While the Constitution is clearly pluralistic to some extent, insisting, for example, that there be no religious test required to hold office in the federal government, there are still points at which the writers of the Constitution allow their Christian bloomers to show.
Of course there are generic references to the “Creator” and the “Almighty” and “blessings” which many religions would have no difficulty with, but there are at least two places in particular where Christian practice and faith are explicitly assumed. Interestingly, both have to do with our reckoning of time.
First, it’s fairly interesting that Sunday is explicitly recognized as a day off by the Constitution. A president has 10 days to consider a bill presented by Congress, Sundays not included. This is clearly a Christian sentiment, as it does not except Saturdays (for a Jewish president) or Fridays (for a Muslim president).
Secondly, the reckoning of time is measured from the birth of Christ, Anno Domini, “in the year of our Lord.” While this may seem rather insignificant and mundane since that method of reckoning was so pervasive and universal, the fact of the matter is that this is the Constitution of our country. This is Constitutional language that affirms time to be under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. While the Constitution is far too generic and pluralistic for my tastes, there are still these two explicit references to specifically Christian doctrines.
In affect, the framers of the Constitution recognize the high feasts of Christmas and Easter. By reckoning Sunday a day of rest, the Lord’s Day is implicitly honored, the day on which Christians celebrate the resurrection each week. And by reckoning years from the date of the birth of Christ, the Incarnation is implicitly honored and recognized as the beginning of the kingdom of God, the birth of God’s Son as King.
All of this, it must also be pointed out, is entirely consistent with the prohibition against the establishment of religion by the federal government. The First Amendment cannot be construed to be mean something inconsistent with these Christian assumptions enshrined within the original document itself.
Actually, he said, commenting on his own post, the words “Creator” and “Almighty” don’t show up in the Constitution. I guess I was thinking of the Declaration of Independence or some such thing.