North Carolina bill: The Constitution doesn’t bar us from making laws about religion

posted at 8:01 pm on April 3, 2013 by Allahpundit

Perfect flame-war bait for a slow news day.

The bill itself doesn’t mention a “state religion,” although that power is implicit. The language is precise, and for a reason:

The bill reads:

SECTION 1. The North Carolina General Assembly asserts that the Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.

SECTION 2. The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the State from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.

North Carolina wants to establish an official state religion? No, not really. (I think.) The GOP legislators who are floating this are needling the ACLU, which is suing a local board of commissioners for opening their meetings with Christian prayers. Can’t have the state officially sanctioning a particular faith, right? Sure you can, says the NC bill: The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause applies only to the federal government, not to the states. Which is true, or was — Doug Mataconis is right that the Supreme Court has applied the Establishment Clause to state governments too (via the Fourteenth Amendment) for more than 60 years now. Unless SCOTUS is prepared to do something very unexpected to the constitutional doctrine of “incorporation,” the bill would be laughed out of court if it became law, which it almost certainly won’t. The bill’s sponsors are, I take it, mainly interested in making a symbolic point about federal encroachment, especially from the judiciary, on state sovereignty per the Tenth Amendment. And if you’re going to do that, prayer/religion is a smart choice of subject matter. Prayer in public schools has always polled well, and if the Supremes turn around and legalize gay marriage later this summer, this sort of Tenth Amendment argument will be popular among opponents.

Question: Has anyone seen numbers from major nonpartisan pollsters like Gallup on the separation of church and state? Polls have been conducted by advocacy groups but I’d prefer a less partial source. And I’d also prefer a narrower question. “Separation of church and state” is a gassy concept compared to asking specifically whether a state should be permitted to establish an official religion. This YouGov poll is interesting in showing a partisan split on whether separation should be “absolute,” but that’s not the precise issue here. The reason I ask is because when I saw the North Carolina story, I thought it looked like the sort of thing that Democrats would eagerly use as a wedge issue against the GOP (if, that is, the bill went anywhere). But a wedge only works if the majority’s on their side and I don’t know for a fact that it is because I can’t find a poll on point. Anyone seen one? If not, I assume we’ll get one next week thanks to Carolina.


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The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause applies only to the federal government, not to the states.

In fact, it only applies to congress. Not local school boards, city councils, courtrooms, etc.

Akzed on April 4, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Correct.
And Congress opens each and every working day with a prayer.

The words “establishment” and “endorsement” have very different meanings.

If I “establish” a restaurant that is totally different than if I “endorse” a restaurant.

If I “establish” a restaurant, I create it, I own it, and I operate it.

If I “endorse” a restaurant, I am just a customer who likes it enough to tell someone else about it.

The first amendment clearly prohibits Congressional establishment of religion, but does not prohibit endorsement of religion by Congress or any other governmental body. In fact, the first ammendment is intended to ensure that Congress does not make any law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

And an activist court is no more authorized than Congress to prohibit the free exercise of religion. Yet that is what Allahpundit and many others today believe… that the courts have the right to shut down the free exercise of religion at any state-funded institution or event.

Read the 1st Amendment…you will not find the words “Separation”, “Church”, “State”, or “endorse”/”endorsement” in it:

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.

The First Amendment restricts Congress, not churches or other religious institutions. The first Amendment prevents Congress from making any law respecting an “establishment” of religion. Our Government is not allowed to create, own, or operate a religion (as was previously done by the Government in England with the Church of England).

The first Amendment does NOT prevent Congress from making any law respecting an “endorsement” of religion. Our Congress has always “endorsed” Christianity, from the moment of the opening prayer at the very first session of Congress.

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 12:32 PM

The first Amendment does NOT prevent Congress from making any law respecting an “endorsement” of religion. Our Congress has always “endorsed” Christianity, from the moment of the opening prayer at the very first session of Congress.

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Now if only we could start fighting back against the secular humanists and begin educating our next generations about the truth of the Constitution and the laws we all live by.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 12:35 PM

I repeat for emphasis:
The First Amendment restricts Congress from establishing (creating, owning, operating) a religion. It does not restrict Congress or our representatives from endorsing Christianity. Congress has been endorsing Christianity ever since the conception of our country. Benjamin Franklin called for prayer at the constitutional convention, and every session of Congress has begun with a prayer.

Even Barack Obama knows that.

Watch the video of the prayer opening the Senate session on June 21, 2007 when then-Senator Barack Obama was acting in place of Senator Byrd (President pro tempore of the Senate) who was in turn acting in place of Vice President Dick Cheney (President of the Senate).

Guest Chaplain Rev. Linda Arey recites the following Bible passage…

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (King James Version)

…and she prays “In the name of Jesus” twice.

Even Barack Obama knows that it has been this way since the conception of our country.

When the President gives the State of the Union address, do you know what is above his head, LITERALLY CARVED IN STONE?

In God We Trust”.

And when the President looks out at the audience, do you know whose image he sees, LITERALLY CARVED IN STONE?

Moses.

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Judges and atheists who say that the 1st A means that religion is yucky and we should scrub it from public life are committing a self-serving revision of history.

xuyee on April 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Nonetheless, they tend to be succeeding in courts, with only their self-pats on the back that they have not disturbed the balance between limiting religion and disparaging it. Their own assertions that their opinions contain no fallacies whatsoever would be just as effective.

Jones’ opinion in Kitzmiller v. Dover says the same thing, but it says that the Constitution covers “mere mention” of a book that is argued to be “creationist” because the draft before the term “ID” came along, mentioned “creationism” establishes that a conspiracy to mention such a book is “not wholly secular in intent” which is our standard against “excessive entanglement with religion” (does anybody believe in “Slippery slopes”?!), because mention is not curriculum, just as restricting curriculum is not specifically curriculum, and courts have ruled on that.

I lose track of the number of equivocations–and just duh moments–that Jones makes to come to the conclusion that “mere mentions” must be slapped down once and for all. Including the suggest that reasonable kids will be enthralled by the endorsement of a superintendent in a four-paragraph statement that mainly explains why they’re teaching and testing on Evolution. (Denying Evolution’s “right” to be treated as an equal subject to Chemistry!!)

Axeman on April 4, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Your magic just depends on billions of years, random chance, and the existence of processes that haven’t actually been observed to occur because they, um, take billions of years and random chance.

Incorrect.

Something doesn’t become “magic” simply because it’s very old.

Yeah, not even close to what I said. It’s magic because you don’t observe it happening, can’t prove that it’s happening per se, and then posit an accumulation of microscopic random changes over great periods of time to explain how a mammal evolved from a reptile. IOW, you just explain the unexplainable by suggesting that such random changes over vast time periods might have caused something to happen that you don’t even know happened.

All you’ve done is replace God with random changes over long periods of time depending on a process that has never actually been observed.

Things don’t cease to be true simply becuase you don’t observe them. It raining someplace else in the world and not where I am, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t raining simply because I’m not there observing it.

Rain can be observed. Evolution of amphibian to reptile can only be postulated.

This process was also not “random chance.” Put down the Discovery Institute nonsense and get with the program.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB010_2.html

Random means without purpose, or not guided by an intelligence. If there is no intelligent force causing genetic mutations to occur in a specific direction, then the genetic mutations are random by definition.

You use magic to explain things you don’t understand and don’t want to understand. But that doesn’t mean that natural and verifiable explanations supported by reams of evidence do not exist. Your ignorance of science doesn’t mean magic is now an acceptable explanation for natural occurrences.

Good Lt on April 4, 2013 at 10:55 AM

You mock belief in God as magic, but substitute your own Omnipotence of randomness over huge periods of time that can accomplish anything.

That’s one thing. You could at least defend it by claiming it’s just as plausible as believing in God. But you don’t stop at that. You then proclaim that unobservable or reproducible processes could have led to everything we see now, if you add in enough time for the processes to work randomly, without any intelligence guiding them. Scientific proof requires that experiments can be performed and the results studied. You can’t perform the experiments and observe the results.

Science studies what is happening, and develops explanations for how it is happening. Applying science to something that has already happened means that you’re depending on things that can’t be reproduced, unless you can make it happen again: i.e. reproduce it.

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Now here’s something interesting…

Go to http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/anthem.asp and scroll down to the video of the opening prayer in the Senate on June 21, 2007 when then-Senator Barack Obama was presiding over the Senate. Watch the video and after the prayer you can hear Obama say, “Amen”.

Then, go to the C-SPAN archive for that day: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/transcript/transcript.php?id=157538 and watch the opening prayer… it appears that someone at C-SPAN has since edited out Obama’s “Amen.” It is no longer in the audio.

That is a story in and of itself… who edited the video to remove Obama’s “Amen” from the audio?

It’s also not mentioned in the transcript, although I’m not sure that I would expect it to be…

The Senate met at 10:30 a.m. and was called to order by the Honorable Barack Obama, a Senator from the State of Illinois. — (Senate – June 21, 2007)
[Page: S8165]

10:30:04 AM
1 minute

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Today’s opening prayer will be offered by guest Chaplain, Pastor Linda Arey, New Harvest Church, Waynesboro, VA.

The guest Chaplain offered the following prayer:

Let us pray.

Father God, we acknowledge You as the Ruler of all nations and we pray for peace and justice in our world.

We pray First Timothy 2:1-4:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings; and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Father, I pray for our President and First Lady. Bless them this day and give them the wisdom to do all that is set before them.

I pray for the Senate, to have Your wisdom to accomplish all that is set before them. Bless them for their commitment to serve the people of our Nation and to carry out their duties.

Father, in Jesus’ name I call this United States of America blessed. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Now if only we could start fighting back against the secular humanists and begin educating our next generations about the truth of the Constitution and the laws we all live by.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 12:35 PM

President George Washington (born 281 years ago on February 22, 1732) warned us about this in his Farewell Address (which used to be required reading, each and every year, for school children in America).

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men & citizens. The mere Politican, equally with the pious man ought to respect & to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private & public felicity. Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the Oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?

And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure–reason & experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

‘Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of Free Government. Who that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

- President George Washington

Even 20th Century Democrats understood this:

The most important business in this Nation–or any other nation, for that matter-is raising and training children. If those children have the proper environment at home, and educationally, very, very few of them ever turn out wrong. I don’t think we put enough stress on the necessity of implanting in the child’s mind the moral code under which we live.

The fundamental basis of this Nation’s law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days.

If we don’t have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.

- President Harry S. Truman
February 15, 1950

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Good stuff

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 1:31 PM

I’ve been saying for years the republican endgame was creating a theocracy, and here’s your damn proof.

triple on April 3, 2013 at 9:03 PM

From your padded room?

zoyclem on April 4, 2013 at 1:36 PM

That’s utterly incoherent.

Akzed on April 4, 2013 at 12:25 PM

I read it again, and I’m not seeing your reading problem.

Look it’s your interpretation (and mine) that it does not apply in those cases. However, in law they have this thing called “standing”. And if it comes between a judges interpretation or mine, the law is going to decide with the judge. As long as judges construe by “Incorporation”, the more that it will simply be your (and my) interpretation that “Congress shall make no law” only applies to Congress.

We have image problem that a grassroots movement to rein the courts in would be villagers, torches and pitchforks. Some people like the appearance of progression and the progression has been toward more centrally-monitored self-government, to the point that challenging the monitors themselves for the (seemingly) antiquated value of “self government”, will threaten to undo “all that we have achieved”.

But is a dialog between the judiciary–again playing a marathon game of Telephone with itself–and the people saying “Uh…that’s not what we said”, unreasonable? No, there should be some hope.

Axeman on April 4, 2013 at 1:41 PM

The words “establishment” and “endorsement” have very different meanings.

If I “establish” a restaurant that is totally different than if I “endorse” a restaurant.

If I “establish” a restaurant, I create it, I own it, and I operate it.

If I “endorse” a restaurant, I am just a customer who likes it enough to tell someone else about it.

The first amendment clearly prohibits Congressional establishment of religion, but does not prohibit endorsement of religion by Congress or any other governmental body.

Precisely to my point, the Drudge Report currently has a link to this story:

North Carolina Lawmakers Seek To Establish Official State Religion

…Hamilton said a resolution could still be unconstitutional if it was considered a government endorsement of a particular religion.

Note well the use of the word “endorsement”, rather than the word “establishment”.

Notice the false claim that endorsement of religion is unconstitutional. It’s not.

Our Founders endorsed Christianity on a regular basis. They just wanted to ensure that there was never a federally established church (created, owned, and operated by the federal government) that could take away their religious liberties, as the Church of England had done to many of their ancestors.

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Our Founders endorsed Christianity on a regular basis. They just wanted to ensure that there was never a federally established church (created, owned, and operated by the federal government) that could take away their religious liberties, as the Church of England had done to many of their ancestors.

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Please keep it up.

You make evangelicals look ridiculous.

Capitalist Hog on April 4, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Please keep it up.

You make evangelicals look ridiculous.

Capitalist Hog on April 4, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Well, you’re holding down the other side. It’s the least we can do.

Axeman on April 4, 2013 at 2:11 PM

I get what they’re probably trying to do with this but as usual the GOP has a remarkably myopic way of going about it. Pass something like this, even just in one state, and you hand the Dems a political coup of gigundo proportions as more the electorate turn their backs on the GOP. Heck, the Dems don’t even have to play Lucy to the GOP’s Charlie Brown because the Republicans keep running for the football even without being deceived into doing so. Perception in politics is just about everything nowadays and this has disaster written all over it. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a “RINO” from what I hear so am easily dismissed due to my lack of “purity”. By all means, carry on. I trust it won’t be considered too gauche if I say “I toldja so!” a few dozens times once this all blows up.

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Please keep it up.

You make evangelicals look ridiculous.

Capitalist Hog on April 4, 2013 at 2:09 PM

The Founders were evangelicals…

http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2012/07/06/was-the-declaration-of-independence-christian/comment-page-2/#comment-2010242

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Here’s the text of that commment:

Was the Declaration of Independence Christian?

The overwhelming majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Christians, and you can’t fully appreciate this:

In Congress, July 4, 1776

… without understanding and appreciating this:

In CONGRESS,
SATURDAY, March 16, 1776.

IN times of impending calamity and distress; when the Liberties of America are imminently endangered by the secret machinations and open assaults of an insidious and vindictive Administration, it becomes the indispensible duty of these hitherto free and happy Colonies, with true penitence of heart, and the most reverent devotion, publickly to acknowledge the over ruling providence of God; to confess and deplore our offences against him; and to supplicate his interposition for averting the threatened danger, and prospering our strenuous efforts in the cause of Freedom, Virtue and Posterity.

The Congress therefore, considering the warlike preparations of the British Ministry to subvert our invaluable rights and privileges, and to reduce us by fire and sword, by the savages of the wilderness and our own domestics, to the most abject and ignominious bondage: Desirous, at the same time, to have people of all ranks and degrees, duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s superintending providence, and of their duty devoutly to rely in all their lawful enterprizes of his aid and direction–do earnestly recommend, that FRIDAY, the seventeenth day of May next, be observed by the said Colonies as a day of HUMILIATION, FASTING, and PRAYER; that we may with united hearts confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere, repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness; humbly imploring his assistance to frustrate the cruel purposes of our unnatural enemies; and by inclining their hearts to justice and benevolence, prevent the further effusion of kindred blood. But if continuing deaf to the voice of reason and humanity, and inflexibly bent on desolation and war, they constrain us to repel their hostile invasions by open resistance, that it may please the Lord of Hosts, the God of Armies, to animate our Officers and Soldiers with invincible fortitude to guard and protect them in the day of battle, and to crown the Continental arms by sea and land with victory and success: Earnestly beseeching him to bless our civil Rulers and the Representatives of the People in their several Assemblies and Conventions; to preserve and strengthen their Union, to inspire them with an ardent disinterested love of their Country; to give wisdom and stability to their Councils; and direct them to the most efficacious measures for establishing the Rights of America on the most honorable and permanent basis–that he would be graciously pleased to bless all his People in these Colonies with Health and Plenty, and grant that a spirit of incorruptible Patriotism and of pure undefiled Religion may universally prevail; and this Continent be speedily restored to the blessings of Peace and Liberty, and enabled to transmit them inviolate to the latest Posterity. And it is recommended to Christians of all denominations to assemble for Public Worship, and abstain from servile Labour on the said Day.

By Order of Congress,
JOHN HANCOCK, President

Attest………..CHARLES THOMPSON, Secretary.

Colony of the
Massachusetts-Bay.

In COUNCIL, April 3, 1776.

READ and accepted, and Ordered, That a suitable Number be printed, in order that each of the religious Assemblies, in this Colony, may be furnished with a Copy of the same.

Sent down for Concurrence………..PEREZ MORTON, Dep. Sec’ry.

In the House of REPRESENTATIVES, April 4, 1776.

Read and concurr’d………..SAMUEL FREEMAN, Speaker, pro Tem.

Consented to,

JAMES OTIS,
BENJAMIN GREENLEAF,
CALEB CUSHING,
JOHN WINTHROP,
JOHN WHETCOMB,
ELDAD TAYLOR,
MICHAEL FARLEY,
JOSEPH PALMER,
SAMUEL HOLTEN,
MOSES GILL,
JOSEPH GERRISH,
BENJAMIN LINCOLN,
CHARLES CHAUNCY,
JOHN TAYLOR,
BENJAMIN WHITE.

GOD SAVE THE PEOPLE.

Library of Congress Document Image.

Note how it ends with “GOD SAVE THE PEOPLE.”
Not “God save the King.”

Our Founders did not believe in “the divine right of Kings”.
Our Founders believed in the self-evident truth that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.

Our nation’s Founders obeyed the Biblical advice found in Second Chronicles:

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

Less than two months before they signed the Declaration of Independence, they unified on May 17, 1776 and observed

a day of HUMILIATION, FASTING, and PRAYER; that we may with united hearts confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere, repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness; humbly imploring his assistance to frustrate the cruel purposes of our unnatural enemies; and by inclining their hearts to justice and benevolence, prevent the further effusion of kindred blood. But if continuing deaf to the voice of reason and humanity, and inflexibly bent on desolation and war, they constrain us to repel their hostile invasions by open resistance, that it may please the Lord of Hosts, the God of Armies, to animate our Officers and Soldiers with invincible fortitude to guard and protect them in the day of battle, and to crown the Continental arms by sea and land with victory and success: Earnestly beseeching him to bless our civil Rulers and the Representatives of the People in their several Assemblies and Conventions; to preserve and strengthen their Union, to inspire them with an ardent disinterested love of their Country; to give wisdom and stability to their Councils; and direct them to the most efficacious measures for establishing the Rights of America on the most honorable and permanent basis…

Their prayers were answered.

Try telling this nation’s Founders that they could not invoke the name of Jesus Christ in government activities and documents!

You won’t find a call for Christianity to be separated from our government in any of our founding documents (the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution), but you will find it in Article 124 of the
1936 Constitution of the U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics):

the church in the U.S.S.R. is separated from the state

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Evangelical-extremists are another story. There is no difference between zealots other than their religions.

Extreme-evangelicals regularly welcome violence upon those with whom they disagree.

Capitalist Hog on April 3, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Oh yes, because so many evangelicals fly planes into buildings, behead homosexuals, and issue fatwas for using Twitter.

Here’s one “evangelical” telling you to FOAD.

Nutstuyu on April 4, 2013 at 2:35 PM

I wonder what the people who wrote this bill think of McDonald v. Chicago.

Mark1971 on April 3, 2013 at 8:34 PM

Try to keep up:
A. the people are sovereign
B. militias are run by the states
C. the people have the right to bear arms
D. the people have the right to freely exercise their religion
E. congress is prohibited from establishing a national church

Nutstuyu on April 4, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Creation and evolution are two separate topics. You’re conflating the two, which is a common mistake people make.

Mimzey on April 4, 2013 at 11:11 AM

THIS.
As a science teacher and a spiritual, religious person of my chosen religion, the two can co-exist.
If one has faith in the religion they believe in, then science should not shake that faith if it is ‘true’.
Science has only been about describing phenomena using the scientific method.
That’s it.
Magic is science we cannot explain yet.
Can God be explained by science?
Not science’s purpose.
Can what God has done be explained by science?
Sure.
I still find it silly people get so worked up about this crap.
If scientists just practiced the scientific method appropriately & eliminated their bias, this $hit would be far less prevalent.

Badger40 on April 4, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Oh yes, because so many evangelicals fly planes into buildings, behead homosexuals, and issue fatwas for using Twitter.

Here’s one “evangelical” telling you to FOAD.

Nutstuyu on April 4, 2013 at 2:35 PM

It could be that the Muslims who’ve done those things are more sure of their beliefs than you are. Alternatively, the reason we don’t see evangelicals blowing themselves up, flying into buildings, et al is because Christianity has gone through it’s enlightenment and people don’t take it so seriously. There is no corollary on the Islamic side yet.

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Why am I not surprised that some posters are actually making the case that states can establish state religions?

Salem has really succeeded in manipulating a great site into something sickening.

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 2:55 PM

I’ve been saying for years the republican endgame was creating a theocracy, and here’s your damn proof.

triple on April 3, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Do you even know what a theocracy is? Hint: it’s not where a country has a “national church”. That is, the United Kingdom is not a theocracy despite the Queen being the titular head of the Church of England.

Nutstuyu on April 4, 2013 at 2:57 PM

It could be that the Muslims who’ve done those things are more sure of their beliefs than you are. Alternatively, the reason we don’t see evangelicals blowing themselves up, flying into buildings, et al is because Christianity has gone through it’s enlightenment and people don’t take it so seriously. There is no corollary on the Islamic side yet.

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Or it could be because past violent “Christians” were disobeying Jesus’ teaching, and violent Muslims are obeying Mohammed’s teaching.

Nutstuyu on April 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Why am I not surprised that some posters are actually making the case that states can establish state religions?

Salem has really succeeded in manipulating a great site into something sickening.

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Then you believe the states are not sovereign? Why would a state not be able to create a state religion?

Nutstuyu on April 4, 2013 at 3:00 PM

I get what they’re probably trying to do with this but as usual the GOP has a remarkably myopic way of going about it. Pass something like this, even just in one state, and you hand the Dems a political coup of gigundo proportions as more the electorate turn their backs on the GOP. Heck, the Dems don’t even have to play Lucy to the GOP’s Charlie Brown because the Republicans keep running for the football even without being deceived into doing so. Perception in politics is just about everything nowadays and this has disaster written all over it. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a “RINO” from what I hear so am easily dismissed due to my lack of “purity”. By all means, carry on. I trust it won’t be considered too gauche if I say “I toldja so!” a few dozens times once this all blows up.

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Yeah, how dare they fight back against the leftist onslaught that has taken over our country and usurped the Constitution. They should just go with the flow man… it’s so much cooler.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 3:02 PM

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 2:22 PM

It’s not so much that we actually want NC/the GOP to actually follow through, it’s that we’re tired of organizations like the ACLU taking things too far the other way.

It’s kind of giving the ACLU a taste of their own medicine, which I for one wish the GOP would do more to the Dems.

Nutstuyu on April 4, 2013 at 3:03 PM

It could be that the Muslims who’ve done those things are more sure of their beliefs than you are. Alternatively, the reason we don’t see evangelicals blowing themselves up, flying into buildings, et al is because Christianity has gone through it’s enlightenment and people don’t take it so seriously. There is no corollary on the Islamic side yet.

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Or it could be you’re a bigot who’s deliberately misinterpreting things and trying to equate a barbaric faith with the one of our true Savior. Look at Christ’s teachings. Following His way is not the path of violence. Grow up.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 3:06 PM

It could be that the Muslims who’ve done those things are more sure of their beliefs than you are. Alternatively, the reason we don’t see evangelicals blowing themselves up, flying into buildings, et al is because Christianity has gone through it’s enlightenment and people don’t take it so seriously. There is no corollary on the Islamic side yet.

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 2:45 PM

I should really frame this one.

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 4, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Then you believe the states are not sovereign? Why would a state not be able to create a state religion?

Nutstuyu on April 4, 2013 at 3:00 PM

So when a state exercises its sovereignty by restricting certain speech, you’ll be fine with that? When they rescind the right to remain silent, or the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, you’ll be just fine with that, because they’re sovereign?

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 3:27 PM

So when a state exercises its sovereignty by restricting certain speech, you’ll be fine with that?

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 3:27 PM

The government already tries to restrict certain speech, falsely claiming that it is unconstitutional for schools to have the following prayer:

“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.”

The 1st Amendment was intended to protect religious expression in Speech, Press, Assembly, and Redress of grievances. But today, the government turns the 1st Amendment upside down and uses it to take away the very rights that it was written to protect.

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Yeah, how dare they fight back against the leftist onslaught that has taken over our country and usurped the Constitution. They should just go with the flow man… it’s so much cooler.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 3:02 PM

We may not fully agree with what exactly constitutes the “leftist onslaught” that should be resisted, but it is pretty foolish to “fight back” by blindly stumbling forward and handing the weapon to your opponents to “kill” you with. You obviously see this as a brilliant move while I do not. But hey, you’re the wise one apparently so “full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes!” and all that. I do feel obliged to point out, however, that you may wish to heed Admiral Ackbar in this rather than try following the example of Admiral Farragut.

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 3:46 PM

It’s kind of giving the ACLU a taste of their own medicine, which I for one wish the GOP would do more to the Dems.

Nutstuyu on April 4, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Understandable, but tactics like the one proposed in North Carolina only play right into their hands.

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 3:49 PM

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 3:46 PM

What does that have to do with the idea that states can negate the Bill of Rights as they see fit?

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Or it could be because past violent “Christians” were disobeying Jesus’ teaching, and violent Muslims are obeying Mohammed’s teaching.

Nutstuyu on April 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Jesus teachings were AN addition to what was already said in the OT, not a refutation or dismissal. He said he did not come to replace what came before, but to clarify. The fact remains that Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and many more horrid books of the old testament still stand and the verses are there for Christians to do horrible things.

And Jesus wasn’t a peaceful as you imagine him to be…

Matthew 10:34 — “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

John 15:6 — “If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”

Luke 12:47 – “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.”

Luke 12:51 – “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 3:57 PM

If Thomas Jefferson believed in an absolute wall of separation between all things church and all things state, then why did he attend church services held in the U.S. Capitol building?

Within a year of his inauguration, Jefferson began attending church services in the House of Representatives.

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Church in the U.S. Capitol

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Or it could be you’re a bigot who’s deliberately misinterpreting things and trying to equate a barbaric faith with the one of our true Savior. Look at Christ’s teachings.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 3:06 PM

So i’m a bigot for making a comment that isn’t to your liking? Is that it?

Jesus is nobodies savior because nobody needs saving.

Following His way is not the path of violence. Grow up.

Really?

Matthew 10:34 — “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 4:01 PM

What does that have to do with the idea that states can negate the Bill of Rights as they see fit?

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 3:53 PM

The NC resolution does not negate the Bill of Rights. It affirms it. The 1st Amendment was written to protect the free exercise of religion in speech, press, assembly, and rederess.

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 4:03 PM

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Hebrews 4:12 – English Standard Version

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Matthew 26:

52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him,
“for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

Luke 9:

51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven,
Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.
52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan
village to get things ready for him;
53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was
heading for Jerusalem.
54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to
destroy them?”
55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them,
56 and they went to another village.

Criminently, you’re a bitter little individual. I pity you.

kingsjester on April 4, 2013 at 4:05 PM

kingsjester on April 4, 2013 at 4:05 PM

How can I be bitter about something that’s untrue? Just because I speak out against religion doesn’t make me bitter but I understand your desire to characterize me so.

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 4:15 PM

The real shame about this debate is that you can’t even rely on the common sense meaning of words and phrases as they were understood when the Constitution was proposed, objected to, compromised on, and ultimately approved.

No, now all these phrases have new meanings invented by courts that supercede the original.

For example, thanks to the extremely vague concept of incorporation, it’s widely presumed now that “Congress shall pass no law” means exactly the same thing as “nobody shall ever pass a law.” Even though it’s clear that many of these provisions were meant specifically to ensure that the federal government didn’t override state laws, the broad brush of incorporation stands that idea on its head. The relevance, of course, is that the establishment of a state church was one of the biggest examples of a restriction placed on the federal government by the Constitution to protect states from being told they must establish a particular church — or must not establish a state church.

Then you get the “establishment of religion” clause, which originally had a clear and specific meaning: that of a church denomination becoming the official religion of a state, supported by taxes, and possibly even requiring membership in that church to be able to vote or to exercise certain privileges of citizenship.

Now, of course, if a teacher in a public school leads in a prayer, that’s taken as an “establishment of religion.” The shapers of the Constitution would have considered such an argument ridiculous, since an “established religion” meant a lot more than an occasional public prayer.

And you get the brand new standard of a “separation of church and state,” which is not a concept in the Constitution. The First Amendment freedom of religion was in two parts: forbidding the establishment of a state religion, and prohibiting the free exercise of religion. By forbidding prayer in the public schools, they extended the “establishment of religion” clause far beyond its original meaning while directly prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

The two-fold freedom of religion in the First Amendment implied a balancing act of prohibiting the religion from controlling the government, and prohibiting the government from controlling the religion. The popularly-conceived “wall of separation” makes it easy for the government to interfere with religion as long as they claim to be even-handed about it. As we see clearly in Obamacare.

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 4, 2013 at 4:17 PM

The GOP legislators who are floating this are needling the ACLU

So proud of My State government standing up for the rights of my fellow citizens to live their lives and run their communities the way they see fit.
Southerners give thanks and acknowledge the blessings of God as a sign of respect and humility not to offend anyone. Sort of like how we teach our children to say yes ma’am or no sir, please and thank you. It always amazes me when “foreigners” get offended by that.

mike_NC9 on April 4, 2013 at 4:19 PM

The NC resolution does not negate the Bill of Rights. It affirms it. The 1st Amendment was written to protect the free exercise of religion in speech, press, assembly, and rederess.

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 4:03 PM

…and that Congress shall make no laws regarding religion.

By the logic of some people here, because Obama is not part of Congress, he can declare a national religion.

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

kingsjester on April 4, 2013 at 4:05 PM

How can I be bitter about something that’s untrue? Just because I speak out against religion doesn’t make me bitter but I understand your desire to characterize me so.

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 4:15 PM


There is no God, and I’ll fight him til I die!!!

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 4, 2013 at 4:24 PM

The NC resolution does not negate the Bill of Rights. It affirms it.

ITguy on April 4, 2013 at 4:03 PM

That’s debatable but essentially irrelevant because this is not how it will be received by the public-at-large should it be adopted. Pass this resolution and no matter what you argue in defense of it an overwhelming majority in this society will perceive it as negating the Bill of Rights and will respond accordingly.

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 4:25 PM

…and that Congress shall make no laws regarding religion.

By the logic of some people here, because Obama is not part of Congress, he can declare a national religion.

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

The president can’t make laws. Since we’re talking about the original intent of the First Amendment, it’s highly relevant that the writers of the Constitution would never have considered a need to specify that the president can make no law on the subject either.

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 4, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Now, of course, if a teacher in a public school leads in a prayer, that’s taken as an “establishment of religion.”

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 4, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Actually, I believe that, at this stage of the telephone game, that’s an “official endorsement of religion” which is construed to an “excessive entanglement with religion” which constitutes an “establishment of religion”.

Hey, in Kitzmiller v. Dover, the court decided that “mere mention” by a school teacher was a Constitutional concern!

Something tells me that if they weren’t so focused with Sisyphusian effort of changing how everybody thinks through public schools, this wouldn’t actually be quite the same “Constitutional” issue to have a superintendent (don’t all kids think superintendents are the coolest!!) mention something.

The fate of the republic hangs on this, dammit!! The Gods of Enlightenment will no longer bring the fruit of civil progress if we anger them!

Axeman on April 4, 2013 at 4:40 PM

So when a state exercises its sovereignty by restricting certain speech, you’ll be fine with that? When they rescind the right to remain silent, or the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, you’ll be just fine with that, because they’re sovereign?

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 3:27 PM

States restrict speech all the time as any state campus school could tell you. As for the others, the 1st Amendment is the one that specifically mentions Congress as the restriction, not like the others that show no such limitation.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM

The real shame about this debate is that you can’t even rely on the common sense meaning of words and phrases as they were understood when the Constitution was proposed, objected to, compromised on, and ultimately approved.

No, now all these phrases have new meanings invented by courts that supercede the original.

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 4, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Nope, you can’t depend on it. What do the people know about the subject of self-governance??!??! Peasants. No we must continue to let the experts play telephone from the text of laws…ratified…by…people?!?!

There’s some flaw in there, I’m just not seeing. Hey, remember that if Catch 22 didn’t make sense to some authorities, it wouldn’t have been there for Joseph Heller to write about.

Axeman on April 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM

kingsjester on April 4, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Thank you for beating me to the punch.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 4:45 PM

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Also what he doesn’t seem to know is that the Bill of Rights was cribbed from a number of state constitutions that guaranteed very similar things–them evil, vile, oppressive states.

It’s funny that they didn’t wait around for a federal deliverer, to decide what the people should think about their rights under self-government.

Axeman on April 4, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Once again, the 14th Amendment did no such thing. It was a poor Supreme Court decision, not in 1867, but 80 years later, in 1947 that did what you claimed.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 8:58 AM

I disagree. It did.

Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)[1][2] was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court which applied the Establishment Clause in the country’s Bill of Rights to State law . Prior to this decision the First Amendment words, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”[3] imposed limits only on the federal government, while many states continued to grant certain religious denominations legislative or effective privileges.[4] This was the first Supreme Court case incorporating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment as binding upon the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision in Everson marked a turning point in the interpretation and application of disestablishment law in the modern era.[5]

I disagree with the finding of the Court in Everson — particularly the use of the establishment clause — but I can find no fault with the application of the 14th Amendment, given that the majority found that the establishment clause applied.

unclesmrgol on April 4, 2013 at 4:53 PM

How can I be bitter about something that’s untrue?

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Someday, you’ll have to explain to us, just how exactly you accomplish that.

By the way, I’m a big fan of the Skeptic as Better Bible Scholar bit. Love when you guys do that. It means so much when you start out with it being addle-pated, and then try to think of the logical conclusions one can draw and then dismiss it finally as bah–a bunch of stuff people believe.

I at least (went) go through the process of thinking like an atheist and thinking you guys make sense (and believing that, in part you do), before concluding bah–it’s a bunch of stuff people just prattle.

The OT gives the idea of an eye for an eye. It has laws which allow for divorce. Jesus shows “a better way” and says that divorce was allowed because “men’s hearts were hardened”. All stuff that you can’t explain away by citing passages you haven’t taken the time to understand. And if you argue that Christians believe a lot of contradictory stuff still doesn’t make it the clear meaning of those passages.

Jesus talks about the insufficiency of putting new wine into old skins. No change there? Understanding what you’re reading kinda’ helps in discussing it. Not just pulling a bunch of quotes to commandeer the argument, plant your flag and claim this ground for Atheists.

Axeman on April 4, 2013 at 4:57 PM

I disagree. It did.

I disagree with the finding of the Court in Everson — particularly the use of the establishment clause — but I can find no fault with the application of the 14th Amendment, given that the majority found that the establishment clause applied.

unclesmrgol on April 4, 2013 at 4:53 PM

That makes no sense. You’re citing the exact 1947 ruling that I said was incorrect as your citation that the decision was made in 1867. No such use was made of the 14th Amendment for the 80 years after ratification till this bogus decision, but because you agree with their interpretation, you claim that’s how it’s always been.

The court turned the Due Process Clause on it’s head by incorporating the 1st Amendment to the States in this decision. Once again, the 14th did not nullify the 10th.

Completely illogical.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Looks like this proposed resolution is now officially dead:

http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/politics&id=9052972

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Also what he doesn’t seem to know is that the Bill of Rights was cribbed from a number of state constitutions that guaranteed very similar things–them evil, vile, oppressive states.

It’s funny that they didn’t wait around for a federal deliverer, to decide what the people should think about their rights under self-government.

Axeman on April 4, 2013 at 4:46 PM

He’d be shocked to read Virginia’s constitution.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 4:59 PM

States restrict speech all the time as any state campus school could tell you.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM

And you see that as constitutional?

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Looks like this proposed resolution is now officially dead:

http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/politics&id=9052972

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Citing another bogus AP article claiming this act was to establish a State religion. Why do you support this propaganda?

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 5:00 PM

And you see that as constitutional?

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 5:00 PM

That’s the first decent question you’ve asked. I see it as legal and I had to put up with it at the state school I attended in years past. I certainly fought against it by using the same bogus incorporation claim that is used against me and the free exercise of my faith. I am not willing to hold myself to a separate standard while my adversaries have free reign.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Let’s tie in a link that shows what’s really going on here.

Forced Removal of Picture of Christ

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 5:05 PM

<blockquoteThere is no BIBLE God, or KORAN God, and I’ll fight belief in them til the day I die!!!

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 4, 2013 at 4:24 PM

FIFY

We know enough at this moment to know that the Abrahamic gods aren’t the god that could be.

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Citing another bogus AP article claiming this act was to establish a State religion. Why do you support this propaganda?

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 5:00 PM

I posted a link to a news story that “this proposed resolution is now officially dead” and said nothing else about it. Feel free to post a link to some other news source reporting this if you like.

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 5:19 PM

I know enough at this moment to know that I don’t believe in the Abrahamic God at least till my deathbed.

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

FIFY

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 5:27 PM

The court turned the Due Process Clause on it’s head by incorporating the 1st Amendment to the States in this decision. Once again, the 14th did not nullify the 10th.

Completely illogical.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 4:58 PM

According to the leading framers of the 14th Amendment in both Houses, it was indeed the intention to bring at least the first 8 Amendments in as binding upon the States. Google Rep. John Bingam (R – Ohio) and Sen. Jacob Howard (R – Michigan), or read some of their speeches quoted by Justice Hugo Black in his dissenting opinion in Adamson v. California.

Sen. Howard’s speech is pretty clear (bolding mine):

On May 23, 1866, Senator Howard introduced the proposed amendment to the Senate in the absence of Senator Fessenden, who was sick. Senator Howard prefaced his remarks by stating:

I . . . present to the Senate . . . the views and the motives [of the Reconstruction Committee]. . . . One result of their investigations has been the joint resolution for the amendment of the Constitution of the United States now under consideration. . . .

The first section of the amendment . . . submitted for the consideration of the two Houses relates to the privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States, [p105] and to the rights and privileges of all persons, whether citizens or others, under the laws of the United States.

It will be observed that this is a general prohibition upon all the States, as such, from abridging the privileges and immunities of the citizens of the United States. That is its first clause, and I regard it as very important. It also prohibits each one of the States from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or denying to any person within the jurisdiction of the State the equal protection of its laws.

* * * *

It would be a curious question to solve what are the privileges and immunities of citizens of each of the States in the several States. . . . I am not aware that the Supreme Court have ever undertaken to define either the nature or extent of the privileges and immunities thus guarantied. . . . But we may gather some intimation of what probably will be the opinion of the judiciary by referring to . . . Corfield vs. Coryell . . . , 4 Washington’s Circuit Court Reports, page 380. [Here Senator Howard quoted at length from that opinion.]

Such is the character of the privileges and immunities spoken of in the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution. To these privileges and immunities, whatever they may be — for they are not and cannot be fully defined in their entire extent and precise nature — to these should be added the personal rights guarantied and secured by the first eight amendments of the Constitution, such as the freedom of speech and of the press; the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances, a right appertaining to each and all the people; the right to keep and to bear arms; the right to be exempted from the quartering of soldiers in a house without the consent of the owner; [p106] the right to be exempt from unreasonable searches and seizures, and from any search or seizure except by virtue of a warrant issued upon a formal oath or affidavit; the right of an accused person to be informed of the nature of the accusation against him, and his right to be tried by an impartial jury of the vicinage, and also the right to be secure against excessive bail and against cruel and unusual punishments.

Now, sir, here is a mass of privileges, immunities, and rights, some of them secured by the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution, which I have recited, some by the first eight amendments of the Constitution, and it is a fact well worthy of attention that the course of decision of our courts and the present settled doctrine is that all these immunities, privileges, rights, thus guarantied by the Constitution or recognized by it, are secured to the citizens solely as a citizen of the United States, and as a party in their courts. They do not operate in the slightest degree as a restraint or prohibition upon State legislation. States are not affected by them, and it has been repeatedly held that the restriction contained in the Constitution against the taking of private property for public use without just compensation is not a restriction upon State legislation, but applies only to the legislation of Congress.

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 5:38 PM

I know enough at this moment to know that I don’t believe in the Abrahamic God at least till my deathbed.

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

FIFY

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 5:27 PM

No you didn’t, you mangled it. ;-)

Even at my death bed I’ll never believe in him, and its Abrahamic god(s). There are more than one. You don’t believe in the Islamic variety but he’s based on the god of Abraham as well. Hell, Mohammed stole whole sections of the Jewish fables to create a base for Islam.

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Even at my death bed I’ll never believe in him, and its Abrahamic god(s). There are more than one. You don’t believe in the Islamic variety but he’s based on the god of Abraham as well. Hell, Mohammed stole whole sections of the Jewish fables to create a base for Islam.

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Islam does not worship the Abrahamic God (singular) and you can tell as much by their actions. Murder and violence are their path. However, there is another mentioned in the Bible who shares such tactics.

For your sake I hope you repent. I will pray for you.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 7:10 PM

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 5:38 PM

You mentioned 2 senator’s arguments. Care to show me the other members and the House and State legislatures that agree with that interpretation at the time of ratification?

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Islam does not worship the Abrahamic God (singular) and you can tell as much by their actions. Murder and violence are their path. However, there is another mentioned in the Bible who shares such tactics.

For your sake I hope you repent. I will pray for you.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 7:10 PM

“Islam does not worship the Abrahamic God”
Have you ever read the bible and the koran in their entirety?

You can’t cherry pick it nrjob. You repeat the “nice” and “pleasant” verses like a mantra and feel good and pious and call that religion, but what about all the horrible things the Abrahamic god did to the Jews and then the inhabitants of the promised lands that they slaughtered at his command?

Some “loving” god…

Save your prayers… Two hands at work are worth more than all the hands on the planet clasped in prayer.

There is just no way in hell the god of the cosmos is bible god, or koran god, etc. There may be one out there, and he’s probably laughing his ass off at all the inane representations of him/her/it we humans have erected throughout time.

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Hudson also said:

It establishes equality before the law, and it gives to the
humblest, the poorest, the most despised of the race the same rights and the same protection before the law as it gives to the most powerful, the most wealthy, or the most haughty. That, sir, is republican government, as I understand it

That’s just what you want to trumpet, an author who didn’t know the meaning of “republican government”. That’s just who you want re-writing the Constitution, somebody who things equality is representationalism.

I read the speech. It sure makes it clear that the privileges and immunities enjoyed by people as citizens of the United States were not to be deprived by the states. He even talks about “disabling” the power of states to do otherwise. However, it doesn’t really make the case that a restriction at the federal level is some sort of makeshift immunity enjoyed by the citizens.

He doesn’t mention either establishment or free exercise from the first amendment, he mentions speech, press, and assembly as immunities and privileges. But the restrictions on Congress were no more than not making laws restricting these freedoms and could not be construed–totally–as structural prohibitions. You respect these freedoms by not making laws prohibiting them. That’s simply all there is to it. And because if the federal government can’t do it, and the state governments and municipalities controlled at the state level can’t do it, then nobody really can do it. You have to commit a crime as a private citizen to do this yourself.

Not so “an establishment of religion”. If an establishment of religion by any party was a restriction on the rights of others, then there should be no facility to allow private citizens to do it either. So it is simply a stipulation. It makes it pretty ridiculous to say “that’s what private churches are for” and then argue parallelism between the the express Congressional restriction and the express rights not to be infringed–when you wouldn’t for example expect “private roving suppression bands” to handle the job of suppressing speech, press or assembly. There clearly is a disconnect here. (Not that you guys notice.)

Also, I notice that despite Hudson endorsed that the indefinite rights were now thrown over to the federal government, practically repealing the 9th and 10th amendments, the federal government hasn’t construed with that the same immunity to income tax that we had at the federal level. Thus this restriction at the federal level did not transfer to the local level as a make shift “immunity”. But with them being so indefinite–shouldn’t there have been–just to make sure you’re not trampling on the right as a citizen of the united states to avoid income tax? Again, here is a case where the federal government does not tax in a certain way, but it is unobjectionable for another entity to do so.

You just simply take the mention of the first 8 amendments, and bundle them wholesale into the incorporation argument. And thus the “privileges and immunities” are bundled in to be picked out and inferred later. Hudson even mentions “quartering” of all things–but states couldn’t break that because states aren’t allowed to keep standing armies.

So, you’re saying that the Republic has been swindled by an addlepate? I’m sorry, people you can’t have representational government anymore because you ratified an amendment introduced by a guy who didn’t understand that while equality under law is desireable for a republican form of government, it isn’t specifically all that is implied by a republican form of government.

Also, I want to know, why is there so much avoidance of Hudson’s verbiage on what comprises a citizenship (born and naturalized in “the several states”), when we discuss citizenship regarding the 14th amendment.

It’s because judges are motivated to ignore all possible distinctions that they are not interested in.

Axeman on April 4, 2013 at 7:42 PM

to these should be added the personal rights guarantied and secured by the first eight amendments of the Constitution,

Shorter, for emphasis. You’ve identified that he refers to the incorporation of the amendments–but you kind of skipped over the personal part of “personal rights” and you don’t explain where in mentioning specific implications of those amendments, he includes the entire text of the amendments so that a restriction on the federal government becomes a restriction on states–and how any of that pertains to the personal part you skipped over, which is what he was apparently talking about.

See unless you believe in the privatization of speech, press and assembly suppression, you can’t think that the privatization of religious establishments can be treated in parallel with those legitimate rights. We also don’t believe in roving bands of private suppression of free exercise of religion (unless you count the ACLU). You have to realize that there is a difference in kind that neither you, nor those justices whose posters you put up in your bedroom had the faculties to notice.

Axeman on April 4, 2013 at 8:04 PM

I am not willing to hold myself to a separate standard while my adversaries have free reign.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 5:03 PM

In other words, if they break the rules, you think you have the right to do so as well?

Societies based on that outlook are typically third-world nations.

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Why am I not surprised that some posters are actually making the case that states can establish state religions?

Salem has really succeeded in manipulating a great site into something sickening.

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Imagine a state trying to establish Roman Catholicism as the state religion.

Injecting religious preference into government drives younger voters away from the GOP. Not to mention non-Christian voters. And then there are the Christian voters who don’t think the government should be in the business of promoting any religion at all. Add it all up and it is a significant voting block.

Religious zealotry scares a lot of people, including many devoutly religious folks. European Christians slaughtered each other for at least a century over their sectarian differences. The Founding Fathers were well aware of that history.

farsighted on April 4, 2013 at 8:24 PM

By the logic of some people here, because Obama is not part of Congress, he can declare a national religion.

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Obama can not legislate at all. He can only sign or veto the laws that Congress sends him.

gryphon202 on April 4, 2013 at 8:25 PM

The constitution limits what the federal government can do. Except in a very few specific instances, it does not limit what state governments can do. Incorporation flies in the face of the founders’ intent, and “tradition” doesn’t change that.

gryphon202 on April 4, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Let’s take these strawmen one by one.

Imagine a state trying to establish Roman Catholicism as the state religion.

Imagine it all you want. That’s not what this bill said, nor what any state would do. The argument is that the federal government cannot tell them they aren’t permitted to do so. That’s not within the federal government’s purview. Can you see the difference?

Injecting religious preference into government drives younger voters away from the GOP. Not to mention non-Christian voters. And then there are the Christian voters who don’t think the government should be in the business of promoting any religion at all. Add it all up and it is a significant voting block.

So there are a lot of people that have been brainwashed into falsely thinking there’s a “separation of church and state” in the Constitution and they’ve been trained like a Pavlovian dog to respond anytime anyone mentions faith in public to cringe. We should just allow this incorrect belief to stand and not try and break the training? We should encourage ignorance and fear of faith? No thanks. Without God, there is no civilization and no future for mankind.

Religious zealotry scares a lot of people, including many devoutly religious folks. European Christians slaughtered each other for at least a century over their sectarian differences. The Founding Fathers were well aware of that history.

farsighted on April 4, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Define religious zealotry? If you mean savages bombing people and cutting off heads… well that scares me as well. If you mean the preacher and his flock asking people to hear the Word of God, sorry, that’s prosthelytizing and our duty as Christians. You may find us annoying, but we are not dangerous or harmful. Our founding fathers shared our beliefs if not our direct faith. They would be considered weird by the current flock thanks to the media.

So I fail to see any of your points other than you appear to have an abject fear of the religious. It’s okay. We don’t bite. We are however, the biggest supporters of freedom worldwide. We did push through the repeal of the slave trade, civil rights, helped protect the Jewish from the Nazis, helped Reagan defeat the Soviets, etc. But all you hear from people is negativity. I wonder why that is.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Axeman on April 4, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Thank you for your accurate deconstruction and explanation.

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 8:54 PM

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 3:57 PM

You sure think you know a lot about Christianity.

Don’t worry, you and your pimple-popping, basement dwelling, http://www.ihatechristiansskepticalfreethinkers.org buds will one day not have to put up with us.

davidk on April 4, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Religious zealotry scares a lot of people, including many devoutly religious folks. European Christians slaughtered each other for at least a century over their sectarian differences. The Founding Fathers were well aware of that history.

farsighted on April 4, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Something done in the name of a particular organization does not necessarily accurately reflect that organizations belief and true pratices.

But I think you are too nearsighted to see that.

davidk on April 4, 2013 at 9:02 PM

You mentioned 2 senator’s arguments. Care to show me the other members and the House and State legislatures that agree with that interpretation at the time of ratification?

njrob on April 4, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Seriously? One Representative and one Senator, actually, both of whom were credited with being among the principal architects of the 14th Amendment. You argue disingenuously, clinging to “original intent” when it suits you only to abandon it when the record does not support your claims. Have you forgotten about Article V of the Constitution?

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Your view of regarding incorporation of the Bill of Rights and the States was valid until 1868 when the 14th Amendment was adopted. It was a game-changer and became just as much a part of the Constitution as the First Amendment or the Tenth. If you believe there exists dissent from the views of Bingham and Howard about the 14th Amendment in the Congressional record, by all means provide it. My citing of these two on the 14th Amendment is akin to quoting from the writings of Thomas Jefferson about the Declaration of Independence or James Madison on the original Constitution of the USA. In addition the agreement of State legislators with a particular interpretation is not relevant, although it should be pointed out that the 14th was a Republican amendment and was largely ratified by Republican-dominated States. Yet while State legislators may provide an interesting secondary source of information it is not one that is much needed as their role under the Constitution is to ratify proposed amendments if they choose to, not provide intent or interpretation of their text.

Your argument is poor. Instead of making the erroneous claim that the 14th Amendment wasn’t intended to protect all the “privileges and immunities” guaranteed under the Constitution from infringement by the States, you should remain true to what you claim to uphold about “original intent”. I’ll even help you with that. Did Bingham, Howard or any of the architects of the 14th Amendment have the same view regarding “separation of Church and State” as SCOTUS held to later in the 20th century? That at least is a more respectable line of reasoning, with a predictable counter-argument of course, but at least consistent with a particular view of “original intent”.

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 9:50 PM

The constitution limits what the federal government can do. Except in a very few specific instances, it does not limit what state governments can do. Incorporation flies in the face of the founders’ intent, and “tradition” doesn’t change that.

gryphon202 on April 4, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Perhaps, but the Founders also believed that their work on the Constitution wasn’t perfect so provided a means in Article V for future generations to make “corrections” or changes as circumstances warranted and the People through the representatives deemed necessary. Your view of incorporation was correct until 1868 when the 14th Amendment was ratified and became as much a part of the Constitution as any part of it written by the Founders. Oh and that was precisely as the Founders intended.

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 9:57 PM

You’ve identified that he refers to the incorporation of the amendments–but you kind of skipped over the personal part of “personal rights” and you don’t explain where in mentioning specific implications of those amendments, he includes the entire text of the amendments so that a restriction on the federal government becomes a restriction on states–and how any of that pertains to the personal part you skipped over, which is what he was apparently talking about.

Interesting, so we are going to argue now on how to interpret Howard’s words in expressing the intent of the 14th Amendment? What seems “apparent” to you renders his words meaningless and is hardly worth taking seriously. If you believe that Howard, Bingham or any of the architects of the 14th Amendment didn’t intend to protect infringement by the States of rights guaranteed to the People under the Constitution, by all means provide such evidence. You have your work cut out for you I must say because Federal involvement in protection of these rights against State infringement is quite explicit in their writings as well as the text of the Amendment itself.

We also don’t believe in roving bands of private suppression of free exercise of religion (unless you count the ACLU).

Good for you. You assume too much however because I never offered a defense of SCOTUS’s reasoning. The Free Exercise Clause is just as much a valid part of the 1st Amendment as the Establishment Clause is, neither of which the 14th invalidated.

You have to realize that there is a difference in kind that neither you, nor those justices whose posters you put up in your bedroom had the faculties to notice.

Axeman on April 4, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Really? Which Justices would those be you seem to believe I have pin-ups of like Teen Beat idols?

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Perhaps, but the Founders also believed that their work on the Constitution wasn’t perfect so provided a means in Article V for future generations to make “corrections” or changes as circumstances warranted and the People through the representatives deemed necessary. Your view of incorporation was correct until 1868 when the 14th Amendment was ratified and became as much a part of the Constitution as any part of it written by the Founders. Oh and that was precisely as the Founders intended.

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 9:57 PM

That doesn’t mean that the respective amendments were in line with the founders’ intent and wishes, though. We could just as easily ratify an amendment, the text of which would be:

This constitution and all of its attendant amendments and interpretations, by all courts, is hereby null-and-void.

Would you be in favor of that? Why or why not? On second thought, don’t answer. Consider it a rhetorical question.

My point is, the whole reason for the drafting of the constitution was to codify “subsidarity” into our government structure. Most of the power was supposed to reside at the state level, subject only to the powers the states would voluntarily give up in order that we be one “United States of America” instead of (then-) thirteen separate nation-states.

The whole doctrine of incorporation effectively reverses the one thing that made our government unique, and that was the recognition that the federal government only has that power which the states surrender voluntarily to it. Only America and two other nations codified that concept into their founding documents. It frustrates me to no end that we’d give it up so glibly in the name of “tradition.”

gryphon202 on April 4, 2013 at 10:33 PM

That doesn’t mean that the respective amendments were in line with the founders’ intent and wishes, though.

To an extent that is true, but again the Founders themselves recognized their work wasn’t perfect which is why the included Article V in the Constitution.

We could just as easily ratify an amendment, the text of which would be:

This constitution and all of its attendant amendments and interpretations, by all courts, is hereby null-and-void.

Would you be in favor of that? Why or why not? On second thought, don’t answer. Consider it a rhetorical question.

Rhetorical or not, such a proposed amendment would actually violate not just the “intent and wishes” of the Founders but also at least this part of Article V of the Constitution:

Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Well I guess I should except Jefferson, since he seemed to think revolution every couple of decades was a perhaps a good thing for liberty. Something like what you propose here would not be a valid amendment but instead revolution. Now adopting an amendment to invalidate all other 27 Amendments and just about every Section of the Constitution? Yeah that could be validly ratified under Article V.

My point is, the whole reason for the drafting of the constitution was to codify “subsidarity” into our government structure. Most of the power was supposed to reside at the state level, subject only to the powers the states would voluntarily give up in order that we be one “United States of America” instead of (then-) thirteen separate nation-states.

Indeed. Yet while this was largely left intact with the ratification of the 14th Amendment, this relationship between the Federal Government and the States was changed with regards to protection of the rights of the People. You’ll notice that I said nothing about the Commerce Clause, perhaps the most abused in the Constitution, with which the 14th Amendment hardly comes into play except of course how its use may infringe upon our rights.

The whole doctrine of incorporation effectively reverses the one thing that made our government unique, and that was the recognition that the federal government only has that power which the states surrender voluntarily to it. Only America and two other nations codified that concept into their founding documents. It frustrates me to no end that we’d give it up so glibly in the name of “tradition.”

gryphon202 on April 4, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Your argument is with the architects of the 14th Amendment, who did intend alter that relationship at least when it came to Equal Protection and Due Process. Now if you want to extend this to areas not really covered under the 14th Amendment, the largest of which I just handed you with how the Commerce Clause is abused, your argument holds some validity.

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 11:07 PM

It could be that the Muslims who’ve done those things are more sure of their beliefs than you are. Alternatively, the reason we don’t see evangelicals blowing themselves up, flying into buildings, et al is because Christianity has gone through it’s enlightenment and people don’t take it so seriously. There is no corollary on the Islamic side yet.

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 2:45 PM

.
Yeah, … that “enlightenment” that Christianity went through is called “The Dark Ages”.
There is no scripture supporting or backing up the behavior of The Crusaders.

But there are verses in the Quran that support and encourage the behavior of today’s devout Islamic Jihad zealots.

I defy anyone to show me the ‘love’ in the Quran.

listens2glenn on April 4, 2013 at 11:13 PM

Your argument is with the architects of the 14th Amendment, who did intend alter that relationship at least when it came to Equal Protection and Due Process. Now if you want to extend this to areas not really covered under the 14th Amendment, the largest of which I just handed you with how the Commerce Clause is abused, your argument holds some validity.

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 11:07 PM

I’m all four repeal of the 14th amendment on those grounds alone. And while we’re at it, there are a few others I’d like to repeal. But I don’t think it was the framers of the 14th amendment as much as it was the courts that had a free hand in “interpreting” it.

If the constitution was changed away from an ideal, it can be changed back.

gryphon202 on April 4, 2013 at 11:23 PM

I’m all four repeal of the 14th amendment on those grounds alone. And while we’re at it, there are a few others I’d like to repeal. But I don’t think it was the framers of the 14th amendment as much as it was the courts that had a free hand in “interpreting” it.

If the constitution was changed away from an ideal, it can be changed back.

gryphon202 on April 4, 2013 at 11:23 PM

That’s one option, which is available to us under Article V of the Constitution, or another could be to pass an amendment undoing some of the more objectionable interpretations of the 14th Amendment, Commerce Clause, etc. Of course there is also this option in Article III, Section 2:

In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.

However this is largely untested and without a lot of precedent to be of much use.

JohnAGJ on April 4, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Such is the character of the privileges and immunities spoken of in the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution. To these privileges and immunities, whatever they may be… to these should be added the personal rights guarantied and secured by the first eight amendments of the Constitution, such as the freedom of speech and of the press…

Should be added, but were not. The 14th Amendment as ratified mentions privileges and immunities, NOT rights.

This is enormously important, because government can grant and rescind privileges and immunities, but the federal government can neither grant nor rescind RIGHTS because rights belong to the people and to the states. All the feds can do is uphold the rights of people and of states by limiting its own power, or lose its legitimacy.

The proof above that rights were considered but not incorporated pretty much guts the argument that the extension of federal rights to limit state power can be reasonably inferred in the 14th Amendment.

shuzilla on April 4, 2013 at 11:43 PM

But there are verses in the Quran that support and encourage the behavior of today’s devout Islamic Jihad zealots.

I defy anyone to show me the ‘love’ in the Quran.

listens2glenn on April 4, 2013 at 11:13 PM

The verses are there in the bible for any Christian to interpret them however they want. Claiming that they misinterpreted them isn’t a valid excuse.

If the bible/koran/insert religious text here wasn’t there purporting to be the word of god, it wouldn’t have the “weight” it does with truly nutty people and people would look at it as the ancient poetry novel that it is…

SauerKraut537 on April 4, 2013 at 11:47 PM

I just came across a rather interesting article on this subject which has relevance here:

http://www.federalistblog.us/mt/articles/14th_dummy_guide.htm

Well-written and very intriguing.

According to what this article cites from Bingham and Howard it would appear that many of my comments above are in error, particularly with regards to the historical record. This bears further reflection and research so in light of this I’ll retract much of my previous comments for now, excepting mostly the politics surrounding the original issue being discussed here. Possibly being in error doesn’t bother me too much, truth and an accurate reading of the historical record is what matters most.

JohnAGJ on April 5, 2013 at 12:16 AM

…and that Congress shall make no laws regarding religion.

MadisonConservative on April 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

That’s not what the 1st Amendment says.

It doesn’t say “regarding”.

And it doesn’t say “enorsement” is unconstitutional.

It says Congress shall make no law “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof“.

It the minds of people like Allahpundit, it means that there must be a strict separation of church and state, and that any religious expression in a context involving the state is unconstitutional. But that view leads to the state unconstitutionally prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The state has no right to silence religious speech in any environment, including environments which involve the state.

Again I ask:

If Thomas Jefferson believed in an absolute wall of separation between all things church and all things state, then why did he attend church services held in the U.S. Capitol building?

Within a year of his inauguration, Jefferson began attending church services in the House of Representatives.

Church in the U.S. Capitol

ITguy on April 5, 2013 at 8:52 AM

ITguy on April 5, 2013 at 8:52 AM

You tried this earlier…. An endorsement is showing favor. I don’t want my government endorsing ANY religion.

Would you mind if the US government endorsed Islam?

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 9:18 AM

You tried this earlier…. An endorsement is showing favor. I don’t want my government endorsing ANY religion.

Would you mind if the US government endorsed Islam?

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 9:18 AM

The constitution and the bill of rights says nothing about “endorsing” a religion. It specifically states that congress may not establish a religion, as in no official state religion like there was/is in Britain. Try again, theophobe.

gryphon202 on April 5, 2013 at 9:43 AM

gryphon202 on April 5, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Endorsing is a form of establishment. It’s a slippery slope. Once endorsement becomes the norm then later on down the line people WILL take the next step, especially when another religion starts moving in and competing against it. The government endorsing religions can only lead to the Balkanization of our country.

A phobia is a strong irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. There is nothing irrational about being scared of other people’s religion because religion is actually dangerous as evidenced by looking at where competing religions border each other today, especially religions of the Abrahamic variety.

You watch, when the Muslims take over Michigan in toto and start enacting their religious norms, you and others will be up in arms.

“It may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to unsurpastion on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst. by an entire abstinence of the Gov’t from interfernce in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst. trespasses on its legal rights by others.

– James Madison, “James Madison on Religious Liberty”, edited by Robert S. Alley, ISBN 0-8975-298-X. pp. 237-238

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 10:10 AM

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Well then, maybe you can explain to me how a prayer before a government function either establishes religion or prohibits the free exercise thereof. Because those are the only two overt acts that the first amendment forbids. James Madison’s opinion, insofar as it has any meaning to us today at all, has never had the full force of law as the constitution does.

As for the definition of “rational fear…”

Naw. Maybe I’d better not go there.

gryphon202 on April 5, 2013 at 10:38 AM

You tried this earlier…. An endorsement is showing favor. I don’t want my government endorsing ANY religion.

Would you mind if the US government endorsed Islam?

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 9:18 AM

It doesn’t matter what you “want.” You can vote for politicians that won’t endorse faith. The discussion is whether or not such actions are permitted according to the Constitution. And the answer is clearly “yes” in spite of poor Court rulings.

njrob on April 5, 2013 at 11:11 AM

A prayer isn’t an endorsement or an establishment, as long as it’s not forced on people or as long as it’s not coerced (making people pray, forcing a prayer session, etc), and I never said it was. The problem is that if people refrain from joining in said prayer sessions that CAN, and often does, create animosity as those who ARE praying look down on those who aren’t or don’t. One can imagine the gossip of those who do as they look down on those who don’t. Jefferson himself was considered an atheist by early Americans and almost lost his election as President because of his push back against uber Christians. In correspondence, he sometimes expressed confidence that the whole country would be Unitarian, but he recognized the novelty of his own religious beliefs. On June 25, 1819, he wrote to Ezra Stiles Ely, “I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.”

Look, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson were highly involved in the formulation and writing of the Constitution/BoR and DoI.

One would think that since they were so intimately involved in the drafting/writing of those documents that they would know the intent of that which they wrote.

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 11:32 AM

A prayer isn’t an endorsement or an establishment, as long as it’s not forced on people or as long as it’s not coerced (making people pray, forcing a prayer session, etc), and I never said it was. The problem is that if people refrain from joining in said prayer sessions that CAN, and often does, create animosity as those who ARE praying look down on those who aren’t or don’t. One can imagine the gossip of those who do as they look down on those who don’t. Jefferson himself was considered an atheist by early Americans and almost lost his election as President because of his push back against uber Christians. In correspondence, he sometimes expressed confidence that the whole country would be Unitarian, but he recognized the novelty of his own religious beliefs. On June 25, 1819, he wrote to Ezra Stiles Ely, “I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.”

Look, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson were highly involved in the formulation and writing of the Constitution/BoR and DoI.

One would think that since they were so intimately involved in the drafting/writing of those documents that they would know the intent of that which they wrote.

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Completely the opposite. It’s you theophobes that look down on us followers of Christ. You mock us instead of respecting our beliefs. You attack us for trying to show respect to God. You insult us and try to prevent us from sharing our faith. You have the issue, not us.

The founding fathers held church services in government buildings. Now we can’t even show a nativity scene at Christmas without you theophobes whining it’s establishment. Grow up.

njrob on April 5, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Completely the opposite (in your mind at least). It’s you theophobes that look down on us followers of Christ. You mock us instead of respecting our beliefs. You attack us for trying to show respect to God. You insult us and try to prevent us from sharing our faith. You have the issue, not us.

The founding fathers held church services in government buildings. Now we can’t even show a nativity scene at Christmas without you theophobes whining it’s establishment. Grow up.

njrob on April 5, 2013 at 12:07 PM

We don’t look down on you as people, I don’t at least, I’m sure you’re a completely nice, fair, and honest person, and if so, I applaud that about you. We/I may mock you, but what’s to respect about belief in fairy tales? Do you “respect” your kids for believing in imaginary friends? Does it even require respect?

We don’t attack you for trying to show respect to god, we mock you for the unnecessary dogma associated with it. What does a god really need from you? Would a god really NEED you to show him respect? Do you require respect from an amoeba?

The founding fathers held church services in government buildings, this much is true, but they were predominately Christian and that’s to be expected, but them holding church services in government buildings runs counter to what the intent of the Constitution is.

If a congressman wants to worship a god, go to church, THEN go to the Capital building and legislate whatever needs to be legislated.

You are free to show a nativity scene at your home, in your church, in museums, and on private property… Isn’t that enough space? Why do you feel the need to shoehorn it into government buildings as well?

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 12:22 PM

We don’t look down on you as people, I don’t at least, I’m sure you’re a completely nice, fair, and honest person, and if so, I applaud that about you. We/I may mock you, but what’s to respect about belief in fairy tales? Do you “respect” your kids for believing in imaginary friends? Does it even require respect?

That you try to differentiate between looking down upon and mocking because we believe in “fairy tales” shows how disingenuous you are. And disrespectful as well. But you’ll have to answer to our Creator eventually, not to me.

We don’t attack you for trying to show respect to god, we mock you for the unnecessary dogma associated with it. What does a god really need from you? Would a god really NEED you to show him respect? Do you require respect from an amoeba?

Nonsense. By definition showing respect to God and thanks is what you are mocking. God doesn’t NEED anything from us. We NEED Him. That’s what you don’t get. BTW, we didn’t create amoebas, He did.

The founding fathers held church services in government buildings, this much is true, but they were predominately Christian and that’s to be expected, but them holding church services in government buildings runs counter to what the intent of the Constitution is.

So you’re claiming the people that wrote and created the Constitution were violating it. Interesting. And what gives you that idea. They would know the intent better than we, would they not? Or do you consider yourself more enlightened than they and that they just didn’t do it right yet?

If a congressman wants to worship a god, go to church, THEN go to the Capital building and legislate whatever needs to be legislated.

You are free to show a nativity scene at your home, in your church, in museums, and on private property… Isn’t that enough space? Why do you feel the need to shoehorn it into government buildings as well?

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Where does the word NEED come into play? We have the RIGHT to do so. You do not have the RIGHT to prevent us. That’s the difference. You are trying to prevent our FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION because you find it distasteful. There’s plenty out there that share your beliefs. That doesn’t make them right.

njrob on April 5, 2013 at 1:25 PM

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