And you paid to have it printed, a half million copies a year paid for by taxpayers, and distributed by primarily by U.S. Senators and Representatives congress.
Those who are familiar with magazine advertising know that the most valuable space is the inside front cover. It is the most expensive to purchase and garners the greatest readership. While those who read a commercial magazine treat advertising differently than editorial content, it is a bit more vague when the publication has the stamp of an official document distributed by the U.S. Congress.
One of the major side issues between the left and the right is whether we live in a Christian country. If we do, by tradition or by law, questions of social policy are rightly influenced by the sacred words of God, as expressed in the Holy Bible. Those who espouse this must deal with the inconvenient fact that the Constitution, the foundation of our government, specifically excludes any mention of God. The only specified oath of office, that of the President, does not require, or allow, his acknowledging that he serves under a higher power.
One way scholars of a theocratic bent get around this is to conceptually merge the Declaration of Independence, which mentions our rights being endowed by "our creator" with the Constitution. This could be expressed by this claim:
The Declaration of Independence was the promise, the Constitution was the fulfillment.
Certainly anyone is free to make this argument, however to have this as the first words on the inside cover of the Congressional version of the Constitution, without attribution, sitting there as self evident truth is another matter entirely.
The movement to eliminate the protections that have been given to non Christians from being coerced by the majority in religious expression is far from being a dead issue. The Religious Freedom Amendment would have reversed decisions against prayer in school and other acts of favoritism towards Christianity. It recieved a majority of House votes, 224-203 in 1998, which was 61 votes short of the necessary 2/3 majority to pass an amendment to the states for ratification.
Also on the inside front cover is this quotation, written by Alexander Hamilton in 1775:
"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."
The booklet then follows with the text of The Constitution followed by the Declaration of Independence, of which the reader has just been told is not to be found the enumerated rights of citizens; as such rights are provided by the hand of God and are not to be codified by mere humans.
Do not underestimate the persistence of this ideology, now even more dangerous with the rise of the Tea Party movement. Distorting the meaning of the Constitution, combining it with the Holy Bible, is only one tool in their "retaking of America"
This booklet, with it's clear theocratic message, was first printed in 1986 under the Reagan administration. I'm sure the words of the inside cover were not part of the legislation, placed there by an executive agency, without any congressional approval; and once it was there was included in each new printing, now totaling tens of millions of copies.
This seems so innocuous, so "official" I don't know of this ever being brought up in a public venue. Yet, we have this "official" booklet, which when deconstructed, begins with a statement "the sacred rights of man" can never be erased or obscured by mere mortals. If one claims that these rights include freedom from taxation, or of preaching the word of God in public Schools, they now have a "higher authority" than the constitution, and its interpretations over the centuries, to point to.
The U.S. Constitution, contrary to the Natural Law theory, is precisely an affirmation that mere mortals created this audacious document. They were not channeling any deity, rather signed in the name of their highest authority, "We the People...."
There was no deity invoked, the word "God" being conspicuously absent. This subtle unnoticed bit of theological propaganda has now been promulgated for quarter century without notice or objection. Given that this congress has promised to assiduously adhere to every article and amendment, we better be vigilant that they know that the preface on the inside cover does not reflect the spirit or the letter of this fundamental law of the land.