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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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?

Yeah, I am. I have the quotes from Jefferson, Madison, and others from the early 1800′s expressing a distaste for the collusion of religion and government that they saw transpiring. THEY wrote the Constitution, BoR and DoI… THEY know better what the intent was. Do I need to requote them?

Not everyone who came over here to early America wanted to do away with the collusion of religion and government. It was these people who broke the rules and why we have the quotes we do from Madison, Jefferson and others seeking to clarify the intent of the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses.

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.

You already have the right to display your religious symbols and artwork at your house, in your church, in museums and convention centers and anywhere there is private property. I characterize it as a need because you apparently feel that all those other places aren’t a big enough expression of religious fervor.

The only reason you and others wish to push religious artwork and symbols into government buildings is because you think it somehow validates your beliefs and “codifies” our nation and government as a “Christian nation”. Something the establishment and free exercise clauses were designed to prevent.

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM

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

.
Dang blast it, dude ….. you and I have have had this conversation before (like what, a couple days ago?).

There is no freedom from religion, stated … OR IMPLIED … in our Declaration Of Independence, or Constitution.
.
Anti-theists do not have a right to be “FREE” from the sights and sounds of Christianity being practiced and/or expressed, in, on, or about Public property.

(real atheists don’t care one way or another)

listens2glenn on April 5, 2013 at 3:28 PM

The only reason you and others wish to push religious artwork and symbols into government buildings is because you think it somehow validates your beliefs and “codifies” our nation and government as a “Christian nation”. Something the establishment and free exercise clauses were designed to prevent.

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM

.
Nope, and nope.

listens2glenn on April 5, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Yeah, I am. I have the quotes from Jefferson, Madison, and others from the early 1800′s expressing a distaste for the collusion of religion and government that they saw transpiring. THEY wrote the Constitution, BoR and DoI… THEY know better what the intent was. Do I need to requote them?

That says all I need to know. I can quote just as many that say otherwise. They founding fathers were concerned with religious liberty and protecting that liberty. They were concerned with the State usurping that belief system to use with its own nefarious ends as was done in England. They definitely did not believe in restricting religious faith in public.

You are lying if you claim otherwise.

njrob on April 5, 2013 at 4:29 PM

They were concerned with the State usurping that belief system to use with its own nefarious ends as was done in England. They definitely did not believe in restricting religious faith in public.

You are lying if you claim otherwise.

njrob on April 5, 2013 at 4:29 PM

You got the first part right, but I haven’t said they were for restricting religious faith in public. How hard is it to understand? I’ve said it I don’t know how many times now, they weren’t for US Government buildings being made into places of worship and advocacy. This is completely different from what you keep saying I’m saying.

Some people, like yourself, in those days apparently disagreed with the intent of the Constitution and tried shoehorning religious services and worship into government activities. They were wrong for doing so, and as the quotes I mentioned illustrate, Jefferson, Madison and others called them out on it.

If the intent of the founders was to make government more religious, why was the state church of Massachusetts and Connecticut outlawed in 1833?

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 5:46 PM

There is no freedom from religion, stated … OR IMPLIED … in our Declaration Of Independence, or Constitution.

listens2glenn on April 5, 2013 at 3:28 PM

So the government is to make sure everyone has freedom of religion, but if they don’t have a religion they have to choose one? How is freedom from religion not implied. Explain that to me… I’ll wait expectantly.

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 5:58 PM

listens2glenn on April 5, 2013 at 3:28 PM

.
So the government is to make sure everyone has freedom of religion, but if they don’t have a religion they have to choose one? How is freedom from religion not implied. Explain that to me… I’ll wait expectantly.

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 5:58 PM

.
Atheists are allowed to choose “none of the above”.
.
What atheists (who really aren’t the problem) and anti-theists (who ARE the problem) cannot do is demand that religion in general (and Christianity in particular) NOT be expressed ON PUBLIC PROPERTY, whether by spoken word, literature, singing, or in the form of static art displays.

listens2glenn on April 5, 2013 at 9:17 PM

If the intent of the founders was to make government more religious, why was the state church of Massachusetts and Connecticut outlawed in 1833?

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 5:46 PM

They voluntarily choose to do so according to their own State laws. Nothing in the federal government said otherwise as was the case from all the years from 1787 to 1833 or do you just imagine those years didn’t exist?

Seriously, how can you write these obvious falsehoods with a straight face?

njrob on April 5, 2013 at 9:20 PM

If the intent of the founders was to make government more religious, why was the state church of Massachusetts and Connecticut outlawed in 1833?

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 5:46 PM

.
What the hang does “making government more religious” mean?

There has NEVER been, nor will there ever be a demand that atheists aren’t allowed to serve in government.

listens2glenn on April 5, 2013 at 9:24 PM

What atheists (who really aren’t the problem) and anti-theists (who ARE the problem) cannot do is demand that religion in general (and Christianity in particular) NOT be expressed ON PUBLIC PROPERTY, whether by spoken word, literature, singing, or in the form of static art displays.

listens2glenn on April 5, 2013 at 9:17 PM

If it is Federal lands then they shouldn’t, or they should allow equal time to all religions, not just the “particular” ones you happen to endorse. I find it funny that you say “Christianity in particular”, …as if it holds some special place here in this country. It may be near and dear to a lot of folk, but that is no reason to show it preference.

Hint: Do you see how saying that is asking for a form of preferential treatment?

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 11:18 PM

They voluntarily choose to do so according to their own State laws. Nothing in the federal government said otherwise as was the case from all the years from 1787 to 1833 or do you just imagine those years didn’t exist?

Seriously, how can you write these obvious falsehoods with a straight face?

njrob on April 5, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Are you aware that the Bill of Rights applies to the states as well? That no church and state government was supposed to be working hand in hand?

The REASON that the Massachusetts state church issue and other religious oversteps weren’t addressed until the early 1800′s was because they had a lot to do to standardize things and undo some of the laws the states passed early on in the first 25 years of our nations existence.

You DO realize that the former colonies/now states weren’t all buddy buddy and on the same page all the time, right? That some states were more religious than others, some more liberty driven, etc?

Seriously, how can you claim I’m the one writing obvious falsehoods with a straight face while you ignore the history of our country. I’ve corrected you time and again with facts and quotes, etc and you just ignore it like it doesn’t exist, all the while spouting your ad hominems at me trying to claim me discredited. As if you had that power. LOL!

Dude, read a book please.

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 11:38 PM

listens2glenn on April 5, 2013 at 9:17 PM

.
If it is Federal lands then they shouldn’t, or they should allow equal time to all religions, not just the “particular” ones you happen to endorse. I find it funny that you say “Christianity in particular”, …as if it holds some special place here in this country. It may be near and dear to a lot of folk, but that is no reason to show it preference.

Hint: Do you see how saying that is asking for a form of preferential treatment?

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 11:18 PM

.
Nope, it shouldn’t get “preference”. They should all be allowed.
.
Response to Hint: it gets preferential *censorship* from the anti-theists. That’s why the phrase “in particularly” was used

listens2glenn on April 5, 2013 at 11:40 PM

There has NEVER been, nor will there ever be a demand that atheists aren’t allowed to serve in government.

listens2glenn on April 5, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Seriously? My home state of Texas has a rule on the books that says that one cannot run for office in the state without first affirming their belief in the existence of god. It doesn’t have to be the Christian god, although in my state someone not Christian doesn’t stand a chance when pitted up against the religious voting bloc.

There are 8 or 9 more states that still have like phrases forcing the belief in a god on state office holders.

You can’t say there has never been, and those laws very well could be enforced again… I believe it used to be 33 states in total but the last 8 or 9 hold outs still haven’t removed the language.

But congrats on not commenting on my comment about the State of Massachusetts state Congregationalist church, which bled over into Connecticut as well.

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 11:44 PM

Response to Hint: it gets preferential *censorship* from the anti-theists. That’s why the phrase “in particularly” was used

listens2glenn on April 5, 2013 at 11:40 PM

No they don’t. Christianity isn’t picked on… That’s just your perception of things because the majority of followers here are Christian, so OF COURSE atheists are going to talk in that context. If 80% of the US is Christian, then the majority of complaints will be about Christians and the odd things they do, and try to do in the name of their religion in the public sphere.

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Are you aware that the Bill of Rights applies to the states as well? That no church and state government was supposed to be working hand in hand?

The REASON that the Massachusetts state church issue and other religious oversteps weren’t addressed until the early 1800′s was because they had a lot to do to standardize things and undo some of the laws the states passed early on in the first 25 years of our nations existence.

You DO realize that the former colonies/now states weren’t all buddy buddy and on the same page all the time, right? That some states were more religious than others, some more liberty driven, etc?

Seriously, how can you claim I’m the one writing obvious falsehoods with a straight face while you ignore the history of our country. I’ve corrected you time and again with facts and quotes, etc and you just ignore it like it doesn’t exist, all the while spouting your ad hominems at me trying to claim me discredited. As if you had that power. LOL!

Dude, read a book please.

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 11:38 PM

Have you read the previous 3 pages of this discussion or are you just plain ignorant? We’ve been debating back and forth as to the application of the 1st Amendment applying to the States. That is no matter as a display is recognition of a faith, not establishment. But you’re just an obnoxious anti-theist. You hate people of faith and wish to banish our beliefs to somewhere shameful and hidden from public. Bet you love homosexual marriage though.

njrob on April 5, 2013 at 11:52 PM

But you’re just an obnoxious anti-theist. You hate people of faith.

njrob on April 5, 2013 at 11:52 PM

I don’t hate the sinner, I hate the sin.

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 11:56 PM

listens2glenn on April 5, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Seriously? My home state of Texas has a rule on the books that says that one cannot run for office in the state without first affirming their belief in the existence of god. It doesn’t have to be the Christian god, although in my state someone not Christian doesn’t stand a chance when pitted up against the religious voting bloc.

There are 8 or 9 more states that still have like phrases forcing the belief in a god on state office holders.

You can’t say there has never been, and those laws very well could be enforced again… I believe it used to be 33 states in total but the last 8 or 9 hold outs still haven’t removed the language.

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 11:44 PM

.
Can anybody here at hotair (includes, but not limited to
SauerKraut537) document this?

I just may have to stand corrected on this, ’cause it’s news to me.
.

But congrats on not commenting on my comment about the State of Massachusetts state Congregationalist church, which bled over into Connecticut as well.

SauerKraut537 on April 5, 2013 at 11:44 PM

.
Can you link me to any documentation on this?
But I won’t get to it till tomorrow, though.

(actually, I’m running like a coward ’cause I don’t have any answers)

listens2glenn on April 6, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Have you read the previous 3 pages of this discussion or are you just plain ignorant? We’ve been debating back and forth as to the application of the 1st Amendment applying to the States. That is no matter as a display is recognition of a faith, not establishment.

njrob on April 5, 2013 at 11:52 PM

Of course, I’ve participated in the conversation, obviously. I’ve read people’s interpretations of our nations history and cried at the obvious embellishments and self interested rewriting of history going on.

You guys are so wrapped up in your religion that it’s demolished your intellectual honesty.

So, no, I’m not the ignorant one here nrjob. I think you got that covered pretty well with your confirmation bias going on. ;-)

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 12:01 AM

listens2glenn on April 6, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Google is your friend…

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 12:03 AM

listens2glenn on April 6, 2013 at 12:00 AM

State Constitutions that discriminate against atheists

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 12:14 AM

You poor fools. :cry:

tom daschle concerned on April 6, 2013 at 8:03 AM

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 12:14 AM

No surprise that you’d quote a biased source that would deliberately leave out context and depend on people not going to the actual source material.

For example, they quote a part of the Maryland Constitution pre-1970 when it was amended (SO IT DOESN’T DISCRIMINATE), but leave out the part that they’re specifically speaking about the religious and also leave out the part cited below:

Nothing shall prohibit or require the making reference
to belief in, reliance upon, or invoking the aid of God or
a Supreme Being in any governmental or public document, proceeding, activity, ceremony, school, institution,
or place.
Nothing in this article shall constitute an establishment
of religion.

Maryland Constitution

Any every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law: and no subordination of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.] [Art. XI of the Amendments substituted for this].

Your foolish cite claims this shows bias against atheists (even though it’s been repealed) when it does nothing of the sort. This clearly showed, even though Massachusetts had a State official religion they weren’t going to discriminate against other faiths at the time. They gave EQUAL PROTECTION. What a concept.

YOU LOSE.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM

LOL!

Are you a dingbat? EVERY source is biased. I’m glad you exhibited some scientific rigor on this subject, now if only you could apply the same rigor to your religious beliefs!

Did you miss the part where I said that there USED TO BE like 33 states with rules like these on the books? Of COURSE some state constitutions have changed, and I’m glad Maryland decided to change it, bravo for them!

Let me ask you this. In your “investigation” of the link I provided (which might be years old, I didn’t create the page), did you read about how it was the Federal government that made the states not enforce these parts? That it was on the states to change them? Why are the 7 or so other states listed on that page still leaving these rules in place?

Not that they can be enforced, and thank god for that, but you know as well as I that people of unbelief have very little chance of overcoming the religious in a ballot box, so while the laws/rules aren’t enforcable (meaning that an unbeliever can run), they’re enforceable at the ballot box.

You say they gave equal protection but why didn’t they say Christians, Muslims, Jews? Why only Christians? That sounds unequal to me…

Why did it take until 1961 for these state constitutions to be changed? Why are there still some states with these religious requirements, like my home state Texas?

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 10:59 AM

his clearly showed, even though Massachusetts had a State official religion they weren’t going to discriminate against other faiths at the time.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM

You need to read the history on Massachusetts and their state church…

Some state legislatures REQUIRED all citizens in those states to be members of a church, and some had official churches, such as Congregationalism in some New England states such as Massachusetts. This eventually ended in 1833 when Massachusetts was the last state to disestablish its church.

So where’s the equal protection in that? HAD to belong to a church or you didn’t get your citizenship… Sounds unequal to me

And who was it who forced them to change? Jefferson, Madison, etc… The writers of the US Constitution who knew the intent of the documents better than you apparently do.

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 11:15 AM

The North Carolina Constitution of 1776 disestablished the Anglican church, but until 1835 the NC Constitution allowed only Protestants to hold public office. From 1835–1876 it allowed only Christians (including Catholics) to hold public office.

Article VI, Section 8 of the current NC Constitution forbids “any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God” from holding public office.

Such clauses were held by the United States Supreme Court to be unenforceable in the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, when the court ruled unanimously that such clauses constituted a religious test incompatible with First and Fourteenth Amendment protections.

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 11:26 AM

I’m afraid you’re wasting your time SauerKraut, as logic is an anathema to the religiously inclined. You may rejoice, however, in the knowledge that religious superstition, and its related social conservatism, are quickly going the way of the dinosaurs in this country. Let Listens2Glenn and njrob pop off all they want, your side is winning the war.

Bandit13 on April 6, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Such clauses were held by the United States Supreme Court to be unenforceable in the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, when the court ruled unanimously that such clauses constituted a religious test incompatible with First and Fourteenth Amendment protections.

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 11:26 AM

That decision is incorrect. It’s unenforceable as per Article VI of the Constitution.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

If the Court cannot even get the reasoning behind such a basic decision correct, I don’t see how you can use it to claim you are right. Try again.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 12:42 PM

I’m afraid you’re wasting your time SauerKraut, as logic is an anathema to the religiously inclined. You may rejoice, however, in the knowledge that religious superstition, and its related social conservatism, are quickly going the way of the dinosaurs in this country. Let Listens2Glenn and njrob pop off all they want, your side is winning the war.

Bandit13 on April 6, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Typical anti-religious bigot.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Some state legislatures REQUIRED all citizens in those states to be members of a church, and some had official churches, such as Congregationalism in some New England states such as Massachusetts. This eventually ended in 1833 when Massachusetts was the last state to disestablish its church.

So where’s the equal protection in that? HAD to belong to a church or you didn’t get your citizenship… Sounds unequal to me

And who was it who forced them to change? Jefferson, Madison, etc… The writers of the US Constitution who knew the intent of the documents better than you apparently do.

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 11:15 AM

I know full well what was required. That shows they were permitted to have a State Church which counters all your arguments about the Constitution preventing a Church for individual States. The State itself decided to take away that right. That right is not GRANTED by the Federal Government.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 12:44 PM

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 12:42 PM

LOL! That’s all I can do with you anymore nrjob…

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 12:50 PM

That shows they were permitted to have a State Church which counters all your arguments about the Constitution preventing a Church for individual States. The State itself decided to take away that right. That right is not GRANTED by the Federal Government.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 12:44 PM

No, that shows they overstepped the intent of the US Constitution and were called out on it. They had to be reigned in.

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM

No, that shows they overstepped the intent of the US Constitution and were called out on it. They had to be reigned in.

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM

No. It shows the court used an incorrect argument to reach the correct decision because religious tests are not permitted as per Article VI of the Constitution.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 1:06 PM

No. It shows the court used an incorrect argument to reach the correct decision because religious tests are not permitted as per Article VI of the Constitution.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Dipstick, all you have yo do is read before popping off next time…

The Court did not base its holding on the no religious test clause of Article VI.

In Footnote 1 of the opinion Justice Black wrote:

Appellant also claimed that the State’s test oath requirement violates the provision of Art. VI of the Federal Constitution that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Because we are reversing the judgment on other grounds, we find it unnecessary to consider appellant’s contention that this provision applies to state as well as federal offices.

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 1:12 PM

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Are you being intentionally obtuse. Do you read anymore?

I STATED that the ruling was INCORRECT not in CONCLUSION, but in REASONING. I thought you read the previous pages? If you did, you’d know that Justice Black HATED CHRISTIANS and deliberately went out of his way in rulings to attack them and minimize their influence.

Read again, since you obviously missed it the first time :

Answers:

BTW, les, when do you think the “wall of separation between church and state” was erected under the law?

Everson v Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)

What was the animus of the writer of the majority opinion in the case?

Justice Hugo Black HATED Catholicism and this hatred, according to his own son, was the driver behind the Everson decision. Black believed that the Catholic Church took advantage of the poor, demanded allegiance to Rome over the United States, was too wealthy and benefited from tax-exempt status, among other things. Everson was his way of getting back at the Catholic Church.

To which infamous organisation did he once belong and what is one of the things that it was well-known for in the latter part of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th?

Justice Black was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. FYI, he was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Oh, and can you name the last state in the United States that had an official religion and the year it ended?

Has been answered, but again: Massachusetts was the last state with an official religion and ended its state church in 1833 BEFORE THE RATIFICATION OF THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT AND THE ADOPTION OF THE INCORPORATION DOCTRINE IN JURISPRUDENCE. It was not court-ordered.

Has the Supreme Court ever acknowledged that many states, and indeed, the country were founded as ‘Christian nations’? If so, have you ever read the astounding opinion?

Yes, a couple of decisions off the top of my head:

Vidal v Girard’s Executors, 43 U. S. 127 (1844), in which the Court said:

“The Christian religion is a part of the common law of Pennsylvania.”

Church of the Holy Trinity v United States, 143 U.S. 457 (1892), in which the Supreme Court declared that

Pennsylvania was founded as a “Christian nation.”

The Court said:

“If we examine the constitutions of the various states, we find in them a constant recognition of religious obligations. Every Constitution of every one of the forty-four states contains language which, either directly or by clear implication, recognizes a profound reverence for religion, and an assumption that its influence in all human affairs is essential to the wellbeing of the community.”

“There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning. They affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons. They are organic utterances. They speak the voice of the entire people. While because of a general recognition of this truth the question has seldom been presented to the courts, yet we find that in Updegraph v. Com., 11 Serg. & R. 394, 400, it was decided that, ‘Christianity, general Christianity, is, and always has been, a part of the common law of Pennsylvania.”

“We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being. We guarantee the freedom to worship as one chooses. We make room for as wide a variety of beliefs and creeds as the spiritual needs of man deem necessary. We sponsor an attitude on the part of government that shows no partiality to any one group and that lets each flourish according to the zeal of its adherents and the appeal of its dogma. When the state encourages religious instruction or cooperates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions. For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs. To hold that it may not would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.”

Church of the Holy Trinity v United States has not been overturned. In Public Citizen v Department of Justice, 491 U.S. 440 (1989), Justice Kennedy, concurring with the majority, opined on the case and wrote:

“H]ere the language of a statute is clear in its application, the normal rule is that we are bound by it. There is, of course, a legitimate exception to this rule, which the Court invokes, see ante at 491 U. S. 453-454, citing Church of the Holy Trinity v United States, 143 U. S. 457, 143 U. S. 459 (1892), and with which I have no quarrel.”

Resist We Much on April 3, 2013 at 9:51 PM

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Typical anti-religious bigot.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 12:42 PM

You worship an imaginary being that has killed thousands of people, advocates slavery and misogyny, supports killing homosexuals, and gives people hemorrhoids as punishment…And I’m a bigot? Don’t you have a hungry unicorn to attend to?

Bandit13 on April 6, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Bandit13 on April 6, 2013 at 2:01 PM

I repeat, you’re an anti-religious bigot. People killed thousands. My God does not advocate slavery as he gave us Christ as our redemption, misogyny is not advocated as two flesh become one and I could no more be abusive to my wife than I could to myself. Your last two remarks show you to be an idiot as well.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

I look forward to your people taking credit for the millions killed under the Soviet reign where they demanded a separation of church and state. Carry on.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 2:11 PM

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Is this your rendition of the Gish Gallop? Trying to overload me with data? Trying to make me write a book in response to all that blather?

LOL!

Justice Hugo Black HATED Catholicism and this hatred, according to his own son, was the driver behind the Everson decision.

So people didn’t like Hugo Black’s opinions while sitting on the court so he’s a anti religious bigot who inadvertently introduced the separation of church and state in 1947 based on his hatred of Catholicism (even though he himself was a Christian)! Is that all you have? Speculation?

Hugo Black was a great champion of the Constitution. I applaud him for that.

That it took until 1947 for someone to step up and say what needed to be said is somewhat surprising. It should have been done a long time ago, but confirmation bias being what it is and knowing that people favor their religious beliefs, it doesn’t surprise me in the least that it took until 1947 for it to happen.

The wall was always there nrjob, Hugo Black didn’t create it out of thin air, he just articulated it in a way that finally got the ball rolling the right way.

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM

I look forward to your people taking credit for the millions killed under the Soviet reign where they demanded a separation of church and state. Carry on.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 2:11 PM

The 30 Years War in Central Europe, waged between Catholic and Protestant, resulted in over a third of the population in Central Europe dying.

Millions more than the millions you claim atheists killed have died throughout history from religiously based wars. Wars over interpretations of the same religion, wars between different civilizations with different gods they worshiped. All wars have had some level of religious overtone to them.

“For god and country!”

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 2:24 PM

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

You’re right…what was I thinking…Your barefoot insignificant other is tending to your unicorn…And I know your fictional god raped his own mother, blah, blah, blah. Like it or not, your side is losing the cultural war, and you know it, don’t you?

Bandit13 on April 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM

You prove yourself a liar with your words. You know full well there is no magical “wall” between church and the government. There is law protecting the religious and the church from the Federal Government establishing a state church which would infringe on the rights of the Church and the people. There is also the right to free exercise of religion that you constantly ignore. You have no right to be free from religion because you don’t like it. Tough.

Black was a bigot and hated Catholicism. He was afraid of the Church taking power so he wrote his own personal views into the Court’s rulings. That does not make them Constitutional law. That makes them bad law. They are no different than the Dred Scott decision and Plessy v. Ferguson. But you know this already. You just choose to ignore it because it suits your own biases.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 2:33 PM

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Wars are fought in the name of things all the time. That does not make them God’s work. Show me where Christ would have encouraged these acts. You cannot because they are the works of men and not God.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Bandit13 on April 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

You are a vulgar bigot and your hatred shines through with your words. Care to put your real name on the internet so all can know how you truly think?

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 2:33 PM

OK nrjob, you’re entitled to own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.

I’ve given you ample proof that this nation is a secular nation, I’d say that you not accepting it because of religious bias is your problem, not mine, but it IS my problem.

There is no magical wall between church and state. There is a documented wall between them.

Black was a bigot! The sky is falling! Black was a bigot! There is no wall of separation between church and state! Black was a bigot!

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Bandit13 on April 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

What would Jesus NOT do?

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 2:47 PM

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 2:44 PM

You’ve ignored all the facts in this situation. You’ve ignored that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were passed yet states still had official religions. You’ve ignored that those documents were valid, yet religious events were still conducted in government buildings. You’ve ignored that previous Supreme Court decisions not only mentioned God, but explained how integral he was to our nation’s forming and foundation. You’ve ignored that Black had his own personal agenda that he implemented while ignoring the actual law.

You’ve chosen your side. It is not the side of truth. I will speak out against you whenever I have the opportunity. Good day.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 3:01 PM

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 3:01 PM

LOL! The states JOINED the United States, and by joining agreed to the US Constitution with its wall of separation between church and state… They signed on to what that entailed. That the states had previously passed Constitutions that had statements and laws that ran counter to the US Constitution is well known. Yes, they had State religions, but once they signed on and agreed to the US Constitution that all changed for them. It just took, in some cases, decades for the states to change their laws, or have them changed for them.

Yes, religious events took place in government buildings, this is history. But they were wrong to do so.

Supreme Court decisions that not only mentioned god, but explained how integral he was to our nation’s forming and foundation? Provide me links, until then I call BS.

You’ve ignored that Black had his own personal agenda that he implemented while ignoring the actual law.

Your claims about Black’s “agenda” sounds just a bit conspiracy theorist, don’tcha think? You’re not by chance the 9/11 truther/birther type are you?

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 3:20 PM

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 3:20 PM

My last response because you just choose not to read. It’s been mentioned no less than 4 times in this thread.

Holy Trinity v United States, 143 U.S. 457 (1892)

Read it. Learn it. Love it. Christianity is a part of the life blood of this nation. We are not and have never been a secular nation.

Only death comes to those without faith.

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 3:35 PM

njrob on April 6, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Apparently YOU don’t read…

In this court decision, the court held that a minister was not a foreign laborer under the statute even though he was a foreigner.

“There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning. They affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons. They are organic utterances. They speak the voice of the entire people. While because of a general recognition of this truth the question has seldom been presented to the courts, yet we find that in Updegraph v. Com., 11 Serg. & R. 394, 400, it was decided that, ‘Christianity, general Christianity, is, and always has been, a part of the common law of Pennsylvania.”
— Supreme Court Decision, 1892 Church of the Holy Trinity Decision v United States

The case is famous for Justice Brewer’s statements that America is a “Christian nation.”

These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation. 143 U.S. 457 (1892)

But Justice Brewer published a book in 1905, titled The United States: A Christian Nation, in which he DISAGREED with the interpretation of the court’s decision as a statement or endorsement by the Supreme Court that the United States is officially in law a “Christian Nation”:

But in what sense can [the United States] be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion, or that the people are compelled in any manner to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that ‘congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Neither is it Christian in the sense that all its citizens are either in fact or in name Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within its borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all. [...] Nor is it Christian in the sense that a profession of Christianity is a condition of holding office or otherwise engaging in public service, or essential to recognition either politically or socially. In fact, the government as a legal organization is independent of all religions.

Have fun chewing on that. I’m sure it’ll come out like the rest of the crappy logic and understanding you’ve flung my way.

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 4:50 PM

SauerKraut537 on April 6, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Classic! Thanks for sharing.

Bandit13 on April 7, 2013 at 1:15 AM

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

Somehow I missed this Friday morning, and I went offline for the entire weekend around noon on Friday.

I realize that converation on this thread has ended, but I still wanted to come back and say that I a attended an event in the last 12 months where the Mayor of a state’s capital city held a “unity” event and had a Christian prayer been offered (one wasn’t), there are those who would have called that prayer unconstitutional, yet this unity event featured not one, not two, but three different Islamic speakers including:

1) a boy who did the Islamic call to prayer and chant (in Arabic). This includes specific claims about the supremacy of Islam and who knows what else.

2) a woman who prayed in English but used “code phrases” that sound innocuous to those who don’t know what they mean to the Islamic community, but clearly indicate an intention to make Islam the dominant force in our society

3) a man who was an Imam, and who talked about how great it was to be accepted in that city, as compared to being treated with suspicion in other places. That basically, if you didn’t fully embrace Islam in your community, you had a problem.

Again, Christian prayers are actively silenced, while Islamic prayers are welcomed with open arms.

ITguy on April 9, 2013 at 2:48 PM

ITguy on April 9, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Thank you for sharing.

njrob on April 11, 2013 at 11:15 AM

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