Posted by Skook on 20 October, 2010 at 9:36 am. 31 comments already!

The First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Does this sentence separate church and state, or does it merely imply that government will not write laws that endorse a particular religion? Let’s analyze these words carefully: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”, would the founding fathers have been more precise if they wanted to say that there will be a distinct demarcation between church and state? These were brilliant men, who expressed themselves extremely well: to create a gulf between church and state is not a difficult passage to express, but to write that there should be no church given priority over another as a state religion is a more difficult task to phrase.

Coons, a dedicated Marxist who obviously feels we don’t have enough Marxists in Washington DC, is a polished debater, but he drew a blank when asked about the other provisions in the First Amendment and passed off the provision concerning church and state with the generic and inaccurate description, “the separation of church and state”. The elitist crowd of law students laughed, yet perhaps they were exhibiting their own naivete on the subject.

Thomas Jefferson was the founding father possessed with Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. He was the driving force behind the Bill of Rights. The phrase “Wall of Separation”, attributed to Jefferson, was lifted from a “letter” he wrote to the the Danbury Baptists in 1802: this is described by Mark Levin in his book, Men In Black. The phrase was ignored for a 145 years, until Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, in 1947, ruled in the Everson case, upholding the use of taxpayer money to transport catholic and parochial children to non-secular schools- citing the Jefferson phrase. Thus the anti-religous precedent was set to cause antipathy and damage to religious freedom.

It is doubtful whether those that laughed at Ms O’Donnell understood the significance of her answer or the insignificance of their derision.

Chief Justice Rehnquist: In a dissent on a 1985 ruling against school prayer, “There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the framers intended to build the ‘wall of separation’ that was constitutionalized in Everson….” He termed Jefferson’s “wall”, “a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging.”

Columbia Law School Professor Phillip Hamburger in his 2002 book “Separation of Church and State” argues that the early Americans enacted the Establishment Clause to prevent the corruption of religion by worldly influences, and that “the constitutional authority for separation is without historical foundation.”

The arrogance of students is preceded only by their ignorance. Skook, 2010

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