will gradually bring His destructive judgment on any nation that ignores it.
We are not afflicted by our failure to abide by the founder’s original intent. Instead, it is the founder’s original intent to establish a wall of separation between God and state that is destroying America today.