Madison County Opinion...

JULY 3, 2002

By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
July 3, 2002

Frankly Speaking

Country’s founders had no intention of
disavowing God
When I heard the news that a California judge had ruled that the line “under God” made the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag unconstitutional, I had several reactions.
First, if we are going to take all references to God out of our public documents, we will have to start with the document being celebrated this week, the Declaration of Independence. Our national founders listed “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” as the authority for separating from Great Britain and forming a new nation. They declared that our inalienable Rights are “endowed by their creator.” Finally, they called on “firm reliance on the Protection of divine Providence” in the success of their efforts.
Clearly, the founders of this nation had no intention of disavowing God and His role in its creation.
Now, read the First Amendment carefully. It says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Nowhere in that or any other passage in the Constitution does it require a total separation of Church and State. It prohibits Congress from organizing a state religion and requiring citizens to attend, fund and support that church. The simple act of acknowledging the role God plays in our nation’s affairs is not, in my opinion, prohibited by this rule.
An established religion involves a formalized statement of faith, the designation of clergy whose responsibility is to define and teach that faith and an organization of officers to select the clergy and determine qualifications for membership. That is what congress cannot establish. They are not prohibited from acknowledging that a higher power exist.
Finally, I thought about those people who so adamantly oppose any reference to God in any public document. The act of denying God is just as much a religious effort as acknowledging him. You cannot prove a negative. That means that you can no more prove that God does not exist than you can prove that He does.
To me, it takes a greater leap of faith to deny God than to accept Him. Look around at the world we live in. Look at the beauty of nature. Consider the vast and complicated genetic code that determines the nature of each living creature. It is far easier to believe that some controlling force designed those structures than to argue that they all came into existence by accident. Even if you accept the theory of evolution, it is easier to find a predetermined pattern rather than sheer chance.
That our universe, our world and our own existence, was designed by some controlling force is commonly accepted. For us to acknowledge the existence of that “higher power” in our public documents and to credit to that entity the ultimate authority for our government makes sense. To deny that any such authority exists sets the stage for anarchy.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at His e-mail address is

By Adam Fouche
The Madison County Journal
July 3, 2002

A Moment With Margie

For a brand new U.S. citizen
Next week, less than a week after our nation’s birthday, there will be a new member of our family, a little boy named Nolan.
Nolan will be born to our niece Deserree and her husband Tony. He joins a big sister, Lindsay and a brother, Brody.
And as I’m thinking about him, there are a few things I’d like to say to him as he comes into this world of ours.
First, Nolan, I want you to know that you can be considered among the most fortunate of children, for you are wanted and are waited for with great anticipation.
You were brought forth in love and will most certainly be cherished, just as your sister and brother are now.
That makes you indeed blessed.
The world is a big and often frightening place, and although it’ll be a few years before you realize this, there will come a day when you will.
At first, like all little ones, you’ll love everybody - and will be confident that everyone loves you. But of course, like all other things, you will learn that people can hate each other terribly, often for no good reason.
But in so many ways, you’re so fortunate to be born at this time and particularly in this place.
For you will be born a United States citizen - it will be your right by birth. And although there are many problems here, it is still the best place of all to be. If you are fortunate enough to inherit the freedoms we now enjoy, you can choose your own path and how to live your life, and speak your mind unafraid.
Many have died for that freedom, some quite recently, and even more certainly will in the days to come.
You will have good health, a soft bed to lie on and your belly will be full of good, nourishing food.
Hopefully, you will never have to fear soldiers coming to your door, as children in many parts of the world now do.
You will have opportunities - and my prayer for you is that you will make the most of those opportunities and that you will grow to be a fine, compassionate man, respected by all who know you.
And one more thing little one, those of us who await your arrival love you already, just for being you.
Nolan, of all the things wrong with this world, there will be at least one more thing right - you.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for the Madison County Journal.

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