Are you ever perplexed by old English words in the King James Version of the Bible? Would you like to know what America's founding fathers really meant, when they wrote the Constitution?
Now you can, with unlimited free word searches of the1828 edition of Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, http://1828.mshaffer.com/
Examples to help us understand the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:
"ESTAB'LISHING, ppr. Fixing; settling permanently; founding; ratifying; confirming; ordaining.
ESTAB'LISHMENT, n. The act of establishing, founding, ratifying or ordaining.
1. Settlement; fixed state.
2. Confirmation; ratification of what has been settled or made.
3. Settled regulation; form; ordinance; system of laws; constitution of government.
Bring in that establishment by which all men should be contained in duty.
4. Fixed or stated allowance for subsistence; income; salary.
His excellency--might gradually lessen your establishment.
5. That which is fixed or established; as a permanent military force, a fixed garrison, a local government, an agency, a factory, &c. The king has establishments to support, in the four quarters of the globe.
6. The episcopal form of religion, so called in England.
7. Settlement or final rest.
We set up our hopes and establishment here."
RESPECT'ING, ppr. Regarding; having regard to; relating to. This word, like concerning, has reference to a single word or to a sentence. In the sentence, "his conduct respecting us is commendable," respecting has reference to conduct. But when we say, "respecting a further appropriation of money, it is to be observed, that the resources of the country are inadequate," respecting has reference to the whole subsequent clause or sentence."
--Webster's 1828 Dictionary
We know that the Christian religion was practiced in our government, from the time that Franklin called for prayer in the Constitutional Convention. For more on prayer in government, see http://www.house.gov/forbes/prayer/prayerincongress.htm
. They can pray, but kids in school can’t, hmm?
The meaning of the First Amendment seems clear: forbidding Congress from establishing a national religious denomination, modeled after the Church of England. (Note that in definition number 6, establishment was recognized to mean the Episcopal Church in England. How much clearer can this be?) Of course, the phrase "separation of church and state" isn't found in the constitution.
It seems clear; Congress can use money to support religion, as long as it doesn't establish a denomination as the only recognized church. The states may even establish a denomination, if the people wish! You could argue that evolutionism/pantheism has become the established state church, unfortunately. I doubt our founding fathers would approve.
Here's an explanation, regarding the constitutionality of the concept of the separation of church and state:
"The First Amendment to the Constitution plainly states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion ..." Since there can be no federal law on the subject, there appears to be no lawful basis for any element of the federal government – including the courts – to act in this area.
Moreover, the 10th Amendment to the Constitution plainly states that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are
reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." This means that the power to make laws respecting an establishment of religion, having been explicitly withheld from the United States, is reserved to the states or to the people.
Taken together, therefore, the First and 10th Amendments reserve the power to address issues of religious establishment to the different states and their people."--On the establishment of religion: What the Constitution really says, Alan Keyes,http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34270