Separation of Church & State: The Truth… and the Consequences

Have you ever wondered where Canada started taking a “wrong turn”? One problem is the widespread misunderstanding in Canada over the phrase, “the separation of church and state.” This has often been a problem facing the Christian Heritage Party. In fact, many say they won’t join CHP Canada because they believe it’s wrong to mix religion and politics.

In the first place, the idea stems from a misunderstanding of the reason for the First Amendment of the American Constitution which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

The clause was actually meant to protect the original colonies from having the federal government intrude on their religious practices. Massachusetts Bay, New Haven, and New Hampshire were founded by Puritan, Calvinist, Protestants; New York, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia were officially Church of England; while Maryland was Roman Catholic. Far from eliminating religion, the amendment was meant to protect different denominations of Christian worship from the creation of a state denomination.

The “separation of church and state” phrase itself is found nowhere in the Constitution or it’s amendments, but comes from a letter written in 1802 by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury, Connecticut, Baptist Association.

In Canada, the situation was, until recently, much clearer. The sovereign was Head of State and of the Church of England. A lengthy Christian prayer was read every day in the House of Commons until 1994, asking God, through Christ, to protect her. Let me quote the first of three stanzas:

O Lord our heavenly Father, high and mighty, King of kings, Lord of lords, the only Ruler of princes, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth: Most heartily we beseech thee with thy favour to behold our most gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth; and so replenish her with the grace of thy Holy Spirit that she may always incline to thy will and walk in thy way; Endue her plenteously with heavenly gifts: grant her in health and wealth long to live; strengthen her that she may vanquish and overcome all her enemies; and finally, after this life, she may attain everlasting joy and felicity; through Jesus Christ our Lord — Amen.

Can anyone, reading that, believe Canada is a country founded on the idea of separating church and state? Obviously not. Canada was, until February 21, 1994, clearly and publicly a Christian nation.

The fact it is not considered so now is due to the misnamed Charter of Rights and Freedoms which elevated other religions to the same plane as Christianity and then banished all religion from the public square. That was the reason the prayer I’ve just quoted was replaced by a new one that, while it still mentions “Almighty God,” no longer says who he is.

The Christian Heritage Party objects to the way the Charter has evicted Christianity from the House of Commons, from our school system, and from Canadian law. It believes—as our name says—Canada’s strength and freedom is based on the moral teachings of our Judeo-Christian heritage and that our future success will only be gained by returning to them.

Supporting the Christian Heritage Party of Canada means you’re supporting what is truly Canadian.

And may God bless you for it.

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