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New Hampshire Bill #HCR 0026   View details of Bill | Go to Bill Online
HCR 26 – AS INTRODUCED

2010 SESSION

10-2346

05/10

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 26

A RESOLUTION reaffirming the state’s religious heritage and constitutional rights to practice religion and free speech.

SPONSORS: Rep. Hinkle, Hills 19; Rep. Bates, Rock 4; Rep. Palmer, Hills 6; Rep. Groen, Straf 1; Rep. Ulery, Hills 27

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

ANALYSIS

This resolution reaffirms the state’s religious heritage and the constitutional right to practice religion and free speech.

10-2346

05/10

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten

A RESOLUTION reaffirming the state’s religious heritage and constitutional rights to practice religion and free speech.

Whereas, the Pilgrims of 1620, in explaining why they undertook such a dangerous journey leading to the shores of New England, stated in the Mayflower Compact, “Having undertaken, for ye glory of God, and advancement of ye Christian faith....;” and

Whereas, King James in the 1620 Charter of New England declared his intention to make several plantations in parts of America with the hope to, “... advance the in Largement of Christian Religion, to the Glory of God Almighty ....;” and

Whereas, the colonists of Exeter, New Hampshire, when establishing their first form of government in 1639, expressed their dependence on God by declaring: “Considering with ourselves the holy will of God, and our own necessity that we should not live without wholesome laws and civil government among us, of which we are altogether destitute; do in the name of Christ and in the sight of God combine ourselves together to erect and set up among us such government as shall be to our best discerning, agreeable to the will of God;” and

Whereas, the Constitution of New England Confederation of 1643 stated in part ...”we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and, namely to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity and peace . . . and for preserving and propagating the truth and liberties of the gospel;” and

Whereas, James Madison, in his contribution to the Virginia Bill of Rights of 1776, which became a model for Part I of the New Hampshire Constitution, stated, “ . . . all men are equally entitled to enjoy the free exercise of religion, according to the dictate of his conscience, unpunished and unrestrained by the magistrate, unless the preservation of equal liberty and the existence of the state are manifestly endangered.... ;” and

Whereas, George Washington, in addressing the Congress regarding the resignation of his military commission on December 23, 1782, stated: “I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my Official life by commending the interest of our dearest Country to the protection of the Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them, to His holy keeping;” and

Whereas, John Langdon, President (Governor) of the State of New Hampshire, in his Proclamation for a Day of Public Fasting and Prayer on February 21, 1786, stated: “Vain is the knowledge of a Supreme Ruler of the Universe, unless such acknowledgements influence our practice, and call forth those expressions of homage and adoration that are due to his character and providential government.... ;” and

Whereas, it was the practice of the early New Hampshire General Court to assemble for the preaching of a sermon at its annual election, as exemplified by the Sermon Preached at Concord, in the State of New Hampshire before the Honorable General Court at the annual election, June 5, 1788 by Samuel Langdon, D.D., Pastor of the Church at Hampton Falls;” and

Whereas, Daniel Webster, speaking at the bicentennial celebration of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, December 22, 1820, declared: “Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought here by their high veneration of the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of society, and to diffuse its influence though all their institutions, civil, political, or literary;” and

Whereas, the Honorable John P. Hale, Senator from New Hampshire, speaking before the Massachusetts Liberty Convention regarding the national policy on free territories stated, “It was to extend the area of freedom, to extend our free institutions, because we are a free and Christian people;” and

Whereas, Franklin Pierce in his Inaugural Address as 14th President of the United States, March 4, 1853 asserted: “It must be felt that there is no national security but in the nation’s humble, acknowledged dependence upon God and his overruling providence;” and

Whereas, in the first of nine calls for public prayer, while he dealt with the responsibility of the Civil War, Lincoln recognized the hand of God in the nation’s affairs when he stated: “. . . when our own beloved country, once, by blessing of God, united, prosperous, and happy, is now afflicted with factions and civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this terrible visitation;” and

Whereas, Salmon P. Chase, a native of Cornish, New Hampshire, as Secretary of the Treasury under President Lincoln, in response to appeals from people throughout the country, wrote to the Director of the Philadelphia Mint: “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins;” and

Whereas, President Calvin Coolidge in his speech titled, “The Spiritual Unification of America,” delivered at the laying of the cornerstone for the Jewish Community Center in Washington, D.C. in 1925, referred to the Hebrew scriptures as a uniting force among the widely scattered diverse communities in America when he said, “All the way from New Hampshire to Georgia, they [the communities] found a common ground of faith and reliance in the scriptural writings;” and

Whereas, in his Four Freedoms Speech given before Congress on January 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated: “The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way- everywhere in the world.” He went on to say, “This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads of the millions of free men and women; and its faith and freedom under the guidance of God;” and

Whereas, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a speech on June 14, 1954, confirming the act of Congress which added the phrase “Under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance, stated, “In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war;” and

Whereas, President John F. Kennedy, in his inaugural address on January 21, 1961, proclaimed that, “The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God;” and

Whereas, President John F. Kennedy, referring to the destiny of the United States in the speech he prepared to deliver before he was assassinated on November 22, 1963, planned to conclude with this quote from the Bible, “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain;” and

Whereas, President Ronald Reagan, in a resolution authorized by a joint act of the 97th Congress designating 1983 as the Year of the Bible, referred to the Christian foundation of this country when he included these words: “Biblical teachings inspired the concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States .. ;” and

Whereas, The United States and New Hampshire have a rich religious history based on a foundation of faith in God and His holy scriptures, as expressed in it’s founding documents and government decrees from earliest times, and referenced verbally and in writing by many of its past and recent state and national leaders;” and

Whereas, the original concept of separation of church and state has been misinterpreted, as expressed by President Ronald Reagan speaking before a group of leading Christian women on October 13, 1983, when he said “... the First Amendment has been twisted to the point that freedom of religion is in danger of becoming freedom from religion;” and

Whereas, Christians in New Hampshire and the United States are experiencing an increase in religious intolerance; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

That the New Hampshire General Court hereby affirms the following:

I. Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and reason; and no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasion; provided he doth not disturb the public peace or disturb others in their religious worship.

II. No person shall be justly deprived of any civil right as a citizen on account of his or her religious sentiment or particular mode of worship, and that no authority can interfere with, or in any manner control, the rights of conscience in the free exercise of religious expression.

III. Each person is free to pray or make reference to God based on the dictates of his or her religion and conscience, in song, in speech, or in religious symbols such as the Christian cross, free from objection, censorship, and threats of harm to their person or property.

IV. All persons, religious institutions and organizations deserve the full protection of their freedom of religion, freedom of speech, observance of religious holidays, use of religious symbols, and sanctity of their property as expressed in our national and state constitutions.

V. The legislature, in representing the citizens of the sovereign state of New Hampshire, reaffirms their constitutional rights to their religious practices and freedom of speech as guaranteed in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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