The U.S. Supreme Court has held that when a politician takes his oath
to "support the Constitution," he not only swears to uphold
that document, but all the founding charters of our country, which
together are called the "organic law."
The "Organic Law" is the fundamental law of the State, its
constitutive principles. It is the legal foundation upon which all
statutes and decisions are to be grounded. In West's edition of the U.S.
Code, the section on "The Organic Laws of the
United States of America" contains such documents as the Declaration
of Independence, the Constitution, and the Northwest
Ordinance of 1787.
- Black's Law Dictionary, Rev. 4th Ed.
- ORGANIC LAW - The
fundamental law, or constitution, of a state or nation,
written or unwritten; that law or system of laws or
principles which defines and establishes the organization of
St. Louis v. Dorr, 145 Mo. 466, 46 S.W. 976, 42 L.R.A. 686,
86 Am.St. Rep. 575
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The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 is a
part of America's "organic law," along with the Declaration of
Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution. The
Northwest Ordinance was the blueprint for state constitutions. When a
territory sought admission to the United States, Congress ordered that
they produce a constitution which was consistent with the Declaration of
Independence and the Northwest Ordinance. (see below
Article III of the Northwest Ordinance requires:
Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to
good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means
of education shall forever be encouraged. The utmost good faith
shall always be observed towards the Indians; their lands and property
shall never be taken from them without their consent . . . .
Notice, please, that religion and morality are not to be kept "separate"
from government, but "good government and the happiness of
mankind" are necessarily dependent upon "religion" and
"morality" (and the Framers of this ordinance were not Muslim,
Hindu, or adherents of the
religion of Secular Humanism; when they said "religion" they
The Organic Law of America not only recognizes our dependence on and
duty towards God, but specifies where we should learn about our Creator
(religion), the rights with which He has endowed us, and our duties toward
Him and our fellow man (morality). The Christian Religion and Christian
morality were to be taught in public schools.
Even though Justice Douglas concurred in Engel
v. Vitale, which removed Christianity from public schools in the early
1960's, he was honest enough to admit that
Religion was once deemed to be a function of the public school
system. The Northwest Ordinance, which antedated the First
Amendment, provided in Article III that "Religion, morality, and
knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of
mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be
You've heard the saying, "The end doesn't justify the means."
In the Northwest Ordinance, the "end" is religion and
morality, and the "means" are public schools. The
Founding Fathers believed that the end required
the means, that public schools served the purpose of advancing
One of the most important parts of America's "Organic Law" is
the principle that we are a nation "under
God." By consistently voting to strengthen federal control of
education, our current Congressman has violated his oath of office, by
choking God out of the public schools in our neighborhood.
The Northwest Ordinance is one of the nation's "organic
laws," along with the Constitution and the Declaration of
Independence. Justice Douglas says this Ordinance "antedated the
First Amendment," by which he hopes to make us think that it came
long before some great revolution of thought embodied in the First
Amendment. The Ordinance was approved by the House on July 21, 1789, and
by the Senate on Aug 4, 1789. This was the same Congress that was
simultaneously framing the religion clauses of the First Amendment. And
for decades after the Bill of Rights was passed, this Ordinance was
extended by Congress to new states admitted to the Union. For example,
When the Ohio territory applied for statehood in
1802, Congress framed an "enabling act" which required that Ohio
form its state government in a manner "not repugnant to the
[Northwest] Ordinance." As a result, Ohio's constitution declared:
[R]eligion, morality, and knowledge, being essentially necessary to
the good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means
of instruction shall forever be encouraged by legislative provision.
When Mississippi applied for statehood in 1817, Congress required that
its government be formed in a manner "not repugnant to the principles
of the Ordinance." Hence, Mississippi's constitution declared:
Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good
government, the preservation of liberty and the happiness of mankind,
schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged in this
The Constitutions of Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas (1858), Nebraska
(1875), and many other territorial papers and state constitutions make
clear that government had a duty to promote Christianity. The Northwest
Ordinance was signed by President Washington on Aug
7, 1789. "History must judge whether it was the Father of his
Country in 1789, or a majority of the Court today, which has strayed from
the meaning of the [First Amendment]." (Justice Rehnquist in Wallace
- U.S. Supreme Court, Holy
Trinity v. U.S.
- There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal
language pervading them all, having one meaning. They affirm and
reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual
sayings, declarations of private persons. They are organic utterances.
They speak the voice of the entire people.
- These and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of
unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this
is a Christian nation.
- In PUBLIC CITIZEN v. DEPARTMENT
OF JUSTICE, 491 U.S. 440 (1989), JUSTICE
KENNEDY, with whom THE CHIEF
JUSTICE and JUSTICE O'CONNOR
join, concurring in the judgment, wrote:
- The Church of the Holy Trinity entered into a contract with an alien
residing in England to come to the United States to serve as the
director and pastor of the church. Notwithstanding the fact that this
agreement fell within the plain language of the statute, which was
conceded to be the case, see ibid., the Court overrode the plain
language, drawing instead on the background and purposes of the
statute to conclude that Congress did not intend its broad prohibition
to cover the importation of Christian ministers. The central
support for the Court's ultimate conclusion that Congress did not
intend the law to cover Christian ministers is its lengthy review
of the "mass of organic utterances" establishing that
"this is a Christian nation," and which were taken to
prove that it could not "be believed that a Congress of the
United States intended to make it a misdemeanor for a church of this
country to contract for the services of a Christian minister residing
in another nation." Id., at 471.
- Justice David Brewer, The United States: A Christian Nation
- Justice Brewer pointed out that his claim (that America is a
"Christian nation") reached into the "organic law"
of the nation, and every State in the union, thus putting it on the
firmest of legal authority. The claim that America is a Christian
nation is in "the domain of official action and
recognition," not mere "individual acceptance." (p 27
in 1996 reprint).
(1) Cole v. Richardson, 405 U.S.
676 at 682, 92 S.Ct. 1332 at 1336, 31 L.Ed.2d 593 (1972), citing Ohlson
v. Phillips, 304 F.Supp. 1152 (Colo. 1969).
(2) 1 U.S.C.A 17-23 (West, 1988). The Ordinance was
originally approved while the nation was still under the Articles of
Confederation, but was repassed by Congress while it was formulating the
First Amendment so that it would remain in effect under the new Form of
Government. Annals of the Congress of the United States, Wash.
D.C.: Gales & Seaton, vol. 1, pp. 56 (Senate), 660 (House). [Return
(3) Northwest Ordinance, Sec. 14, Art. III, 1 U.S.C.A
21. (West, 1988). Schools were required by the federal government to teach
religion in those states admitted into the Union under the Northwest
Ordinance. The constitutions of states admitted as late as 1875 (Nebraska)
contained almost identical language, requiring the teaching of
Christianity in the public schools. Commended by the U.S. Supreme Court in
Church of the Holy Trinity v. U.S., 143 U.S. 457, 469. See
discussion in Barton, Myth, p. 37-39.