The atheist organization The Freedom From Religion Foundation is demanding that the Wayland High School band “stop playing ‘God Bless America’ at school functions because it violates separation of church and state.” The Massachusetts’ school officials are ignoring the group’s threats, and for good reason.
First, the First Amendment prohibits “Congress” from establishing a religion. Congress is not involved.
Second, the First Amendment, even if it were involved, could not prohibit the free exercise of religion.
Third, no church is involved in what the band plays.
Fourth, there are bucket loads of historical problems with the atheist group’s challenge to “God Bless America.”
There’s the Declaration of Independence that uses the following religious phases: “the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” “endowed by their Creator,” “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world,” “protection of Divine Providence.”
The Constitution’s reference to Jesus Christ in its dating: “Done in the Year of Our Lord. . . .”
The Preamble to the Massachusetts Constitution states: “We, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence. . . .”
When John Hancock was Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, he issued “A Proclamation for a Day of Public Thanksgiving” in 1791, the year the Constitution was ratified:
In consideration of the many undeserved Blessings conferred upon us by GOD, the Father of all Mercies; it becomes us not only in our private and usual devotion, to express our obligations to Him, as well as our dependence upon Him; but also specially to set a part a Day to be employed for this great and important Purpose. . . . And above all, not only to continue to us the enjoyment of our civil Rights and Liberties; but the great and most important Blessing, the Gospel of Jesus Christ: And together with our cordial acknowledgments, I do earnestly recommend, that we may join the penitent confession of our Sins, and implore the further continuance of the Divine Protection, and Blessings of Heaven upon this People; especially that He would be graciously pleased to direct, and prosper the Administration of the Federal Government, and of this, and the other States in the Union — to afford Him further Smiles on our Agriculture and Fisheries, Commerce and Manufactures — To prosper our University and all Seminaries of Learning — To bless the virtuously struggling for the Rights of Men — so that universal Happiness may be Allies of the United States, and to afford his Almighty Aid to all People, who are established in the World; that all may bow to the Scepter of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, and the whole Earth be filled with his Glory.
There’s our nation’s National Anthem — the “Star Spangled Banner” — that includes this line:
“And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.”
The malcontents at The Freedom From Religion Foundation are interfering in the history of our nation and the state of Massachusetts. They are like George Orwell’s 1984 character Winston Smith who works “for the Ministry of Truth as an editor, revising historical records to make the past conform to the ever-changing party line.”