Don’t Tear Down This Wall!

Last week on Constitution Day, September 17, I announced in an Examiner Enterprise column that Oklahoma Wesleyan University was officially filing a lawsuit against Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, the Obama Administration and the Affordable Care Act.  I went further to state that the reason for our action is quite simple: “We believe in the United States Constitution and we take seriously the words of the First Amendment that ‘Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise of religion.’” I summarized by saying that at Oklahoma Wesleyan we hold that “whether you are Catholic or Jewish, or Mormon, Methodist, Mennonite or Muslim you should be, and are free in this country to practice your religion both privately and publically.  I concluded by saying it is “nothing short of astonishing that the Federal government would ever presume to intrude into our bedrooms and tell any United States citizen what contraceptives they are required to buy,” especially if such purchases violate our religious beliefs.

Since writing last week’s article several have asked why OKWU is taking such a firm stand.  Local radio and television stations have asked for interviews.  RedState, the Tulsa World and several other blogs and media outlets have picked up my original op-ed.  Many are curious.  Why is this so important to Oklahoma Wesleyan University and the Wesleyan Church?

Perhaps the best way for me to answer this question is to refer to the words of history rather than use my own.

In 1802 the Danbury Baptist Association was becoming increasingly concerned that the federal government might succumb to the temptation to intrude upon their religious freedom; therefore they wrote a letter to the newly elected President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson.  Their letter read as follows.  “Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty: that religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals, that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions, [and] that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor.”

As you likely know, President Jefferson responded to the Danbury authors assuring them that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution provided them with full and unmitigated protection against any imposition upon their Church by that of the State. In his letter, Jefferson said he agreed with the Danbury Baptists that their “religion [was] a matter which lie[d] solely between man and his God.”  He went further to say that “man owes account to none other [than God] for his faith or his worship …” He concluded by saying, “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.”  Jefferson then closed his letter by promising the Baptists (and all others by inference) that the State could not and would never be permitted to intrude into the religious lives of its citizens.  He said a “wall of separation between Church and State” protected the Danbury Baptists. He went further and indicated that even he, the President of the United States, was bound constitutionally to adhere “to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience.” And, finally, he affirmed that he would “see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights…”

We are filing suit against Obama Care because we agree with Thomas Jefferson.  We agree with what he said to the Danbury Baptists.  We agree with what he said in his second inaugural address: “In matters of religion, [we] have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the [federal] government.”  We agree with what he said in a letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church: “Our excellent Constitution…has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary.”  We agree with what he said to Samuel Millar:  “I consider the government of the United States as [prohibited] by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions…or exercises.”

Jefferson believed that the government should have no power to interfere with religion for a very simple reason: he had long witnessed the unhealthy tendency of government to encroach upon the free exercise of the faith of its citizens. He explained to Noah Webster, “it [has] become an universal and almost uncontroverted position…that the purposes of society do not require a surrender of all our rights to our ordinary governors” He then warned that “experience has nevertheless proved [government] will be constantly encroaching on [these rights]” and “that there are also certain fences which experience has proved peculiarly efficacious against [such] wrong[s]…Of the first kind, for instance, is freedom of religion.”

Thomas Jefferson knew that an unchecked government always tends to limit, restrict, or regulate religious practices.  He had no intention of letting the naïve or the nefarious tear down the constitutional “fences” and “walls” that protect all of us from such a power hungry State.  Neither do we!

 

 

Dr. Everett Piper has served as the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University since August of 2002. His credentials include a B.A. from Spring Arbor University, a M.A. from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. He is an Adjunct Scholar for the Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs, and a current member of the Council for National Policy. He has written routinely for numerous publications including the Examiner Enterprise, Crosswalk.com, Bullypulpit.com, Politicalmavens.com, Tulsa’s Community Spirit, and Chuck Colson’s Breakpoint magazine. Dr. Piper has a daily radio broadcast, titled Ideas Matter and he is the author of two books: The Wrong Side of the Door: Why Ideas Matter and Why I Am a ‘Liberal’ and Other Conservative Ideas.

Leave a Reply

71 Responses to “Don’t Tear Down This Wall!”

  1. Trina

    Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from
    an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure
    things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do
    you have any ideas or suggestions? Cheers

    Reply
  2. Augusto de Arruda Botelho

    Every weekend i used to go to see this site, for the reason that i want enjoyment,
    for the reason that this this web page conations in fact fastidious funny
    information too.

    Reply
  3. Neil

    Its like you learn my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, such as you
    wrote the book in it or something. I feel that you simply could do
    with some percent to pressure the message home a bit, however instead of that, this is fantastic blog.
    A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

    Reply
  4. Amy

    I do believe all of the concepts you have offered to your post.
    They are very convincing and will certainly work. Still,
    the posts are too quick for novices. May just you please prolong them a little from subsequent time?

    Thanks for the post.

    Reply
  5. Ron

    I think the admin of this website is really working hard in favor of his web page, for the reason that here every stuff is
    quality based data.

    Reply
  6. Hermine

    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of
    any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.

    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for
    quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some
    experience with something like this. Please
    let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy
    reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

    Reply
  7. hydrogen for cars

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to “return the favor”.I am trying to find things to improve my site!I suppose
    its ok to use some of your ideas!!

    Reply
  8. Theresa

    Awesome issues here. I am very happy to peer your article.
    Thank you a lot and I’m having a look ahead to touch you.
    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

    Reply
  9. Augusto de Arruda Botelho

    You could definitely see your skills in the work you write.

    The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as
    you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.

    All the time go after your heart.

    Reply
  10. Syreeta

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the greatest sites online.
    I am going to highly recommend this site!

    Reply
  11. www.lvyougongshe.com

    Howdy are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set
    up my own. Do you require any html coding expertise to make your own blog?

    Any help would be really appreciated!

    Reply
  12. innovative security service

    I don’t even know the way I finished up right here, but I believed this publish was good.
    I do not recognise who you are however certainly you’re going
    to a famous blogger for those who are not already. Cheers!

    Reply
  13. Odette

    Hi excellent website! Does running a blog similar to this require a lot
    of work? I have no knowledge of programming however I had
    been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, should you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off subject however I simply needed to ask.
    Appreciate it!

    Reply
  14. Mose

    What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads.

    I am hoping to contribute & help different users like its helped me.
    Great job.

    Reply
  15. Quyen

    Fantastic site. Plenty of useful info here. I’m sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious.
    And of course, thanks for your effort!

    Reply
  16. Florencia

    Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog post
    or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

    Reply
  17. pt-br.facebook.com

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources
    back to your website? My blog site is in the very same
    area of interest as yours and my users would really benefit from some of
    the information you provide here. Please let me know if this alright
    with you. Thank you!

    Reply
  18. Nidia

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really recognise what you are talking
    about! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally seek advice from my
    site =). We will have a hyperlink alternate contract between us

    Reply
  19. Tim

    Nice blog right here! Additionally your web site lots up fast!
    What host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your
    associate link for your host? I desire my web site loaded
    up as quickly as yours lol

    Reply
  20. http://naturalbalkanfood.com/

    hi!,I love your writing very much! percentage we keep in touch more about your article on AOL?
    I require a specialist on this area to resolve my problem.
    Maybe that’s you! Taking a look ahead to look you.

    Reply
  21. Santo

    Wow! Finally I got a blog from where I be able to really take valuable
    facts concerning my study and knowledge.

    Reply
  22. Lina

    I think the admin of this web site is truly working hard in favor of his site,
    since here every material is quality based data.

    Reply
  23. Issac

    I visited many web sites however the audio quality for audio
    songs current at this web page is truly wonderful.

    Reply
  24. Jewell

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site thus i got
    here to return the prefer?.I am attempting to to find things to improve my web site!I assume its ok to make use of a few of your concepts!!

    Reply
  25. glam seamless review

    It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to
    be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things
    or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles referring
    to this article. I want to read even more things about it!

    Reply
  26. Frank

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I’ve really loved surfing around your weblog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing in your feed and I hope you write once more soon!

    Reply
  27. makanan untuk bayi usia 7 bulan

    Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice at the same time as you amend your website, how could i subscribe
    for a blog web site? The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I have been a little bit familiar of this your broadcast
    offered brilliant clear idea

    Reply
  28. https://pt.wikipedia.org/

    Hey! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa?

    My website addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Terrific blog by the way!

    Reply
  29. Ahmad

    Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the web the easiest thing
    to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    Reply
  30. hair color

    Hi there everybody, here every one is sharing these experience,
    thus it’s good to read this webpage, and I used to pay a visit this weblog all the time.

    Reply
  31. www.bdsmwiki.org

    I’m gone to inform my little brother, that he should also go
    to see this website on regular basis to obtain updated from newest news update.

    Reply
  32. Archer

    Hola! I’ve been reading your web site for a while now and finally got the
    bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Tx!

    Just wanted to mention keep up the good work!

    Reply
  33. Audry

    I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering
    issues with your site. It appears as if some of the written text on your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please
    comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well?
    This may be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Appreciate it

    Reply
  34. Cathleen

    I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also go to see this webpage
    on regular basis to get updated from hottest reports.

    Reply
  35. Kara

    Hi there! I understand this is somewhat off-topic however I
    had to ask. Does operating a well-established blog like yours require a large amount of work?
    I’m brand new to blogging however I do write in my journal
    on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my personal experience and
    feelings online. Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners.
    Appreciate it!

    Reply
  36. Abel

    Hello outstanding website! Does running a blog such
    as this require a great deal of work? I have virtually no knowledge of
    computer programming however I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future.
    Anyway, should you have any ideas or tips for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off subject nevertheless I just had to ask.

    Appreciate it!

    Reply
  37. George

    Thanks for your marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I
    will always bookmark your blog and will often come back down the road.
    I want to encourage continue your great posts, have a nice afternoon!

    Reply
  38. http://airesearch.com

    Great work! This is the type of info that should be shared
    across the web. Shame on Google for no longer positioning this submit higher!
    Come on over and consult with my site . Thanks =)

    Reply
  39. make money

    Good day! I just want to offer you a huge thumbs up for the excellent information you have got here on this post.

    I am returning to your site for more soon.

    Reply
  40. support.atid.in

    I believe everything posted made a great deal of sense.
    However, consider this, suppose you were to create a
    killer headline? I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your website, however what if you added a headline to
    possibly grab folk’s attention? I mean Don't Tear Down This Wall!
    – The Keating Center is a little boring. You might glance
    at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they create article
    headlines to get people to click. You might add a related video or
    a related pic or two to grab readers interested about what you’ve written. In my opinion, it would bring your website
    a little bit more interesting.

    Reply
  41. shahucollegepune.org

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It actually was once a amusement account it.
    Look complex to more introduced agreeable from you! However, how could we keep
    in touch?

    Reply
  42. samakomdekloli.top

    Heya terrific blog! Does running a blog
    such as this take a lot of work? I’ve no understanding of
    coding however I was hoping to start my own blog
    soon. Anyways, should you have any recommendations or
    tips for new blog owners please share. I understand this
    is off subject however I simply had to ask.

    Many thanks!

    Reply
  43. hair weaving

    What’s up, yes this post is in fact fastidious and I have learned lot
    of things from it about blogging. thanks.

    Reply
  44. Harris

    Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.

    Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

    Reply
  45. van hire amount

    It’s remarkable to visit this web site and reading the views of all friends regarding this article, while I am also
    keen of getting know-how.

    Reply
  46. car computer exchange

    Nice blog here! Also your web site loads up fast! What web host are you using?
    Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

    Reply
  47. cheapest broadband

    I love what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and coverage!

    Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve included you guys to blogroll.

    Reply
  48. global resorts

    I have been surfing online more than 4 hours
    today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you
    did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

    Reply
  49. Bev

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your site
    and in accession capital to say that I acquire actually loved account your blog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing for your augment and even I fulfillment
    you get right of entry to constantly quickly.

    Reply
  50. Hilario

    These are really great ideas in on the topic of blogging.
    You have touched some nice points here. Any way keep up
    wrinting.

    Reply
  51. Callum

    My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a different web address
    and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to exploring your web page again.

    Reply
  52. best broadband deal

    We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community
    will be thankful to you.

    Reply
  53. security management

    It’s in reality a nice and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you just shared this useful info with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply