SYLVAIN FAMILY GENEALOGY – The Anne Gallet Mystery

Among my many other interests is genealogy. My wife’s family in the U.S. descends in part through the Sylvain Family in Quebec. The purpose of this posting is to get some information out there for other researchers on this family, and perhaps either help them, or they may assist us in our research.

This pertains to those Sylvains (and others) who descend from the original immigrant ancestors Sylvain Veau and his wife Anne Gallet. Sylvain Veau was the originator of this line of the Sylvain family in Quebec. A very good website, by the way, is http://sylvainveau.org/ . It is in French. I would love to correspond with its owners if they are interested in collaboration.

Regarding Sylvain Veau, we haven’t done much work yet back in France, as there aren’t many records yet that we’ve found.

So…… here is what very little we know about Anne Gallet (and we know VERY little about her).

Anne was a Fille du Roi (King’s Daughter) sent over by Louis XIV. She arrived around the Quebec City area in Quebec (New France) on the ship La Nouvelle France with many other Filles du Roi. She was from Saint-Malo, Bretagne (modern Ille-et-Vilaine, France). Her parents were Nicolas Gallet and Margueritte Morel. She was married to Sylvain Veau in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre, Montmorency, Quebec on 13 Oct 1670. We know this due to the original marriage record.

She was listed as a godparent during a baptism of a friend’s child in Sante Anne de Beaupre in about 1675. This due to original baptism record.

She had one son, Etienne Veau-Sylvain (born 8/23/1671 in Sainte-Anne De Beaupre, Quebec (near Quebec City).

We know that she claims to be the daughter of Nicolas Gallet and Margueritte Morel, both dead at the time of her marriage, and both from Saint-Malo.

We know that according to a deathbed statement by her husband, Sylvain Veau, she is supposed to have returned to France by around 1681. This because he makes the statement when he is dying that he wishes for others to care for his young son, since his wife has returned to France. This due to original document that is available.

We know that she claims to be 21 years of age at her marriage (placing her birth year at around 1648 (supposedly in Saint-Malo).

We know that she is stated to have deceased by the time her son Etienne marries on 23 Nov 1693.

In a nutshell, we believe she is the daughter of Nicolas Gallet and Margueriitte Morel and born in Saint Malo around 1648. She came to Canada in 1670 and soon thereafter married to Sylvain Veau. She had a child in 1671, witnessed a baptism around 1675, returned to France sometime before 1681, and died sometime before 1693.

That is everything known about her.

In intensive research of Saint-Malo Parish records, there is only one Nicolas Gallet to be found. He married Guillamette Lignolet probably around 1645 and they had a son in 1646.

It cannot yet be proven that this Nicolas Gallet is actually the father of Anne Gallet.

However, this Nicolas Gallet’s ancestry has been traced back in Saint-Malo for a number of generations linking him to a very old family that had resided in that area at least as early as the mid 1400s.

We have been able to locate no information on Margueritte Morel (Anne’s mother), but many Morel family members resided in and around Saint-Malo at that time.

We have found no birth/baptism information for Anne, no death record, no proof that she returned to France, or if so, where she went.

There is a very good, free French government site: http://www.geneafrance.org/ (all in French) which links to many parish records in many parts of France. So, please feel free to research and share your results.

Some other information is that her correct family name spelling (from the mid 1600’s and earlier) was GOLLET (or GOLET).

That is what we know thus far.

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP

Presently working on a book about worship. The context is Christian worship of the one true God, Jehovah. What is the essence of worship? Among far too many followers of Christ, it is about feeling good or what God has done for “me.” It is well understood that the reason many people first attend church is because they want to feel good. This isn’t a bad thing. We live in a painful, fallen, and sinful world that so often hurts. Life can truly be painful.

And it is often said that the church is a hospital for broken people; that a part of the purpose of the church is to provide the only healing available from the hopelessness and pain of our lives.

This is not a bad thing. When we finally figure out how broken we are, we turn to the church – to God – as the only reasonable answer. We must remember though, that the church is filled with broken people (we all are broken people). As we are reminded in Romans, there is none righteous, no not one.

So it is natural to consider what God has done for us and to be thankful. What God has done for each of us, and all of mankind is truly awesome. In the Gospel of John as it tells us that “..the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth…” (from John 1:14).

This is thankfulness. But it is not worship. The two become so easily intertwined in our thoughts, church teachings and Christian music. But there is a distinct difference between them.

Thanks is works based – we thank God for what He has done. Yes, we should and must be thankful and thank God for what He has done, not only for each of us, but for all mankind.

Worship is different in that God, as the creator, maintainer, and master of all of the universe – from the most distant star or galaxy, the milky way, the infinite number of stars and galaxies that even the most powerful telescope will never be able to see, to the majestic mountains, the massive seas, the beauty and wonder of nature, the air we breathe, the gentle coo of a newborn baby, to the holding together of the very atoms that make up our bodies – God is to be honored far above all for eternity for who He is.

At a personal level, I have noticed that certain hymns of the church seem to be timeless and to move me (sometimes to tears) over and over, for what seems an inexplicable reason. The classic hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy” is a great example of such a hymn. What is it about that hymn that so transcends time or contemporary style?

The answer, I believe lies in the book of Revelation (7:9-12)

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

“Amen!
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Amen!”

Wow! THAT is WORSHIP! Worship is proclaiming to all who will hear the greatness of God, His marvelous name, and so many other things about Him.

But worship goes even further (and is the center piece of the book I am working on). Look back up in the quote from Revelation above. The prophesy is that people from “…every nation, tribe, people and language…” will worship God around the throne in heaven.

When this is coupled with the Great Commission, it becomes clear that God asks, and will be worshiped by every nation (people group). But the Great Commission is how God has put in His plan for every nation to worship Him. So God, indeed, is not being yet worshiped by every nation. That will only happen as we proclaim Him to them and provide the opportunity for them to know the God whose name they have not yet heard (and will only hear once we have proclaimed it to them).

So an important part of worship is the fullness of every nation worshiping God – the unfinished task of proclaiming His Name to all nations.

As you worship God, I would in the most loving way, request that you consider as a part of your worship and adoration for the maker of the universe, ask God what you can do to help proclaim His Name to those still remaining nations who have never heard.

For the latest information about those nations, go to http://www.joshuaproject.net/ , a great resource for understanding where His Name is not yet known. Or pick up a copy of the book, “Operation Word” (information at http://www.operationworld.org/ ).

WHY IS UTOPIANISM SUCH AN IMPORTANT TOPIC?

The original meaning of Utopia was other place, or no place.  It gradually adopted the meaning of a perfectly ordered society/world.  Plato theorized such a world in “The Republic.”  Thomas More fantasized about such a place in his book “Utopia.”  It is agreed by those most familiar with More’s writings that he was more or less satirizing, and was likely playing off recent writings by Amerigo Vespucci about the far off land he had mapped (what was later to become – in part – the United States).

But others, apparently missing either the theoretic basis (Plato) or the satirization of a place that could not really even exist (More’s “Utopia), began writings and teachings proposing that we should develop world systems based on these unreachable places.  One was Karl Marx as he wrote his communist thoughts, they were based in some measure on trying to build a Utopia.  Adolf Hitler (and I know I will take heat for this one) wanted a Utopia in Germany by abolishing those he felt less fit to be a part of his society – you know the rest of that story.

There have been many failed attempts at creating utopia around the world.  Some with good motives, and others with very selfish reasons. 

On a recent news broadcast, I heard Larry Gatlin make the comment that, “…you can’t legislate a perfect world..”  That was such a great moment, as I have been reading and investigating this topic, to hear it so perfectly put.  That is exactly why Utopianism can’t work.  In our imperfect world, filled with imperfect and self-oriented people, at best, we can make a few things temporarily better for ourselves or others.  And at worst, we can rob one group to temporarily improve the context of another.

But for better or worse, many are still unknowingly utopianists.  Any attempt to create perfect order will always result in eventual imperfection.  One Utopian community serving as a typical model was the Brook Farm in Massachusetts, which failed because it could never become financially stable (in an imperfect world); ending in lawsuits between leading members over financial disputes.

Virtually every attempt at utopia has failed in all of recorded history.  Yet we unknowingly continue in our attempts to build modern utopias.  I don’t intend for this to be a political article, but the Affordable Health Care Act is an example at such an attempt.  The idea of taking a good medical system with flaws, and believing somehow that it can be transformed to something perfect is implausible. 

Government measures to attempt to lock away those who are imperfect (somehow taking away the perfect order in our society) seems to be an attempt at utopianism.  There is the belief that somehow we can add enough laws and enforcement, security systems, antibiotics, other drugs to extend lives, safety features in vehicles, automatic safety contrivances, and so many other things…… that someday, we will “evolve” into a perfectly ordered society.

What is the answer?  Is it to cease making better medicines, forget about safety and security, let all of the prisoners go free…??  Certainly not. 

Utopianism is such an important topic because we must become aware that we are perhaps striving to reach the unattainable.  We will never have a perfectly ordered and perfectly safe society.  So I don’t propose the answer to utopianism.  I propose that we intelligently and thoughtfully discuss what we are trying to accomplish in the world; and realize that we can’t create perfection.

We need to look at history, look at the origins of utopian thought, and understand that so many of us are (mostly unwittingly) still trying to achieve that unattainable.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.  I know many will disagree, and I don’t intend to debate the topic.  What I hope for is an array of thoughts from differing perspectives.

JERRY ELDRED – Author – BIO

I am currently at work on a number of book projects, and just wanted to take a few moments to introduce myself, as a writer to my readers.

I grew up in a very small New England town up in the mountains; and so developed very independent thinking about just about everything. I was one of those kids who stared at the stars for hours every night, and (honestly) tried to figure out how far forever was. I grew up as a thinker who contemplated everything. I don’t take any viewpoint for granted. And now in my mid fifties, I have spent decades thinking about just about everything.

I attended Asbury College, a Christian college in the mountains of Kentucky, joined the Navy and traveled extensively during and since my years of military service. I developed a keen interest in world cultures and have traveled extensively internationally. I have spent in many parts of Asia, (India, Nepal, China, South Korea, Malaysia), Central America (Mexico, and Guatemala), and the Caribbean (the Bahama, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Dominican Republic, and quite a lot of time in Haiti).

I love all of these places and the friends I have made in them; and have learned a lot from their perspectives.

I’ve spent many years observing life in the world around me, so that I feel now compelled to share some important thoughts about things I notice.

One critical topic for which I hope to inspire honest discussion is Utopianism. It seems like such a far off philosophical point that many will say its a waste of mental energy. But as I will describe in this forum, it is a very important and timely issue. Please join the discussion, and lets talk about it.

UTOPIA FORUM

New, but age old topic. Please post your thoughts and comments about UTOPIANISM. To far too many, it is either an unrecognized or misunderstood term, or not well thought out.

But this is a very important topic, as I hope to describe both here and in my upcoming book (still a LOT of work to do). I’d love to hear your thoughts about it.

UNRAVELING THE ROOTS OF ANCIENT ELDRED FAMILY

There are many ELDRED family genealogy postings and sites scattered across the internet.  And among them, consistent tracings of our family roots back only (for the most part) to one single point:  John Eldred of Corby England, born probably before 1419.

This article isn’t to answer all of those unanswered questions about the further lineage of this ancient family.  But for some of you beginning ELDRED family researchers, just a few thoughts that might perhaps give you some direction as you delve into our ancient family’s roots.  So, ELDRED researchers, please read on…

There is, to the best of my understanding PROBABLY only one ELDRED family.  There are numerous original ELDRED immigrants to the U.S.A.  Most notably the three ELDRED immigrants to Massachusetts in 1630:  Samuel, William and Robert ELDRED.  SOME have stated that they were brothers, but the evidence hasn’t borne that out.  The best information I have is that possibly two were brothers and the third was a cousin (or possibly they were all cousins).  What is known is that they all arrived together on the the ROSE around 1630.  I have done little research on the other two of these branches, as my ancestry is from SAMUEL ELDRED and ELIZABETH MILLER. 

Perhaps at a later date I will post genealogical details on this page.  But for the present, the purpose of this article is a narrative about some of our more ancient ELDRED connections in ENGLAND and (perhaps) other places. 

I have completed much of my ELDRED research in the U.S. and have much of my ELDRED family traced back to England.  My current fascination is finding our full and complete ancient ancestral roots.

As late as the 19th century, there were Eldreds involved in international shipping in England.  And during the move of the Pilgrims to Masachusetts in 1620, the ELDRED family was one of the underwriters.  John “The Traveller ELDRED was a rich merchant with connections to the crown in the 1500s and is said to have been in some measure responsible for bringing Nutmeg from exotic areas around Indonesia back to the west.  I hope to print more details as I find them again.

His lavish estate – GREAT SAXHAM HALL was jokingly called “Nutmeg Hall” by some due to this connection.  He was also said to have built GREAT SAXHAM HALL at its locationdue to his belief that it was on the site where his ancient direct ancestor “Alfred The Great” – the early Saxon King of England.

This is where the evidence becomes quite diluted and very difficult.  There is the belief and some evidence that the one ELDRED family directly descends from the original Anglo-Saxon rulers of ancient England.  There were even a few kings with either the name ELDRED, ETHELDRED or similar.  The great similarity of the name, John The Traveller ELDRED’s belief from half a millennium ago, and soft information make it somewhat likely that the ancient honorable ELDRED family is a royal line.

I am not a history expert, so excuse my vague details.   But it appears through historical record that it was when William the Conqueror took power and Alfred The Great’s lineage left royal power, that that is when the trail went cold.  Additionally, even through the middle ages, there were ELDREDs at the royal court – indicating perhaps some connection to royalty.

There is also a poem written by Hannah More in the 1700’s entitled: “:SIR ELDRED OF THE BOWER, A LEGENDARY TALE.”  In this lengthy literary work, Ms. More talks of a gentile Sir Eldred who owned a castle on tht River Tay (in Scotland), with a daughter Birtha (how it is spelled in the poem).  The text appears as though this may be based on a real person.  I would love some good information on this as well.  Was there an ancient Sir Eldred from Scotland who may have been our ancestor.

Just a few thoughts to perhaps stir others to do some of their own research which maytbe they could offer to share here.

So this article doesn’t claim to answer these mysteries; just to highlight them and perhaps spur other researchers on to find what I have thus far not been able to learn….

 

THOUGHTS ON THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, THE BIBLE & THE MIKE CHURCH SHOW

I consider myself a Biblically based Christian and as such, consider the Bible to be the only perfect set of life principles with God-inspired, inerrant teaching ever written.

I also consider myself a patriotic rEPUBLICAN (lower/upper case deliberately added) – that is, “little [r] republican.” According to Wikipedia at least, in essence, a republic is a country in which the government is a public matter, not the private property or concern of those in political power; and a little [r] republican is one who believes that the country belongs to the people, and the gub’mint (as I believe Mike Church puts it) is that small entity there “hired” by the citizens to take care of those minimal tasks required for us to maintain our existing principles.

I consider the United States Constitution one of the best political documents ever written, that it is good and right, and that THESE United States are and should be under its continuing jurisdiction.  The term “THESE” referring to the political view that THESE United States are a loosely bound group of countries that have banded together (still as countries) to help and support each other in some minimal ways: such as the common defense, protection of free trade across borders, and other things (such as detailed in the U.S. Constitution – in our case).  Remember that little [r] republicanism is not (so far as I know – I’m still learning) strictly a U.S. Constitutional term.

I believe that THESE United States, composed of 50 small sovereign countries (or states), have drifted further and further away in practice and belief, from how well we adhere to and follow the Constitution (although we theoretically/hypocritically claim to be fully under its rules).  We do adhere to many of them (those rules), and because of the continuing influence, radically leftist politicians such as our current president, Barack Obama, have not been able to grab “Hugo-Chavezesque” levels of uncontsitutional socialistic power that he otherwise could have (and perhaps would have). And we should be very thankful to our founding fathers for their tremendous wisdom and sacrifice in creating such a selfless, GOOD document. So even though we have drifted about as far away as we can; thankfully, the U.S. Constitution has actually provided very well the safety net it was designed to provide (inspite of our errant ways).

I felt it necessary to provide that preface so that I am as clear as possible as to the context for the following statements.

I say these things VERY carefully within the context of the above. So please, as you read them, consider that I mean all of the above very sincerely.

The Bible is the only inerrant book ever written, the Constitution is not divine and it is not inerrant (as evidenced by the amendments). There is an infinite difference between inerrant and not inerrant.

I have recently begun listening to the Mike Church radio show on Sirius XM. I really enjoy the show. It is thought provoking and has made me think deeply about who I am as an American, inspired my other writing about the repeal of the 17th Amendment, and a book I am now working on tentatively entitled “The Coming Utopian Threat (more on that later – it is a treatise of philosophical connections between socialism and utopianism and other dangerous philosophies pervading modern society, etc.). So, thank you to Mike Church for your awesome, thought provoking show.

But, back to topic. The Constitution was and is a great document, but it is not inerrant. It is influenced both by some level of Judeo-Christian view as well as a secular humanist view – which was indeed held by some of our founding fathers (such as Benjamin Franklin).

I believe that although the U.S. Constitution was and is a great political document, and there is perhaps no finer political basis for any of the world present and perhaps past governments, it is not an “end all” document. What makes THESE United States of America (these 50 small countries – thanks Mike Church) great is not the U.S. Constitution, but its selfless people, and the depth of their Biblically based world view. We reach out to the world with helping hands because of our faith. I personally travel regularly to south Asia, Haiti (previously, and hope and plan to do so again) because of my faith – not the Constitution.

I remember on a business trip to China thinking out of the box (PLEASE, PLEASE hear what I really mean in this paragraph), that Chinese people are capitalists. The form of government was a Chinese form of communism (different from Soviet communism – a topic for another day). But regardless of the form of government, these people are capitalists. I walked through the huge Forbidden City in central Beijing, near Tienanmen Square, and my feet were in sever pain from the walking. As I exited the North ( I think) exit, I hired a rickshaw for an agreed price of 30 Yuan. The driver took what I believe was an extra long route back to the front entrance. I began to pay him the 30 Yuan, and he said, “No, 30 U.S. Yuan.” I thought (being a savvy traveller) this guy knows he is ripping me off (capitalism). I thought (it being just a few months after the accidentally missile hit on the Chines embassy I think in Yugoslavia, in 1999) I didn’t want any police trouble (squads of federal police were wandering nearby with chrome plated helmets). Then I thought, probably, neither does he. So I I gave him a stern look as if to indicate I know exactly what you’re trying to pull here – I gave him a few extra Yuan above the original price and walked away. He didn’t call after me.

It wasn’t his form of government that made him who he was – it was him, and his world view. It is our world views that determine who we are and what we believe, not a political document. The document (i.e.: U.S. Constitution) is not what will save or bring our country, it will be who we are as a people.

The U.S. Constitution was created because of who those people were – that is, our so called “Founding Fathers.” The Constitution was the fruit of a world view. I do not believe how well we adhere to or believe in or follow the U.S. Constitution is based on the Constitution itself, it is the reverse. It is based on who we are as a country, a grouping of 50 small, loosely bound little countries; and the people therein.

And so this political/ideological thought process (that is still ongoing) instigated by the Mike Church Show, has led me thus far in the midst of it, that it is not so important to get back to our Constitutional roots as it is to get back to our Biblically based roots.

The Constitution alludes to God given rights, to respect for all men – which I believe is well aligned with Biblical views (thought not perfectly – as I stated in the beginning of this article). It alludes to many great fundamentals for a good society: electing officials, balance of powers, free trade, sovereignty of the states, etc. All of these are extremely well written and developed bases for what has legislatively kept THESE United States stable for these centuries.

But I have travelled to many countries and discovered that people are people everywhere. On a family vacation in southern Mexico (the city of Merida on the Yucatan). We were in a busy Mercado and the only tall, white Americans among throngs of thousands of local shoppers. We travelled as a family of four (my wife and I, and our two young sons). My younger, seven year old son got separated from us as we were almost pressed against a wall, it was so busy. We had barely discovered he was missing when all of a sudden, the throng of people opened a path right in the middle of this packed, hurried crowd to where a shop keeper about 30 – 40 feet away had made my younger son sit down while all of these people made a path for us to get back to him (this, due I believe to a very strong sense of family we struggle for here). Wow! People are just people every where. It wasn’t the corrupt government of Mexico, nor in the previous story was it the Communistic government of China that made these people or that rickshaw driver do what they did. It was who they were as people.

So I would very carefully contend that the form of government is not what makes us great as a nation – it is people. Singapore is a dictatorship; and I am in no way advocating for that form of government. But (inspite of its many corruptions) it is in many ways benevolent as it seeks to make the life of the people there better. I would speculate that there are officials in Communist China’s government who selflessly seek to care well in their assigned jobs.

Yes, it should not be the government’s job to take care of all of the people’s needs. I do not believe in the “Nanny State” whatsoever, and I believe that generally anything you give the government to do, they do worse and much less efficiently than the private sector. And I also believe that much of what has been passed on to the government has been due to the falling down of the Church on their job to love the people around them in meaningful ways.

I would just say in closing, that I think it is amiss to believe that “getting back to the Constitution” will solve our country’s problems. Getting back meaningfully and substantively to our Biblical roots – the Church doing its job in the world – is what will make any people who they should be and were meant to be. The United States Constitution was and is a great framework for how that should legislatively look.

But thinking out of the box for just a moment, suppose China became a Christian nation in every sense of the word. Suppose every person in government became a Christian. And suppose the U.S. Constitution had never been written or did not exist. And also suppose that the country’s corruption were fully reformed as a result; but that at that moment it all occurred, the country was still under it’s present form of Communism. I contend that the change in those people would transform that country in a wholly positive way with or without any changes in political structure or infrastructure.

Why is government even needed? Why is a Constitution even needed? It is needed because of our imperfections. Most people are neither pure good or pure evil (humanistically speaking). The U.S. Constitution was written to ward off and provide safeguards for the selfish actions of men that had led us away from the British empire and their corrupt selfish taxation to allow self determination and to follow our religious convictions. The Pilgrims came for religious reasons, as did many early settlers; and they held deeply Christian views which they sought to be able to freely exercise.

The U.S. Constitution came much later as the young country grew, to provide an anchor for something dear we hoped to preserve, even as we were being attacked intermittently by the British.

Certainly the Constitution is a great framework. I greatly respect it, don’t disagree with it, seek to protect its continuing consistent application in our country, and am disturbed by how far we have drifted from it in practice. But it is not inerrant and is not to be held sacrosanct. When we are who we should be as Americans – an expression of Judeo-Christian actions including all that entails, that is, I believe a much more fundamental bottom line than even the Constitution itself.

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

I do not like or agree with this so-called interpretation of the the first half of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Thanks again to Mike Church, who I respect as a very thoughtful conservative and [r]epublican, and seeks diligently to make more Americans think (yes, actually think) about our country’s constitutional roots and basis. But Mike, I must again disagree.

The main historical argument (and pretty much the only one) I have heard to support that the First Amendment is (in part) about so-called “Separation of Church and State” (which for the benefit of unaware readers – is not in its text), is Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 writing to the Danbury Baptist Association.

This 1802 writing must immediately be discarded as the basis, because it quite simply, is not. The 1802 writing is not the Constitution and it is not the First Amendment.

Let’s critically look at the text. The First Amendment says (in part):

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof:…”

It doesn’t say God must be absent from government. It would be fully constitutional to have crosses or other religious items present in congressional chambers, Christmas trees at the White House, etc. etc. etc.

First, “Congress shall make no law…”  – That is pretty straight forward.  There is nothing about secularism in that text, or separation.  And this part of the amendment is, I believe, the basis for the “separation” part of the interpretation.  Many (perhaps, but not certainly including Jefferson) seem to interpret this language as meaning “separation”. 

The second part of my disagreement stems in part from a poor contextualization.  It seems like those who seek to secularize American government do so based only on the first half of the above (partial language of) The First Amendment.  They remember so well (in support of their presuppositions and religious views) that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,…” but forget the seconf half of the above (partial) First Amendment clause “…or prohibiting the FREE exercise thereof…”

There is so much secularization focus in modern society.  So many pundits, talk show hosts, other “Talking Heads” and certainly many Marxists (another topic related to the First Amendment), that they very conveniently forget that government is not to restrict the free practice thereof.  Wow!

I choose to believe that this amendment is based on assuring for perpetuity our contry’s RIGHT to religious freedom – to follow what ever religion each person chooses to believe.  Congress shall not have the right to pass any law that interrupts that right, nor shall they pass any law (that also interrupts that right) by creating a state church.  That is a much different presupposition than the view that the purpose of the amendment was to secularize the government.

Government can be as religious or as secular as it wishes.  But what it can not do is pass laws that in any way interfere with the rights of citizens to follow what ever religious path they choose. 

Although I am a Biblical Christian, and believe the Bible to be the only and final inerrant teaching for my faith, I believe that, for example, if Congress was one day filled with 100% devout muslims, that if they wanted to pray five times a day in congressional chambers toward Mecca (as muslims do), that is their constitutional right.  If Congress was 100% Atheist, and they chose to pray five times a day to “The Big Bang” (humor intended), that would be their constitutional right.  If (as I personally would wish) if the U.S. Congress was filled with 100% Christians, and they wanted to pray five times a day, that would also be their right.

Government can be as religious or secular as it wishes.  And American society can be as religious or secular as it chooses.  This, I believe, is what the language and intent of the FirstAmendment (as regards religon) says and means.

There is the argument based on Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 writing mentioned above, which, with all due respect, I must disagree.  Most (if not all) modern arguments favoring Constitutional  “Separation of Church and State” are based on Jefferson’s writings which have somehow been related back to the original Constitutional Amendment’s language. 

I would contend to such people – if we are truly constitutionalists, and seek to help in returning this great nation back to it’s constitutional roots, then let’s do just that.  We should not seek to return to Jeffersonian writings from nearly three decades later.  That is a whole generation after the constitution.  What happened between those times?  What were Jefferson’s views at that time?  And here’s a very important question:  how many of those who approved the First Amendment itself, actually approved and/or ratified Jefferson’s statements in 1802?  That is actually a new thought to me as I am writing.  Wow.  That one hadn’t occurred to me.  Jefferson’s statements in 1802 were never ratified as a Constitutional Amendment.  But somehow, modern view of the first phrase of the First Amendment is based not so much on the RATIFIED language of the amendment itself, but Jefferson’s 1802 writings. 

This brings to mind an anecdotal story (which I’ll have to dig up again).  I remember reading in the Reader’s Digest many years ago about a book entitled something to the effect of “The Secret Zionist Papers” (may not be correct – just from my memory).  These were purported to be proceedings from a secret Jewish conference held in the 1890’s, and said to have included radical statements about how the Jewish community had the intent of taking over the world.  (According to my failing memory) This book was researched by an investigative reporter from the London Times in the 1920’s and found to be a complete fabrication (completely untrue).  But a young German man, Adolf Hitler, apparently got hold of a copy of this book, and it became some of the basis of his now infamous anti-semitism that led to the deaths of millions.

Ironic how writings can remain with such impact.  I certainly would in no way equate Thomas Jefferson – not at all.  But I use this to illustrate how important critical analysis of the truth of writings is very important.  Thomas Jefferson wrote about his views of the Constitution, decades after the fact, and with no review or ratification.  Yet Jefferson’s presonal views in 1802 remains as a dominant interpretation of a Constitutional Amendment. 

My advice – read the amendment for yourself.  Do not use someone elses writings to do your thinking for you.  Look at the language in the amendment.  Thomas Jefferson I will presume was a very intelligent and partiotic man.  He wrote some great things, and contributed greatly to the development of this country ((the U.S.A.).  But although a great and respected founding father of these United States, his 1802 writings were not, and are not, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

SCIENCE AND THE UNIVERSE

The Bible says that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Atheists have a big problem with this citing such popular theories as Dark Matter, the Big Bang Theory (not the show), etc.

It is often said that one must choose between science and God. I don’t think so – not at all. There is a built in presupposition to such a choice. That is that you choose which to “believe.”

This is very telling, in that what you “believe” is a matter of faith. We “believe” in God by faith. We “believe” that the words of the Bible are accurate, inspired, inerrant, and eternal truth by our faith. The Christian walk is an act of faith in God. We must NEVER believe in science based on faith. This is the huge struggle in the so called scientific community – that you must believe certain scientific precepts.

Aside from all else, this is absolute nonsense. Science is the observed ordering of the universe we live in. If you drop a steel ball from 100 feet and measure its rate of descent, you can calculate a gravitational constant. With some further calculation, you can calculate coefficients of friction, etc. etc. You don’t measure that rate of descent based on faith, but on observation.

Science is all about observation. But such things as Dark Matter, the Big Bang Theory, Evolution, and so many other illedged scientific concepts are not science at all, but a leap of faith.

So for someone to claim to be a scientist based on faith (presuppositions) is not valid at all.

Do we have to choose between science and the Bible – never. They can never be at odds with each other. What is at odds is the presuppositional views held (I believe as anti-Christian views) relative to the Christian faith.

My challenge to the scientific community is not to accept Christianity (that is a fully personal choice), but to speak factually on observed science, and filter out the so called theories to be identified as such.

In the case of evolution, there has never been an observed occurrence, and it is in conflict with so many true scientific principles.

Let’s bring back good science.

Thoughts On Utopianism

I’m presently thinking, writing and generally gathering my thoughts on this forgotten but very prevalent topic. It started with Plato’s work, “The Republic,” and made popular by Sir Thomas More’s book, “The Utopia.”

Utopia is simply a perfectly ordered society. And according to some philosophers, the only place Utopia can exist, is in ones imagination (to which I agree).

The problem is that without even knowing of the term, much of society is seeking Utopia – they are seeking something that can’t be found (on this earth). Government, medicine, private individuals, and yes, even the church (in some instances) are all in different ways, seeking utopia – seeking something that can not be had. I am a Christian, and so I make the comments about the church very carefully.

I’m sure I’ll take some heat for the following, but both conservatives and liberals in degrees, seek unknowingly, utopia – a perfectly ordered society – along with people of most other flavors or persuasions.

As I delve further into this topic, I’ll seek to understand and share why I believe this is problematic, and further, what I believe the solution may be.

Just a few opening thoughts. If you’d like to converse on this, send me a tweet on my Twitter account @Hawaii596 .