Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The First Congress of the U.S.

The First Congress ratified the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (which contains the First Amendment). Perhaps their words and deeds give us better insight into the meaning (and limitations) of the First Amendment. This congress heard the debates, took part in the drafts and revisions, and ratified the final version. Surely they understood its meaning better than our courts today, yet some of today's courts would surely have found the acts of the Ratifiers of the Constitution to be unconstitutional!

  • Fisher Adams - "Should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a schoolbook? Its morals are pure, its examples are captivating and noble."

  • The first official act in the First Continental Congress was to open in Christian prayer, which ended in these words: "...the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Savior. Amen".

  • In 1777, during the Revolutionary War, the First Continental Congress called the Bible "the great political textbook of the patriots" and appropriated funds to import 20,000 Bibles for the people. Many do not know that the Continental Congress began its sessions with prayer, a practice that is still followed by both houses of congress even today.

Notice in that last paragraph that the U.S. Government used Federal funds to pay for the printing of Bibles.

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