The First Amendment’s religion clauses, ratified in 1791, establish freedom of institutional theism instead of personal psychological liberty. Fourth, there’s freedom of a people, each of whom recognizes that beyond cooperative autonomy there is the need to civically govern, cultivating a republican form of civil order--the rule of law that cultivates justice; let’s call it republican liberty. The four liberties in this paragraph range from despotism to governance by the governed, and understanding them helps a person focus on the universal human quest for psychological maturity during some six to seven decades of living, if at all.
Three of the profound thinkers during both the American Revolution (1765-1783) and the French Revolution (1789 to 1799) were Edmund Burke, defender of British order (Protestant elitism); Thomas Jefferson, defender of the personal right to grow psychological maturity; and Thomas Paine, defender of natural justice for every person (achievement warrants reward). Thomas Paine, in 1775, wonderfully castigated slavery and indicted Christians involved in the practice. Thomas Jefferson in his famous statement, “I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man," was perhaps expressing humility in the seemingly unnecessary oath. It seems a statement against elitism.
Contentions beyond 1787 were 1) “We the States” (Patrick Henry a champion) versus “We the People of the United States,” 2) no prayer and no god in the Philadelphia convention and the 1787 document versus governance under theism, and 3) elitism built into the Constitution, primarily by James Madison and his team. The first Congress established theism, in particular Christianity, in preference Protestantism, in May, 1789. Unsuccessfully, in 1801, US President Thomas Jefferson asserted that the First Amendment established separation of church and state and that it made no difference to a believer if his neighbor was atheist or non-theist. However, the US Supreme court promoted legislative prayer with tacit agreement by the majority from 1789 in Congress to state legislatures (Nebraska, Marsh v Chambers, 1983) and towns (Greece v Galloway, 2014), in direct rebuke of citizens who think civic prayer is civic immorality: About 75% of inhabitants seem happy with tyranny over the 25%.
Whereas the debates by Burke, Jefferson, and Paine left unsettled the imposition of theism into civic governance, the cultivation of physics-based ethics relieves that long-standing tension derived from the fact that everyone’s religion is private and no one can impose on her/him a differing religious opinion. Within each person's mind and heart, there is no such thing as heresy, and no one can impose heresy on her/him. Physics also resolves the issue of elitism, by bringing into light the fact that a person must both have time and take time to consider civic issues and select representatives of their preferences, if a people are to supervise civic governance, as it seems a people must.
Collaboration of by and for a people seems to us a noble project for Baton Rouge.