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South Carolina's original constitution probably came the closest to what the founders of the nation understood to be the establishment of religion, even using the word established in it's constitution.  However it still fell short of that because this was the religion of the people and their state. It was not the religion of a king imposed upon his subjects to further the interest of the King. Besides this, at least according to the law, there was complete freedom to serve God according to the dictates of ones on conscience. The major issue is that authors of this constitution completely intended that their frame of government and law was to be found in the principles of the Bible. That is the main reason as with the other constitutions that there were various degree's of government validation and promotion of general non denominational Christianity.  This brings us back to the federal constitution once more. Are we to be asked by todays socialist leaning Democrat that the very same people who wrote this and every other state constitution; who immediately left their state to write the federal one; that these same representatives then constructed the federal one to specifically undermine their states constitutions while the ink was still drying on them? The only rational and reasonable conclusion one can come to is that these state constitutions define the meaning and the spirit of the 1st amendment to the federal constitution rather than it imposing on the states and the people a "religion free" government.  It's obvious that what these representatives had in mind when they penned the first amendment was  to completely restrict the federal government from any interference whatsoever in the religion of the  people and their states. It was only in the last 60 years that federal courts in utter defiance of this took the first amendment and placed a meaning and a construct upon it according to their own liking and agenda and used it to impose on the states therefore the people a federal or national "religion free government," (as defined by modern progressives.) What is striking about this is that just as the founders of the nation understood it. Christianity free quite naturally means morality free also. Thou shalt not steal or covet seems to have little meaning to the modern progressives as they loot the economies of nations for the aggrandizement of their own power.  Through coercion an out of control judiciary along with politicians loving to have it so have succeeded in stripping the people and their states of their religious rights as they pertain to their government institutions and how their tax money is spent. The public school systems are now used to spread the lie to multiple generations that secularist\atheists\ socialists and religionists like they founded the nation when it is as plain as the writing in these constitutions that it was people who believed themselves to be Christians that gave the gift of this great nation to the world. The atheist and socialist have their revolution that was the basis for every communist revolution since then, the French one.  Why the need to impose on multiple generations of Americans the idea that it was their "values" and "morality" that was responsible for the founding of this nation? The answer to that is very simple, to validate and further their own rule in the United States.


The Constitution of South Carolina 1778

III. That as soon as may be after the first meeting of the senate and house of representatives, and at every first meeting of the senate and house of representatives thereafter, to be elected by virtue of this constitution, they shall jointly in the house of representatives choose by ballot from among themselves or from the people at large a governor and commander-in-chief, a lieutenant-governor, both to continue for two years, and a privy council, all of the Protestant religion, and till such choice shall be made the former president or governor and commander-in-chief, and vice-president or lieutenant-governor, as the case may be, and privy council, shall continue to act as such. 

XII. …… ; and that no person shall be eligible to a seat in the said senate unless he be of the Protestant religion, and hath attained the age of thirty years, and hath been a resident in this State at least five years.

XIII……. , and where there are no churches or church-wardens in a district or parish, the house of representatives, at some convenient time before their expiration, shall appoint places of election and persons to receive votes and make returns. The qualification of electors shall be that every free white man, and no other person, who acknowledges the being of a God, and believes in a future state of rewards and punishments, and who has attained to the age of one and twenty years, and hath been a resident and an inhabitant in this State for the space of one whole year before the day appointed for the election he offers to give his vote at,….. No person shall be eligible to sit in the house of representatives unless he be of the Protestant religion, and hath been a resident in this State for three years previous to his election.


XXI. And whereas the ministers of the gospel are by their profession dedicated to the service of God and the cure of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their function, therefore no minister of the gospel or public preacher of any religious persuasion, while he continues in the exercise of his pastoral function, and for two years after, shall be eligible either as governor, lieutenant-governor, a member of the senate, house of representatives, or privy council in this State. 

XXXVIII. That all persons and religious societies who acknowledge that there is one God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, and that God is publicly to be worshipped, shall be freely tolerated. The Christian Protestant religion shall be deemed, and is hereby constituted and declared to be, the established religion of this State. That all denominations of Christian Protestants in this State, demeaning themselves peaceably and faithfully, shall enjoy equal religious and civil privileges. To accomplish this desirable purpose without injury to the religious property of those societies of Christians which are by law already incorporated for the purpose of religious worship, and to put it fully into the power of every other society of Christian Protestants, either already formed or hereafter to be formed, to obtain the like incorporation, it is hereby constituted, appointed, and declared that the respective societies of the Church of England that are already formed in this State for the purpose of religious worship shall still continue incorporate and hold the religious property now in their possession. And that whenever fifteen or more male persons, not under twenty-one years of age, professing the Christian Protestant religion, and agreeing to unite themselves In a society for the purposes of religious worship, they shall, (on complying with the terms hereinafter mentioned,) be, and be constituted a church, and be esteemed and regarded in law as of the established religion of the State, and on a petition to the legislature shall be entitled to be incorporated and to enjoy equal privileges. That every society of Christians so formed shall give themselves a name or denomination by which they shall be called and known in law, and all that associate with them for the purposes of worship shall be esteemed as belonging to the society so called. But that previous to the establishment and incorporation of the respective societies of every denomination as aforesaid, and in order to entitle them thereto, each society so petitioning shall have agreed to and subscribed in a book the following five articles, without which no agreement fir union of men upon presence of religion shall entitle them to be incorporated and esteemed as a church of the established religion of this State: 

1st. That there is one eternal God, and a future state of rewards and punishments. 

2d. That God is publicly to be worshipped. 

3d. That the Christian religion is the true religion 

4th. That the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are of divine inspiration, and are the rule of faith and practice. 

5th. That it is lawful and the duty of every man being thereunto called by those that govern, to bear witness to the truth. 

And that every inhabitant of this State, when called to make an appeal to God as a witness to truth, shall be permitted to do it in that way which is most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience. And that the people of this State may forever enjoy the right of electing their own pastors or clergy, and at the same time that the State may have sufficient security for the due discharge of the pastoral office, by those who shall be admitted to be clergymen, no person shall officiate as minister of any established church who shall not have been chosen by a majority of the society to which he shall minister, or by persons appointed by the said majority, to choose and procure a minister for them; nor until the minister so chosen and appointed shall have made and subscribed to the following declaration, over and above the aforesaid five articles, viz: "That he is determined by God's grace out of the holy scriptures, to instruct the people committed to his charge, and to teach nothing as required of necessity to eternal salvation but that which he shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved from the scripture; that he will use both public and private admonitions, as well to the sick as to the whole within his cure, as need shall require and occasion shall be given, and that he will be diligent in prayers, and in reading of the same; that he will be diligent to frame and fashion his own self and his family according to the doctrine of Christ, and to make both himself and them, as much as in him lieth, wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ; that he will maintain and set forwards, as much as he can, quietness, peace, and love among all people, and especially among those that are or shall be committed to his charge. No person shall disturb or molest any religious assembly; nor shall use any reproachful, reviling, or abusive language against any church, that being the certain way of disturbing the peace, and of hindering the conversion of any to the truth, by engaging them in quarrels and animosities, to the hatred of the professors, and that profession which otherwise they might be brought to assent to. To person whatsoever shall speak anything in their religious assembly irreverently or seditiously of the government of this State. No person shall, by law, be obliged to pay towards the maintenance and support of a religious worship that he does not freely join in, or has not voluntarily engaged to support. But the churches, chapels, parsonages, globes, and all other property now belonging to any societies of the Church of England, or any other religious societies, shall remain and be secured to them forever. The poor shall be supported, and elections managed in the accustomed manner, until laws shall be provided to adjust those matters in the most equitable way.

To view the entire constitution follow this hyperlink.

The Constitution of South Carolina 1778

© Daniel Martinovich 2002-2013

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