Christ and the Constitution: How Millions of Americans Get Both Completely Wrong

bible-constitutionA liberal and a conservative can each read the Constitution, and even though both individuals read the exact same text, two very different interpretations are formed from what they read.

I guess that’s what happens when millions of Americans in 2014 base their entire existence on something written in the late 1700’s.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe our Constitution is one of the most brilliant pieces of literature ever written.  The birth of this country was truly extraordinary.

But let’s be honest — flawed men wrote our Constitution.  It was written for a society that no longer exists today.  That being said, the power it has over our nation is unquestioned and it’s never going to change.

Which is also part of the problem.

Words written over 200 years must now be interpreted to rule over situations our Founding Fathers could have never imagined.  And it’s within that interpretation that a lot of things get completely screwed up.  How can we really say what the Founding Fathers would have believed on issues such as defending against cyber threats, how much privacy we should have on the Internet, should regular citizens own assault weapons or any number of modern-day issues considering these are things they could have never thought of.

The Bible is another piece of text that millions of people interpret in completely different ways.  Honestly, as a Christian, the Bible is something of a paradox for me.  While there are many great stories within the Bible, there are horrific things written inside the book as well.  There are just so many contradictions and hypocrisies inside it’s impossible for me to believe that everything inside is exactly the way it was originally written.

And that’s the indisputable reality — the Bible has been translated many times over centuries.  If I chose ten people to take the Bible and rewrite it in their own words, I’m pretty certain I’d get 10 different books.  Sure, some similarities would exist, but each person’s own assessment of what they were reading would have a drastic impact on how they worded their individual translation.

Now imagine if those ten people chosen were rich and powerful members of a society who saw religion as a great tool to manipulate the masses.  Do you think they would write an interpretation that had their best interests at heart or the best interests of the majority of the population?

And then you get what we have now where you have the tens of millions of people who try to combine the Bible in with the Constitution.  These people are then trying to take two very old pieces of text, translating them into a modern society and then merging them together.

Maybe that’s why Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson were fairly open and adamant about a separation between church and state.

But the fact of the matter is, when it comes to interpreting both the Bible and our Constitution, tens of millions of Americans get it completely wrong.

What I believe is often very different from what millions of others believe.

There’s not a soul on this planet who follows the Bible word for word.  So essentially when someone says, “This is how things should be because the Bible says so,” they’re instantly making themselves hypocrites.  Unless someone is going to live their life based on every rule within the Bible, then who are they to judge someone else for handpicking what they want to follow?  Every Christian does it.  Which is why religion should stay as far away from government as possible.

Our First Amendment basically says this as well.  An amendment millions of Americans also interpret completely differently.

As Americans, we interpret these pieces of text differently because they weren’t written by a modern society.  And that’s really the source of the problem for both, especially our Constitution.

For faith, interpretation is our right.  Which again is why religion should stay out of government.  One person’s interpretation of faith shouldn’t have an impact on another person’s life.  It’s why nobody is really right and nobody is really wrong.  That’s why it’s called faith — not fact.

But for our government, interpretation can be very dangerous — especially when millions of those Americans are trying to interject religion into that interpretation.

Faith doesn’t need to be based on anything more than what we choose to believe, but our rights as Americans should be based off of reality and proven facts.  Faith is about control whereas our Constitution is about freedom.  Faith is an individual’s choice whereas our Constitution is about allowing individuals to choose for themselves.

So when tens of millions of Americans continue to try to blend our Constitution and Christ, they’re only proving they don’t really understand either.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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