Religious Rights in 19th Century Hawaii
by Bob Stauffer
[Article 8.] I. That no law shall be enacted which is at variance with the word of the Lord Jehovah, or at variance with the general spirit of His word. All laws of the Islands shall be in consistency with the general spirit of God’s law.
[Article 9.] II. All men of every religion shall be protected in worshiping Jehovah, and serving Him, according to their own understanding, but no man shall ever be punished for neglect of God unless he injures his neighbor, or brings evil on the kingdom.
-- 1840 Constitution of Hawaii
It is said that a majority of the wars of the last thousand years were fought over religion. Had they not been changed in 1852, these two Articles from the 1840 constitution of Hawaii could easily have eventually become the basis for further hostilities, using legal and emotional weapons but perhaps even guns and swords.
Article 9 is the easier of the two to deal with. It guarantees a freedom to worship "Jehovah." This is a name which is considered by many scholars today to be a mistranslation and mispronunciation of a term that appears in the original Hebrew Bible. Many religions that acknowledge God refuse to use this name, including Jews, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and many Protestants. Many other religions, including Buddhism, do not worship God at all, nor do Atheists.
However, "Jehovah" was a term used by certain Protestants, and many Hawaiian leaders followed a part of Protestantism that used that word, and so the constitution of 1840, instead of guaranteeing a freedom of religion, instead guaranteed only the right to worship "Jehovah."
The problem comes when this question is asked: will other Protestants, Jews, Muslims, etc., be protected even if they didn’t worship "Jehovah?" And will they be protected if they worship some God with a different name, or even if they don’t worship at all?
This question is partially answered by the last portion of Article 9: "no man shall ever be punished for neglect of God unless he injures his neighbor, or brings evil on the kingdom."
We know that leading Hawaii Protestants at that time felt that a Catholic was "neglecting God" by acknowledging the Pope and not following the Protestants’ idea of God. So, just being a Catholic was a sin to them, and was wrong. But the Article says no punishment should be inflicted on such a person, or even a non-Christian or an Atheist. So far, so good.
But notice the final phrase: punishment could occur if the non-Protestant brought "evil on the kingdom." Many Hawaiian leaders supported the ban on hula, for example, because they felt it was "evil." At one time, Hawaiian leaders made it illegal for a Native Hawaiian to become Catholic because it was "evil." Mormon marriages were not recognized by the law in Hawaii because some considered them to be "evil" -- until a liberal Hawaii supreme court ordered Mormon marriages to be recognized by the government, a century ago.
We can conclude therefore that Article 9 attempted to protect the freedom of religion, but fell short.
This 1840 Article was renumbered as Article 2 and twice amended slightly in the 1852 and 1864 constitutions, but the problem persisted and both of these later constitutions never granted full religious freedom.
However, it is fair to say that if the nation had not been overthrown by American forces in 1893, it is very likely that this Article would have been amended eventually to guarantee a full and complete freedom of religion. So much for that Article.
Article 8 above, on the other hand, which says that "no law shall be enacted which is in variance with the word of the Lord Jehovah, ... His word, ... [or] God’s law," is much more of a problem. It is saying that the government is actually a kind of theocracy (religious government), with what amounts to an established State Church. Let us look carefully at the words of this Article.
The first requirement of Article 8 involves ordering the government to follow the "Lord Jehovah." This is a name, as mentioned above, that is used by certain Protestants, but not other religions. By saying that all laws must follow this particular "Jehovah," the constitution is tying the government to that particular branch of Protestants, because other Christians and other religions do not follow this "Lord Jehovah."
The second requirement of Article 8 orders the government to follow the "word" of this God. But "word" has a precise meaning (sometimes it is even capitalized). It means the holy book (Bible) of that Protestant group (it can also mean the ‘Word of God,’ personified as Jesus of Nazareth). The Protestant, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Slavonic Orthodox branches of Christianity use different Bibles. While this might surprise people, each of these four main branches of Christianity do have a Bible, but all of them are different.
The Bibles of the Protestants, Catholics, Greek Orthodox, and Slavonic Orthodox branches of Christianity are different mostly because they each use a different mixture of the "books of the Bible." That is to say that each uses a different list of these "books," with some books belonging to one Christian branch and not another branch, etc.
Not only are different parts used in the different Bibles of the different branches of Christianity, but other differences exist. Naturally this further complicates things when Article 8 is saying that the "word" (Bible) has to be followed.
For example, Christians place a lot of emphasis on their "New Testament" (NT)1 which was written in Greek. But there are thousands of early Greek copies of parts or all of the NT, and most are different in some way.
Some Christian branches take one of these old copies as their NT. But most Christians today rely, whether they know it or not, on committees of scholars who look at the thousands of copies (plus additional newly found copies which are still being unearthed in old monasteries or at archaeological sites from time to time). These committees generally go over the whole NT and vote on what set of Greek words should be chosen for each sentence.
The votes go different ways. One sentence might follow one of the thousands of Greek copies that exist, the next sentence might follow another. The "official" Greek NTs which these committees produce do not follow any one of the original Greek copies, but are instead a mixture based on their votes.
Because different committees go different ways, there are then different "official" Greek versions based on different votes done by these different committees. (Some progress, though, has occurred in recent years toward adopting one compromise Greek version of the NT).
But then these various "official" Greek versions of the NT then get translated into English, and there are many different "official" English versions which are approved by the Pope, or by some other church leader, depending on which denomination is deciding. And, depending on which English version is chosen, you end up sometimes with completely different rules in the NT, even when the differing English translations are using the same compromise "official" Greek text.
Then, for Mormons, there is the added situation of their Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ.
Meanwhile, even when two denominations use the same English translation of the same "official" Greek version of the NT, their leaders often interpret parts of that NT very differently, resulting again in different rules for the different denominations.
The problem, basically, is that there is no one NT, just as there is no one Bible. There are instead hundreds of NTs which have different rules in them, depending on which "official" Greek text is being used, which "official" English translation is being used, and which "official" interpretation is being used.
So, if Article 8 says that the government cannot pass any law which disagrees with the Bible, then the question becomes, if only for the NT part of the Bible: which Greek version does the government use, which English (or Hawaiian) translation, and which interpretation?
For this 1840 constitution, the answer was simple: the legislature was supposed to use the Bible and its interpretation as followed by that particular branch of Protestantism of the Hawaiian leaders at the time.
The third part of Article 8 then says that the government cannot pass any law which goes against "God’s law." The "law" is the phrase often used in the NT to refer to what Christians call the OT. In other words, the Hawaiian government had to now follow the OT.
But here we go again. Different Christians (and Jews) use different OTs!2 So we must ask which OT is Article 8 talking about, and which interpretation of it? The answer, again, in 1840 was that the legislature had to follow the OT and its interpretation of that single denomination of Protestantism that was dominant in Hawaii at that time.
That denomination is known today as the United Church of Christ (UCC). The constitution does not directly name this church as the official church of the nation. But, because the constitution was requiring all laws to follow the UCC’s particular version of the NT and OT, and the UCC’s interpretation of those versions, it can be said that the constitution was indeed establishing the UCC as the official governmental religion of the nation.
Why Not Have a Government Church?
So, we can see that all three parts of Article 8 forced the government of Hawaii to follow the various teachings and rules of this one church. But let us now ask ourselves: what is wrong with establishing an official church? Wouldn’t that make the government more moral and honest and caring?
It is easy to point to the horrible bloodshed and oppression while have filled up history because of government religions. But let’s instead look at three actual examples from Hawaii.
The first was a law passed that helped set up public schools. After all, the UCC at that time strongly favored education for the people. They felt it was a holy thing to do, a direction from God.
There is nothing wrong with setting up public schools, of course. So, so far, so good. This law was passed in October 1840 immediately after the issuance of the 1840 constitution.3 It said that each village was to set up a three-person local school board to hire a teacher for the local school.4 Again, no problem.
But the law then said that the hiring had to be done together with the local UCC minister! And no other religion was to be involved.
The same was true for setting of the teacher’s salary: the UCC minister had to set it with the local community board. And the UCC minister had to agree before a teacher could be fired.
So, basically, each UCC minister got to have veto control over all the local school boards in his district.
Finally, the Hawaii UCC’s seminary (ministers’ training school) was empowered to grant teaching certificates: without a certificate, no one could be hired to become a teacher. No other church’s seminary was given this power.
So ask yourself: would you be happy with a public school system being run by some religious group that ran the schools very much according to how they interpreted their holy book?
A second example involves a law passed in 1841, which made it a crime to fish on Sundays. Sundays were, after all, the holy day of the UCC. (Saturdays, on the other hand, are the holy day of Jews and some Protestants; Fridays are the holy day of Moslems; etc.)
It was also a crime to cultivate your agricultural crops or your garden if it was Sunday. It was also a crime to do any recreation. A crime to do any amusements.
Let’s see now. Sunday football games (either playing one or watching one on television), or going on a Sunday picnic or a Sunday movie or concert would be a crime.
If a child was found running about wildly, it was a crime and the parents would be sentenced.
If anyone was caught making a loud noise, or playing any music (an entertainment), it was a criminal offense.
Anyone who in anyway could be thought to interfere with a UCC Sunday service was guilty of a criminal offense.
Doing anything unnecessary on a Sunday -- playing a card game or going for a walk -- was by law a crime. An awfully large criminal class was therefore created by this religious law and others that the government passed at that time. But remember that Article 8 said that all laws had to follow the UCC, so it is not unusual to see these laws.
A third law, also from 1841, said that people would be put into irons for up to one month5 for swearing or a cursing. By this was meant using the holy words of the UCC in vain.
The UCC leaders of the time cursed against other religions, so that was acceptable. But to curse or utter oaths that used UCC holy words, that got you into irons. And woe to the person who hit their thumb with a hammer. They would have to program their tongue to swear in some other religion to stay out of irons.
But let’s go further here. Let’s say a teacher used a textbook which explained that "Jehovah" is a mistranslation of an OT word. Further, that it is a false word that is wrong, and that the true word is a different word. Such a textbook would be repeating what is now considered the truth by the vast majority of Bible scholars. But that teacher back then would be guilty of blasphemy against the UCC (speaking against "Jehovah") and probably could be put into irons.
In other words, from these three laws (and there were many other odd religious laws of the time) we can see that it can get quite bad to have a governmental religion.
Who Wanted a State Religion?
On the other hand, as we look at this Article 8 and what it helped to create, it seems very odd because we remember that Protestants began their religion by splitting off from the Catholics, and it was the Catholics who had directly run governments and had run their own religious court system with all kinds of religious laws and religious "criminal" laws that required an occasional "inquisition" and burning people at the stake.
Many people therefore believe that the "separation of church and state" was a Protestant idea, and to some degree this is true (many early supporters of the separation of church and state in America, for example, were Baptists and Quakers, two Protestant denominations). In other words, having an official religion and religious laws were historically something the Catholics did, and Protestants had revolted against this. So why were these UCC Protestants in Hawaii doing this?
Secondly, the Hawaii constitution and laws described above also seem odd because Protestants, with their idea of working and leading society upwards, are sometimes identified with capitalism and the birth of the industrial revolution, both of which weakened the government-established Catholic church.
So we again ask why were these UCC Protestants in Hawai‘i doing this? The answer is that just like there are different NTs, and different OTs, and different Bibles, there are also different Protestants. It is true that the religion of these Hawaiian leaders was a form of Protestantism, but it was UCC, and that particular denomination was quite different from many other denominations of Protestants.
The UCC was, generally speaking, "Calvinist," meaning it belonged to one of the four great divisions within Protestantism (the name for this division of Protestants comes from John Calvin, one of their founders, who lived 1509-1564).
The Calvinists were brave people, and thousands of them shed their blood in persecutions and outright religious armed warfare, mainly against the Catholic church. The Calvinists were honest, smart, supported education, and were (at least at one time) considered very progressive reformers.
But they were also, from nearly the start, opposed to the separation of church and state. Indeed, they actively married the two together, thinking it evil and a sin to do otherwise. The missionaries to Hawaii had orders not to get involved with government, but their religious teachings were Calvinist, and it was hard to not support a combination of church and state.
Okay, so we have answered the question how these Hawaiian Protestants could have written Article 8 and passed these odd religious laws. But then another question comes up. Hawaiian leaders often looked towards America, picking up many things they liked (for example, printing presses) and rejecting a few things they did not like (for example, slavery).
Now, America believed in a separation of church and state instead of the establishment of a national religion. So, even though the Hawaiian leaders were followers of a type of Calvinism, how could they generally follow America and still write this Article 8 and these odd laws? After all, if you look around America today (or then), you would not see very many people being arrested on a Sunday for going to the all-American Sunday family picnic.
But, again, there are different kinds of Americans, and not all of them supported the idea of separating church and state. When the 1787 American constitution was being approved, for example, many church leaders attacked it for its non-religious point of view (it does not mention Jesus, God or the Bible, does not restrict the right to vote or hold office to religious people, contains no religious oaths of office, and indeed prohibits any religious test for anyone working in the government).6
Jefferson fought his whole life against government churches, and put on his own gravestone this fight as one of the three important accomplishments of his life. Many church leaders of his day thought he was the anti-Christ and savagely attacked him.7
At the time of the American revolution, five of the original thirteen colonies (States) were dominated by the United Church of Christ, which as we have seen, opposed the idea of separating church and state. These five colonies all had government-established official (UCC) churches, and their governments collected taxes which were then paid to the UCC (and not to other churches).8
To vote or hold public office in one of these five colonies (States), a citizen had to swear allegiance to the UCC’s interpretation of UCC’s version of the Bible. Voting participation in these colonies (States) was only 40%, probably because of these UCC religious voting laws; when these laws were later repealed, voter participation jumped to 60%. This is a high rate of voting; it compares with less than 40% in America (or the State of Hawaii) today.
While the 1787 American constitution refused to establish a national church -- and was bitterly attacked by many religious leaders for not naming a national church -- that constitution did not prohibit State churches, and the UCC remained the official Massachusetts State church, with government subsidy, until 1833.9
And, as we know, Massachusetts was the home base of the American religious, political, and economic advisors who worked so closely with the Hawaiian leadership, arriving here in 1820.
Massachusetts tax money did not directly subsidize the missionaries to Hawaii, but the governmental support of the UCC allowed that church to then direct other resources to their efforts in Hawaii and elsewhere. Therefore, it can be said that it was the governmental establishment and support of a governmental church -- now illegal under the 1787 American constitution, as amended (see footnote 9) -- that helped make the UCC Hawaii mission possible and therefore led to that mission’s influence on the Hawaiian constitution of 1840.
This then answers the question about how the Hawaii government could respect parts of America and yet reject the American idea of separating church and state.
Governmental Establishment of Religion in Hawai‘i
To show how unseparated church and state were in Hawaii, there is this example from 1843, two years after the supposed revision of the original school law that had backed the UCC (see footnote 3). The American UCC missionary to Hana, Maui, the Rev. David Conde, made the observation that "there are several intelligent native Christians who do much to keep Romanism in check." Notice how the UCC Hawaiians are ‘Christian,’ but the Catholic Hawaiians are followers of another religion called ‘Romanism.’ The UCC at that time did not think Catholics followed the true Christian religion.
The UCC missionary continued, "none perhaps is more active in this respect than David Malo. . . . [He] succeeds remarkably well in silencing the enemy, and in fortifying his countrymen against the attacks of the Man of Sin." (The ‘man of sin’ -- and this was capitalized -- was the Pope, who was sometimes considered the AntiChrist.)
There is more. "[He uses] every opportunity to sow the good seed," meaning he converts people to the UCC religion. "His influence is very manifest in preventing the children and youth from going over to popery. . . . The [Catholic] priests find in him a powerful enemy. . . ."10 Notice again how Catholicism is not Christian, it is "popery," and that term isn’t even capitalized.
What is unusual here is that David Malo had been elected by the people to be a representative to the 1841 national legislature, so he had been involved with amending the old UCC school law, and he knew well the issues involved.
Worse, Malo’s active suppression of Catholicism was not the private prejudices of a private individual: he was the Maui school superintendent, and also was the national school superintendent, on the governmental payroll as he journeyed about carrying out his war against the Catholics!11
In this and so many other cases, history has shown that having churches supported by governments, and churches supported by governmental officials, is a bad idea. Indeed, even the Calvinists have learned this lesson: today, even where there is a strong UCC or other Calvinist church, this idea of marrying church and state has generally been abandoned as a failure.12
This is not to say that the intention of having laws centered in positive moral ideas is bad. This is fine. But remember that the road to ruin is always paved with good intentions. If the intent is to ask for good laws, say so; but do not say they have to be the laws of one church.
And to say that marrying church and state is a bad idea is not to say that religion is bad. Religion has done good things for many people. But remember that it is often said that the devil does not care about the large things, but simply tries to affect the small things ("the devil is in the details"). For it is the details that create the problems.
For example, suddenly -- and in the name of goodness and love -- some law gets passed that people can’t watch television on Sunday (or some other day, if the government church believed in some other holy day).13
Suddenly, in the name of loving our neighbors, people can’t get married because their minister isn’t recognized by the government, so they have to "live in sin" and -- as mentioned above -- the government then can begin a huge road-building program using the labor of huge numbers of convicted "adulterers." And their children, of course, are then illegitimate and will have problems inheriting their parents’ property.
The list goes on and on. The devil is in the details.
But Was It a State Church?
Article 8 of the 1840 constitution did not completely require strict Calvinist political rule, to be sure. The government’s laws did not have to exactly follow the Calvinist interpretation of their version of their Bible, but instead only had to follow its "general spirit."
Still, most observers would agree that an "establishment" of an official religion had occurred here, which is a threat to the freedom of religion.
As mentioned earlier, the original American constitution of 1787 had not prohibited the individual States from having their own official churches. This was only required through an amendment to the American constitution after the Civil War.
It was the 1940s before this amended part of the American constitution was actively enforced, and it has generally been the courts which have had to enforce it. The question is usually where to draw the line.
For example, if a public college has never offered a religion course and now has just enough money to offer one course, what should it do? If it has a general course which describes all religions, plus Atheism, there would not be a problem.
But what if the director of the school was a member of the UCC, and he ordered the one course to be all about the UCC, and meanwhile the UCC held extraordinary political power as the dominant religion in that area? In that case it would probably be an illegal ‘establishment’ of religion.
Or, say a military base commander is a Muslim, a follower of a minority religion. The commander’s mosque gives him a very nice pen with Muslim religious symbols on it. The commander keeps the pen in his (or her) pocket and uses it to sign all official orders, clearly showing the religious symbols every time the pen is used. But, as the pen is a private possession, if the commander doesn’t use it to sign any illegal religious orders, this is all no problem.
But what if the commander was a member of the UCC, and the UCC held extraordinary political power, and what if the commander ordered the base’s troops, using military supplies, to put up a huge UCC cross on base.14 And then, say, the commander started giving out special favors to those troops who ‘volunteered’ to keep the UCC cross painted and cleaned. That would be an unconstitutional establishment of religion.
Likewise, the three Hawaiian laws mentioned above, or the actions of David Malo, are all examples of the violation of the right not to have to live under an ‘established’ governmental church.
But if it is clear that establishing an official religion is a bad idea, let us ask this question: had the nation of Hawaii ever truly established the UCC as the government’s church?
Let’s look at the record, which pretty clearly says that the answer is ‘yes.’ In November 1843, for example, Kamehameha III issued a proclamation which declared that "the Protestant religion is the religion of the government of the Hawaiian Islands."15 By ‘Protestant,’ of course, he meant the UCC.
A second bit of proof comes from the Catholics of Hawai‘i. They were the ones who suffered the most at the hands of the UCC, the official governmental church. Their French missionary priests, after all, knew very well this issue of church ‘establishment.’ France at that time did not believe in separating church and state, and there was no French law against ‘establishing’ a religion.
Indeed, the Catholic church was the established church of France at that time. And in the past centuries the French government and church had slaughtered tens of thousands of Calvinists (called Huguenots in France) in both violent repressions and on the field of battle.
Reporting on the religious events of the 1840s in Hawaii, the Catholic priest and historian Reginald Yzendoorn commented "the priests . . . even fostered16 perhaps a secret hope that France might annex the Islands, whereby the Catholic religion would have supplanted Calvinism in Hawaii as the official religion of the State."17
The case seems clear: the Hawaii constitution of 1840, the laws which flowed from it, the very government created by it, and at least several key officials of that government, all stepped across the line towards an establishment of religion. These actions, in turn, caused oppression of Hawaiians and nearly set loose the ‘dogs of war’ that Europe and her religions know so well.
The constitution of 1852 went a long way towards correcting this part of the 1840 constitution. Instead of referring to "God’s word," it expanded the list of the best of what that word meant, in non-religious language, by providing a much longer bill (list) of rights (Articles 1-21 of that constitution).
Article 14 of the 1852 constitution is the most precise in abandoning religious rule, stating instead that:
Art. 14. The King conducts His Government for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of His people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family or class of men among His subjects. Therefore in making laws for the nation, regard shall be had to the protection, interest and welfare not only of the King, the Chiefs, and rulers, but of all the people alike.
This did not precisely prohibit the marriage of church and state, but it made it more difficult as no "class of men" could get special rights.18
Precise language to prohibit the establishment of a government religion was never inserted into any of the Hawaii constitutions. On the other hand it is likely that if the nation had not been overthrown in 1893, such language would have eventually been added.
Footnotes And References
1. "Testament" (or ‘covenant’) means contract or agreement. Christians consider the generally Hebrew books of the Bible to be the "old" contract with God, and the generally Greek books of the Bible to be the "new" contract with God, so they refer to the ‘Old Testament’ (OT) and ‘New Testament’ (NT). In general they feel that they are following the new contract with God, while the Jews refuse to.
This is, of course, highly insulting to Judaism, which acknowledges just the basic agreement with God as contained in their Bible. To a Jew, there is nothing "old" about their contract with God, which many Jews consider the foundation of their faith.
To call their Bible the "Old Testament," as if it has been replaced by some new contract with God, is as insulting to some Jews as it would be to some Christians to call the OT the ‘Real Testament’ and the NT the ‘False Testament.’
This essay uses the terms ‘NT’ and ‘OT,’ abbreviations which are used by many scholars, both Jewish and Christian, that identifies the books without being insulting. Go to the first reference to this footnote.
2. The Catholics use a version of the OT which is made up of various "books" which are those which generally existed at the time of Jesus of Nazareth. In the late first century after the death of Jesus, however, a group of Jews shortened this list. That second version of the OT is the one followed by most Jews today. Protestants also generally use that set of books. So Catholics and Protestants use different OTs. The Greek Orthodox, and different parts of the Slovanic Orthodox branches also use different OTs from either the Catholics or the Protestants.
Within each of these various versions of the OT, there are many ancient copies of parts or all of the text. Committees therefore exist, as with the NT, to vote on what ancient copy to use for each sentence in the OT. Different "official" versions are approved by different committees. Different English translations are then made of each of the different official versions. Different denominations then interpret the various English translations differently. Hundreds of different rules end up existing among the hundreds of denominations. Go to the first reference to this footnote.
3. The law was repealed and replaced in 1841, but religious intolerance and the schools continued for a long time. Go to the first reference to this footnote. Go to the second reference to this footnote.
4. If a village had fewer than 15 students, then two villages should combine and have one school and one local school board. These schools were therefore much more numerous and smaller than the ones we have today. They generally consisted of a one-room school with a single teacher. Go to the first reference to this footnote.
5. Putting people in irons is considered today to be a form of cruel and unusual punishment. It consisted of heavy iron shackles for a person's ankles, held together by a heavy chain, and possibly also a set for the wrists. Go to the first reference to this footnote.
6. See Article I, Sections 2 and 3; also Article II, Section 1; and Article VI, of the U.S. Constitution. Many people think, for example, that the Presidential oath (or affirmation) contains the line, "so help me God." It does not. Neither does the American constitution of 1787 mention putting your hand on a Bible when giving the oath (or affirmation). Go to the first reference to this footnote.7. Jefferson, in his private writings, responded with similar feelings. He privately wrote that he felt much of the Bible was bad. He took his scissors, cut out 97% of the Bible and threw it in the trash, and then pasted various parts of the remaining 3% into a little book now known as "the Jefferson Bible."
Had his religious opponents known he’d slashed up the "word of God" and fashioned his own holy book, of course, it probably would have been the last straw and he would have been lynched. Go to the first reference to this footnote.
8. About a century before the American revolution, for example, it was illegal to be a Quaker in Massachusetts, one of the five UCC colonies. Four Quakers (including a woman minister, which particularly shocked the male-run UCC) were executed in Boston for refusing to give up their religion or leave Massachusetts. Go to first reference to this footnote.9. The 1787 American constitution was amended after the Civil War (1861-1865) with three "civil rights amendments." One of these forced the States to follow the Federal bill (list) of rights, which includes forbidding any governmental establishment of religion (see Amendment XIV, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution). Since then, no State has been allowed to pass any law to establish religious beliefs or practices. Go to first reference to this footnote. Go to the second reference to this footnote.
10. "Manifest" means clear. Example: Malo's prejudice and actions against the Catholics were very manifest.
The quotations above are from David Conde, in the journal Missionary Herald, volume 39 (XXXIX), number 7, July 1843, page 285. A copy is at the Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society Library. Go to first reference to this footnote.
11. The article quoted above noted, "He is general agent for all the schools of this island; and the duties of his office render it necessary for him to travel considerably from place to place." It was "during these journeys" that he used "every opportunity" to convert people.
Not only did he work to "prevent the children and youth from going over to popery," he also worked to ensure they were kept in the UCC schools and not allowed to shift to a Catholic school.
The article also commented on the time a "priest complained to him that the king and chiefs and all the officers of government were hostile to their cause," and the article’s writer was proud of Malo’s response which was to tell the priest if he didn’t like it, he could leave. (These quotes are from the same page of the same article.) Go to first reference to this footnote.
12. The award-winning history of religion by Roger Finke, and Rodney Stark, The Churching of America 1776-1990, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1992, provides overwhelming evidence (pages 22-108) on how the government-supported churches in the early days of America became fat and lazy with their guaranteed tax income, and how these churches eventually fell behind to competition from hard-working unsubsidized religious competitors.
America has the highest level of religious belief and practice in any industrialized nation today, they argue, because of this free competition of ideas and complete opposition to government involvement with religion.
Mixing government and religion, historically, has failed governments (making them backward and often leading to inquisitions and war). But it has also failed religion, resulting in peoples turned off to state churches and religious beliefs laid on them by the government. Go to first reference to this footnote.
13. For example, some Protestants -- not the UCC -- question why Sunday is the day of rest. The first day of the week is Sunday, and the seventh day is Saturday, which was the day God rested and ordered people to rest, according to the Bible.
Other Protestants respond that Sunday is the day when Jesus rose from the dead, so they’ve interpreted the Bible to change the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.
Other religions pick other days, for various reasons. The arguments go on and on. Go to the first reference to this footnote.
14. Like the NT, OT, and Bible, the different parts of Christianity have different types of crosses. For example, the UCC cross, the Orthodox Christian cross, and the Catholic crucifix are all different. Go to the first reference to this footnote.
15. The quote is from Article 2 of the proclamation of November 4, 1843. It is in the Archives of Hawai‘i, Foreign Office & Executive file, series 402, box 9, folder 227; Article 2 appears on page 1 of the proclamation. Go to the first reference to this footnote.
16. "Fostered" means developed. Example: the French priests may have fostered a plan to take over and then suppress the Calvinists as their church had done in France. Go to the first reference to this footnote.17. "Annex" means for a government to take over foreign land. The quote is from Reginald Yzendoorn, History of the Catholic Mission in the Hawaiian Islands, Honolulu: Honolulu Star-Bulletin [Printing Company], 1927, page 165. A copy is available at the Archives of Hawaii. Go to the first reference to this footnote.
18. The 1852 constitution therefore appeared to protect all religious groups, but see also Articles 94-97 of that same constitution. In those Articles, the various officers of the government were asked to promise to carry out the constitution, which would include carrying out Article 2 protecting the freedom of worship, and Article 14 promising not to put one group (even a religious group) above another.
But Articles 94-97 required all the major officers of the government to make this promise through swearing by God.
Now, what if a person was a Buddhist, a member of a religion that generally does not believe in God? Or what if the person believed in the traditional Hawaiian religion, which generally did not believe in the One God. Or what if the person was an Atheist? All these people would be excluded from these offices as they could not honestly take this oath and swear by God.
Secondly, several Christian denominations refuse to swear or give an oath. This is because, in the NT, there is the Gospel According to Matthew, where Jesus of Nazareth is quoted as commanding his followers: "But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one" (Matt 5:34-37).
And in the NT Letter from James, brother of Jesus of Nazareth, James writes, "Above all, my beloved, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your ‘Yes’ be yes and your ‘No’ be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation" (James 5:12). In other words, this "above all" commandment was not to have one level of truth every day and a second level for the government when you were giving an oath. Instead, the commandment was to live by a single truth, always meaning what you say, in order to be truthful at all times. Otherwise you would fall into condemnation from God.
Because followers of these commandments felt they would be damned (condemned) if they did not follow them, they withstood great discrimination and oppression from governments and courts.
Unfortunately, the government of Hawai‘i was still dominated by one branch of Christians. And that branch believed in requiring an oath to God. They did not respect those who did not believe in their One God. And, although they were Christian, they did not follow the commandments above from Jesus and James.
By being forced to swear an oath (instead of just giving an affirmation), all members of these other Christian denominations, and others who refuse to swear, were excluded from the Hawaiian government.
Once again we see the danger of allowing one group’s religious beliefs to influence the government and so exclude other religious groups (and also exclude those people who do not have any religious belief). The 1852 constitution, which claimed to treat people equally, actually discriminated against people over their religious beliefs in these Articles 94-97.
The 1787 American constitution, on the other hand, banned religious oaths (see Article VI, U.S. Constitution) and when a non-religious oath was required, it could be skipped and an affirmation said in its place (for example, the presidential ‘oath,’ which does not mention God, can be said as an affirmation; see Article II, Section 1, U.S. Constitution). Go to the first reference to this footnote.