IT’S ALREADY AUGUST??
by Rep. Karey Hanks – District 35
This has been a crazy busy summer for us all, I am sure. I worked as a float cochairman in our church for the Pioneer Days parade in St. Anthony in July. It is an amazing parade with a big float competition. Our float took 1st place—I was very happy, as our group worked on this project almost from the time I returned home from Boise! I also rode in my son’s ’57 Chevy for the parade and handed out copies of the Constitution.
My husband and I rode in the Atomic Days parade in Arco and enjoyed a delicious breakfast provided by the VFW. The city of Menan had a great parade on July 4th. Many family members were present and we threw out lots of candy and handed out copies of the Constitution there too. Summer provides many opportunities for me to meet with our citizens and I really enjoy visiting with you!
One more personal note: my husband, Burke, and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary on Flag Day in June. We have often thought it interesting that we were married on this patriotic day and have been so involved in politics and liberty issues for so many years!
GROCERY TAX REPEAL & THE IDAHO SUPREME COURT
Thirty Idaho legislators chose to stand for our Idaho families and push for the tax repeal Gov. Otter was not willing to allow. I traveled to Boise in June for the hearing, at which Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith presented a great case to overturn the Cenarrusa ruling and uphold the Idaho Constitution Article IV, section 10. We did lose the case, but clarification on bill presentment and overruling Cenarrusa are positive outcomes.
The court says it is ten days from adjournment from now on, BUT bills must be presented before adjournment. So Cenarrusa is overturned, but the court ruled that bills must be presented before the legislature goes Sine Die to be considered as law – going forward. This will be helpful in the 2018 legislative session.
RULES, REGULATIONS AND FEES
Rep. Heather Scott has a great July newsletter explaining how Idaho’s legal code is written, and the influence of lobbyists on state agencies. Here is the link:
WHAT IS “THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE?”
After session this spring I spoke to a group of high school government students about my experience in Boise and about the Constitution, of course. I made a reference to God and how I rely on Him as I serve. Afterward, one student approached me and questioned me on the “separation of church and state.” He did not think religion could be discussed in a school setting. I sent him some historical information on the origination of that well-known and misconstrued phrase. Since that time, I have thought often about the “Separation clause,” which is NOT found in the Constitution. This has become the rallying cry to remove references to God from our classrooms, courthouses and other public places.
So how did we get to this point?
As Christopher Columbus undertook his voyage to find a “new world,” he was warned by intellectual leaders of his day of the dangers and certain death that awaited him and his crew. Why did he choose to go? He said: [O]ur Lord opened to my understanding (I could sense his hand upon me) so it became clear to me that it [the voyage] was feasible…No one should be afraid to take on any enterprise in the name of our Savior if it is right and if the purpose is purely for His holy service…” Columbus was clearly a Christian man.
Other colonists wrote of worshipping God and establishing the kingdom of Christ in this country, as part of civil government. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut was the first constitution written here early in the 1600’s and stated: “Well knowing when a people are gathered together, the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people, there should be an orderly and decent government established according to God.”
The “Old Deluder Satan Law” was passed in Massachusetts and Connecticut to ensure students were taught scriptures, to prevent the abuse of power imposed on Biblically-illiterate people. Christianity was intertwined with education; it is interesting that Harvard’s two mottos were “For the Glory of Christ” and “For Christ and the Church.” (Today its motto is simply Veritas, or “Truth.”)
The Founders of our beloved United States acknowledged and relied heavily on Divine Providence as they worked to form our Constitution. Included in the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment simply states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
When Thomas Jefferson was elected president, Baptists celebrated because they knew he advocated for clear limits on centralized government power. In his second inaugural address, He said: “In matters of religion I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government.”
The misrepresented statement is found in the Danbury Baptist letter on January 1, 1802, in which Jefferson stated, in part, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God…that the legislative powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State…I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties…” His reference to natural rights was basically a legal phrase stating his belief that religious liberties were inalienable rights, what God guarantees us in the scriptures.
One more Jefferson quote: And can the liberties of a nation be thought to be secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?” He understood that if we lost the knowledge of our Source of inalienable rights, America most likely would not survive.
It is clearly established that our nation was built on Christian principles. Through court cases and precedents in recent history, we have lost basic rights such as displaying the Ten Commandments, praying in school, and exhibiting the Nativity in public places. I have attempted to give an abbreviated history of how our nation’s foundation is Christian; I believe if we know and understand the history of our Founders we can act to stop the further erosion of our God-given rights. As a leader, I believe I am accountable to the people I serve, and even more to God. I believe it is important for citizens to read and understand our Constitution and uphold the rights stated therein. We get the leaders and government we vote to support.
(Source: ORIGINAL INTENT: THE COURTS, THE CONSTITUTION & RELIGION by David Barton.)
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