God and the Constitutions | Stoplight
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God and the Constitutions | Stoplight

October 13, 2019

Hi, I’m Stuart Shepard; This is Stoplight. If you’re a Christian conservative, you’ve
heard it before: “The U.S. Constitution is a wholly secular
document. It contains no mention of Christianity or
Jesus Christ.” Exactly right! Okay. Here’s one way to look at it: The U.S. Constitution
is an instruction manual. It spells out, “How do you build this thing?” Would you expect an instruction manual to
include a Bible study? “After assembling the bookshelf base, pause
for reflection and read Luke chapter 14 verse 30… Honey? Can you bring me a flathead screwdriver – and
a Bible?” Cute. And it’s worth pointing out our Constitution
is signed by a whole bunch of people – just below the date: “the seventeenth day of September
in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven.” What? Funny how Jesus himself managed to sneak into
a document that some say “never mentions” Him at all. “That’s just the date, it’s not…” Do you live in a state? “What? Yes, but I don’t see…” How many states would you guess mention “God”
in their Constitutions? None. (loud buzzer) The red ones! (loud buzzer) Here’s one: “We The People of the State of
New York, grateful to Almighty God for our Freedom…” California is also “grateful to Almighty God.” Illinois is not only “grateful,” the people
there are “seeking His blessing upon our endeavors.” And I love this one: “We, therefore, the people
of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator
of the universe…” “Is that a capital “L”? And Massachusetts goes on: “As the happiness
of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend upon
piety, religion and morality; and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community,
but by the institution of the public worship of God…” Whoa. That’s problematic. In fact, an analysis by Pew Research Center
found references to God in every state Constitution. All 50. By their count, there are 116 mentions of
God, 14 mentions of a Supreme or Sovereign Being, seven mentions of the “Creator,”
three “providences,” four “divines,” 46 “almightys” – even seven mentions
of the word “Christian.” So, wherever you live in the United States,
you’re under a U.S. Constitution that guarantees the free exercise of religion and under a
state Constitution that acknowledges Almighty God in one way or another. “You are still wrong.” I hear you. But keep thinking about it. That’s all I’m asking. “After installing the shelves, pick any Chris
Tomlin song and sing the bridge and chorus 16 times. Two must be a capella. Honey?”

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