Sunday, May 12, 2019

Torrance City Council: Place "In God We Trust" in City Council Chambers

Dear Torrance City Council:

As an opening statement, I am submitting this letter in part to serve as an invitation to as many Torrance residents as possible, encouraging them to write to you to communicate their support for Agenda item 9C, as well as to attend the May 14, 2019 city council meeting.

The meeting takes place:
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Torrance City Council
3031 Torrance Blvd, 
Torrance, CA 90503

It is with great joy that I write to you in full favor of the National Motto being placed and posted in the Torrance City Council chambers.

$2,000 is a small amount to dispense in order to recognize the fundamental principles and founding elements of our country, culture, and community.

The United States is a great country because we are One Nation Under God. If we forget that, we will become one nation gone under, as President Ronald Reagan declared.

This central, civilizing element, the basic recognition that every human being came from One Creator, is essential for ensuring unity in cities, countries, and across our country, regardless of how individuals express or understand God.

For those who believe (falsely) that there is no God, the impact of our National Motto in our city council chambers is a de minimus nuisance (cf ELK GROVE UNIFIED SCHOOL DIST. V. NEWDOW (02-1624) 542 U.S. 1 (2004)) for that small segment of the population. The offense of a minority should not overshadow or push aside the foundational truth that the United States was founded on Judeo-Christian principles.

Further objections will argue that there is a wall of separation between church and state in the United States Constitution. That is a long-propagated falsehood, based on a misinterpreted statement written by President Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut. Jefferson's letter affirmed exactly what the First Amendment assured -- that the state could not establish a religion, specifically a denomination or practice of faith.

Not once did the Framers intend for a recognition of God, a Deity, Providence, to be removed from the public square. Not once. In fact, the famed agnostic and editorial columnist Charles Krauthammer had written that "civic religion" is completely in order with keeping the traditions and rights of individuals within our constitutional republic. The presentation of our national motto, In God We Trust, as displayed in a public building does not constitute an establishment of a particular religion or sect.

Moreover, the Declaration of Independence, the founding charter of our nation, mentions God four times.

First, God is mentioned at the outset of the document:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Second, God is referenced as the source and dispensation of man's natural rights, thus ensuring a complete and justified limitation on the power of the state:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Third, God is referenced as the final authority of mankind, thus exceeding the rights and privileges of any other ruler, including King George the Third:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States;

Last of all, God is referenced as the final and supreme protector of mankind and the nations of the world, a full statement affirming that the Founding Fathers recognized that God did move in the affairs of men, and was not some static eternal constant who had set the world in motion, then withdrew and simply watched the proceedings of men:

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

The United States Constitution also references God and His Providence.

In the Preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The word "blessings of liberty" explicitly references a divine origin.

In Article One, Section 8, as part of the enumerated powers granted to Congress:

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

Per the "Lectures on Law" by James Wilson, one of the Framers of the Constitution and signers of the Declaration of Independence, "The law of nature, when applied to states or political societies, receives a new name, that of the law of nations."

James Wilson drew this insight from a French political scientist, Emer de Vattel, who wrote: "[T]he law of nations is the law of nature applied to states or nations."

The law of nature originates from and therefore specifies the existence of God and His presence in the establishment of the United States Constitution.

At the end of the Constitution, we find the date for the document set thus:

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

The mention of "Year of our Lord" clearly recognizes not only the Deity, but Christ the Savior.

Furthermore, God is explicitly mentioned in every state constitution, including California's!

"We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution."

Once again, I am submitting this letter and this invitation to as many Torrance residents as possible, encouraging them to write to you to communicate their support for agenda item 9C as well as to attend the May 14, 2019 city council meeting.

The meeting takes place:
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Torrance City Council
3031 Torrance Blvd, 
Torrance, CA 90503

The Torrance City Council should feel the support of the residents of the community as well as the general public.

Thank you again.


Arthur Christopher Schaper

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