Wednesday, May 5, 2010


David Barton explains that our Founding Fathers never saw such practices as a problem, for
they never envisioned any hostility toward religion or any exclusion of religious faith or practice from public life. This was especially true when it came to religion and the law. Explicit proof of this is offered by one of the Court’s original members – Justice James Wilson.

Before becoming a member of the Supreme Court, Wilson had signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (one of only six Founders to hold that distinction). At the Constitutional Convention, Wilson had been its second most-active member, speaking on the floor of the Convention 168 times.

James Wilson is credited with starting the first organized legal training in America for law students. 84 He wrote several legal works, including a 1792 Commentary on the Constitution of the United States of America, and a three-volume set of legal lectures, delivered to law students while Wilson was sitting as a Justice on the Court. Notice what Justice Wilson taught his students about the relationship between law and religion:

It should always be remembered that this law, . . . made for men or for nations, flows from the same Divine source: it is the law of God. . . . What we do, indeed, must be founded on what He has done; and the deficiencies of our laws must be supplied by the perfections of His. Human law must rest its authority, ultimately, upon the authority of that law which is Divine. . . . We now see the deep and the solid foundations of human law. . . .

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