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O'Donnell Questions Separation of Church, State in Senate Debate
Fox News / AP ^ | 10/19/10

Posted on 10/19/2010 8:25:06 AM PDT by truthfreedom

Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion.

The exchange came in a debate before an audience of legal scholars and law students at Widener University Law School, as O'Donnell criticized Democratic nominee Chris Coons' position that teaching creationism in public school would violate the First Amendment by promoting religious doctrine.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Delaware
KEYWORDS: chriscoons; christineodonnell; coons; enemedia; odonnell
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Somewhat interesting stuff.

It's been a controversial issue for years, and Fox should point out the facts. If I'm not mistaken, Clarence Thomas, and many legal scholars agree with Christine on this.

It's complicated, but the 1A reads in part "respecting an establishment of religion". Basically, that says that the Fed Gov has to leave its hands off the states and the localities. If they want to establish religion, they can.

And prior to 1947 there was no question that states and localities could establish religion.

1 posted on 10/19/2010 8:25:08 AM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: truthfreedom

The Fox lead is misleading. “Separation of church and state” is not specified in the First Amendment. “Establishment of religion” is. People are entitled to their opinion on this and should not be accused of ignorance for not equating the two.


2 posted on 10/19/2010 8:28:03 AM PDT by Genoa
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To: Genoa; truthfreedom

If the lead came from AP, it’s still Fox’s lameness for picking it up and sending it on its way to us. I’m sick of this.


3 posted on 10/19/2010 8:29:22 AM PDT by Genoa
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To: truthfreedom
Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion.

O'Donnell was absolutely correct. The 1st Amendment says nothing about the "separation of church and state" -- that's a modern and incorrect description of the prohibition of the establishment of a national religion.

4 posted on 10/19/2010 8:29:38 AM PDT by kevkrom (De-fund Obamacare in 2011, repeal in 2013!)
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To: Genoa
The Fox lead is misleading. “Separation of church and state” is not specified in the First Amendment. “Establishment of religion” is.

Your clarity is worth repeating!
5 posted on 10/19/2010 8:30:11 AM PDT by stocksthatgoup
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To: truthfreedom

Note, it is NOT Fox News. It is an Associated Press story.


6 posted on 10/19/2010 8:30:11 AM PDT by Pete (29thday.org Exponential problems require exponential solutions)
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To: truthfreedom

The First Amendment does NOT bar Churches from endorsing candidates, for instance.


7 posted on 10/19/2010 8:30:34 AM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com <--- My Fiction/ Science Fiction Board)
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To: truthfreedom

At least originally the Constitution only restrained the Federal Government. Most people, I don’t think are even aware of that (a fault of our public school system). In addition, I don’t see how what is taught in school is establishing a religion.


8 posted on 10/19/2010 8:32:15 AM PDT by brytlea (Jesus loves me, this I know.)
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To: truthfreedom

My version of the US Constitution states pretty clearly that the First Amendment Applies to Congress NOT THE STATES. “Congress Shall Make No Law...”
But then again I learned to read in the early 60’s when words still had meaning.


9 posted on 10/19/2010 8:32:46 AM PDT by eyeamok
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To: truthfreedom

THe author of this piece is the f****** clueless one regarding the 1A, not Christine.


10 posted on 10/19/2010 8:34:25 AM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: truthfreedom

The 14th Amendment incorporated the First, though.


11 posted on 10/19/2010 8:35:08 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: eyeamok
My version of the US Constitution states pretty clearly that the First Amendment Applies to Congress NOT THE STATES. “Congress Shall Make No Law...” But then again I learned to read in the early 60’s when words still had meaning.

My recollection was that there was a Supreme Court decision a 100 years ago or so that interpreted "Congress" to mean any state or local government (I know, I know - not sure how that works). Does anyone recall the particulars or is my memory flawed (certainly possible)?

12 posted on 10/19/2010 8:36:08 AM PDT by Pete (29thday.org Exponential problems require exponential solutions)
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To: truthfreedom
When Coons responded that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, O'Donnell asked: "You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?"

Well yeah, it is. "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."

13 posted on 10/19/2010 8:36:24 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Hey mo-joe! Here's another one for your collection.)
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To: truthfreedom

Next will come the libtard talking points expressing dismay and disgust that a conservative does not know about separation of church and state and the sheeple will mimic.


14 posted on 10/19/2010 8:36:24 AM PDT by Lee'sGhost (Johnny Rico picked the wrong girl!)
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To: Pete

Right. But a terrible story. Widener Law is a really bad law school, so I’m not surprised that the students there who couldn’t get into a better than average law school were gasping. “Separation of church and state” was first mentioned in a Supreme Court case in 1947. I can’t recall exactly, but I don’t think it was in the holding. Everson v Board of Education. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everson_v._Board_of_Education


15 posted on 10/19/2010 8:37:09 AM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: Pete
Here you go.
16 posted on 10/19/2010 8:38:51 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: truthfreedom
Sheeesh...

She gets it correct but gets accused of not understanding the first amendment.

While I want her vote in the Senate, I hope she wins in order to continually torment the left.

17 posted on 10/19/2010 8:39:32 AM PDT by Tex-Con-Man
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To: Non-Sequitur

If you heard the exchange...Coon said that the “separation of church and state was in the 1st amendment when he said the other lines...O’Donnell caught Coons and he tried to change the subject, this writer is being bias in how it’s being reported.


18 posted on 10/19/2010 8:41:11 AM PDT by Bigtigermike
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To: Lee'sGhost

I would like it if we could get our people up to speed on the facts and battle the leftists to a draw, at least, on this one.

Fox News can find someone, maybe the Judge, who can correctly point out that Christine is basically right. Separation of Church and State was invented out of thin air in 1947. It’s not in the Constitution. Leftists put it there in 1947. Everson and the Everson line of cases are just as fictional and make as little sense as Roe v. Wade. Battle this one. Christine did not say anything wrong at all.


19 posted on 10/19/2010 8:41:37 AM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: truthfreedom
It's pretty sad when a senate candidate makes a perfectly reasonable statement asking where the 'separation of church and state' is found in the constitution (it isn't) and because the 'establishment' clause is (predictably) used as a response, which skirts the point, Christine O'Donnell is characterized by the AP as a dummy for questioning the premise that the federal government not recognizing 'an establishment of religion' should be interpreted as a clear separation of church and state, leading to the nonsense we have, today, where saying the word 'God' in a public school is considered akin to a hate crime.

I hope the good folks in Delaware see through these cheesy attempts to portray a conservative woman as a dope because she doesn't follow the liberal line. However, Delaware elected Joe Biden to the senate for almost 40 years so I'm not as optimistic as I would like to be.

20 posted on 10/19/2010 8:42:08 AM PDT by Jim Scott (Cautious optimist)
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To: truthfreedom
Check out The New England Primer, which was used to educate generations of American children. To learn the alphabet, it started with "A is for Adam, In Adam's fall, we sinned all."
21 posted on 10/19/2010 8:42:44 AM PDT by Pete (29thday.org Exponential problems require exponential solutions)
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O’Donnel handled this question inartfully. Which is a shame, because, vis a vis the larger argument, she was correct. The Constitution prohibits “Congress”—not the “government”, a broader formulation that could include local and state jurisdictions—from “making a law” establishing a national Church of England style state religion. Anti-God liberals and their activist judicial allies have extended and perverted this language to prohibit high school sports coaches in far off rural Texas from leading public high school students in prayers to ask God to safeguard the safety of athletes. A ludicrous extension of the First Amendment which the Founders would not approve or even recognize. Interesting that anti-God liberals never cite the First Amendment language banning Congress from “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion.
22 posted on 10/19/2010 8:42:48 AM PDT by Godwin1
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To: truthfreedom
I can't help but think that Rove, Krauthammer and/or Kristol put Fox up to this kind of smear job.

They really detest Christine because they can't control her.

Go Christine!!

23 posted on 10/19/2010 8:42:50 AM PDT by Walts Ice Pick
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To: truthfreedom
Look carefully at that sentence, and it tells you the "Journalist" doesn't know what he's talking about.

"Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion."

First Amendment (from memory): "Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Okay, that's clear enough. Congress, 535 jerks on Capitol Hill can't pass laws ESTABLISHING any particular religion as the country's religion. And, they can't pass laws to stop you from practicing your own religion. Plain English.

"Separation of Church and State" is a different concept, a more stringent, almost anti-religious concept, in which religions and governments may not INTERACT. That's patent baloney. It is essentially the ESTABLISHMENT of ANTI-RELIGION.

I'll argue for the moment that "Separation of Church and State" as a concept is antithetical to the First Amendment, because it establishes anti-religion as the National Religion.

Leftists have grabbed ahold of "Separation of Church and State" as their Established Religion in order to quash any actual Religion from interacting with the Government. That's totalitarian, as usual for leftists.

And, more than avoiding the Establishment of a National Religion, is aimed squarely at the public existence of Religion, which they want to kill in favor of G-dless Marxism.

24 posted on 10/19/2010 8:42:56 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Stimulus. 0bamaCare. Cap and Tax. 9/11 Victory Mosque. TARP. Amnesty. Summer of Recovery.)
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To: Non-Sequitur

I’d like to hear the exact quote.

The leftist probably said “separation of church and state”


25 posted on 10/19/2010 8:43:34 AM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: brytlea

I think that the whole post 1947 “separation of church and state” is just wrong and it should be overturned as much as Roe v Wade.


26 posted on 10/19/2010 8:45:51 AM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: Genoa
If the lead came from AP, it’s still Fox’s lameness for picking it up and sending it on its way to us. I’m sick of this.

I agree. In addition, Fox radio news is indistinguishable from MSNBC. My affiliate which carries Rush has it, and I am forced to listen to it. They frame every story like any other MSM outlets. It sucks.

27 posted on 10/19/2010 8:47:17 AM PDT by qwertypie
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To: truthfreedom

Yes, I’m not a Constitutional scholar, but I agree, that whole notion has done more to harm the country than pretty much anything.


28 posted on 10/19/2010 8:48:32 AM PDT by brytlea (Jesus loves me, this I know.)
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To: Uncle Miltie

Agreed.

Christine should be talking about the Everson line of cases for years. I’m sure that Christine knows exactly all about this. This should be in her wheelhouse.


29 posted on 10/19/2010 8:49:14 AM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: truthfreedom
Why is the source for this smear job "Fox/AP"? There was another ridiculous story posted here yesterday that was "credited" to Fox but was actually from the Wall Street Journal. It gets confusing, and Fox is doing itself no favors.

Anyway, the scumbag AP reporter snots, "...appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion." The scumbag AP reporter appears to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars congress from establishing religion, and it also bars congress from making any law that prohibits the free exercise of religion.

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

30 posted on 10/19/2010 8:49:24 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: kevkrom

Exactly. Even after the Constitution was signed, many states had official state religions, which was not a violation of the Constitution. The Founders did not want an official national religion similar to what England and many European countries had.


31 posted on 10/19/2010 8:49:36 AM PDT by kabar
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To: Uncle Miltie

Thank you for so clearly stating that.


32 posted on 10/19/2010 8:50:47 AM PDT by brytlea (Jesus loves me, this I know.)
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To: brytlea

You don’t have to be a Constitutional scholar to know that that whole “separation of Church and State” is bs.

And we don’t necessarily want Christine to be off message right now, but we do want Christine talking about this in the future.


33 posted on 10/19/2010 8:51:27 AM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: eyeamok

Hush, you’ll scare the Obots. I’d rather not stir them up. ;)


34 posted on 10/19/2010 8:51:43 AM PDT by BenKenobi
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To: truthfreedom
I’d like to hear the exact quote. The leftist probably said “separation of church and state”

You are correct that Coons said the the separation of church and state was in the Constitution and O'Donnell called him out for that and Coons changed the subject, this writer is ignorant
35 posted on 10/19/2010 8:52:29 AM PDT by Bigtigermike
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To: Lancey Howard

It was on the Fox website. But it said AP on that website.

I didn’t know exactly how to describe it.

I’m distressed that FOX, which is supposed to be our news station, is printing something that is clearly leftist bs.

Fox could just point out that many many many people, most conservatives, think she’s right. This is an active issue that many people pay attention to.


36 posted on 10/19/2010 8:54:52 AM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: Non-Sequitur

O’Donnell asking Coons...
“You’re telling me that’s in the First Amendment?”
seems to be referring back to her question to him about “Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?”

I could be wrong, but she appears to be challenging Coons to point to where in the first amendment the term “separation of church and state” exists.

At least that is my impression.


37 posted on 10/19/2010 8:56:04 AM PDT by Tex-Con-Man
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To: truthfreedom

This reporter is a moron if he thinks there is no difference between “separation of church and state” and “no establishment of religion.”

A stupid moron, giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

People have been loudly arguing this question for the past 50 or 60 years. And he missed it?


38 posted on 10/19/2010 8:59:04 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius.)
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To: Lee'sGhost

Yeah, she had better issue a clarification immediately or this will be all the media reports of the debate.


39 posted on 10/19/2010 9:02:00 AM PDT by mrsmith
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To: Tex-Con-Man

Right, it’s a point for Christine. I’d like to see our conservative pundits argue for Christine on this one strongly.

“Separation of Church and State” is not in the Constitution.
It was made up in 1947.


40 posted on 10/19/2010 9:04:40 AM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: Pete

Why does this appear on Foxnews? What happened to “Fair and Balanced”.


41 posted on 10/19/2010 9:04:59 AM PDT by precisionshootist
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To: Cicero

The reporter is the enemy. And Fox News is suspect. Many have argued that Fox News is pure neocon. Not conservative. I’d like to see Fox News take the Conservative side here.


42 posted on 10/19/2010 9:06:15 AM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: precisionshootist
Why does this appear on Foxnews? What happened to “Fair and Balanced”.

They carry AP stories on their website. I have been burned by that before. I have read stories on their site and have been shocked at the bias only to look at the byline and see AP. Now, it is the first place I look.

43 posted on 10/19/2010 9:07:41 AM PDT by Pete (29thday.org Exponential problems require exponential solutions)
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To: mrsmith

What “clarification” would you suggest she make?

She’s 100% right. She could say the same thing again. “Separation of Church and State is not in the Constitution” is a true statement. It was made up in 1947.


44 posted on 10/19/2010 9:08:10 AM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: precisionshootist
Why does this appear on Foxnews? What happened to “Fair and Balanced”.

Why do you think some of us around here call it "Faux News"?

There has been a change. I don't know if it happened due to the rich Muslims investing in News Corp at the request of Murdoch or what, but it's been going downhill. They run way too much sleaze and celebrity gossip as news these days. You can't leave it on if you have any little kids running around. My wife and I have all but stopped watching anything on there. If we want celebrity gossip or sleaze, we'd watch TMZ.

If you are able to somehow ignore the sleaze and celebrity gossip masquerading as news, then you have the issue of their "journalism" and I use that term loosely. They don't seem to have much of a reporting/journalism component anymore. All too often they seem to just run whatever is coming in off of the newswires. Maybe they are trying to save money or something, I don't know.
45 posted on 10/19/2010 9:11:02 AM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: Pete

Maybe they should drop AP then as the P seems to stand for “Propaganda” not press as many are lead to believe.


46 posted on 10/19/2010 9:13:33 AM PDT by precisionshootist
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To: truthfreedom

She needs to clarify the antecedent for “that’s” when she replied to Coons second statement. In his second statement he quoted the establishment clause. She replied “You’re telling that’s in the Constitution.” If “that’s” referred to his quoting of the establishment clause, then she’s wrong. If “that’s” referred back to his original “separation” claim, she’s right. She needs to clarify the “that’s.”

Someone who has access to the video needs to check whether “You’re telling me that’s in the Constitution” followed immediately upon Coon’s quoting of the establishement language or whether something came in between to which her “that’s” might refer. If the AP journalista omitted part of the dialogue, muddying the antecedent, the journalista should be fired. But if O’Donnell was replying directly to Coons’s establishment language but intended to refer to his earlier separation language, then she messed up with an unclear antecedent and needs to clarify.

Except that damage is done. They’ve got their latest gotcha.


47 posted on 10/19/2010 9:17:41 AM PDT by Houghton M.
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To: Non-Sequitur

48 posted on 10/19/2010 9:20:38 AM PDT by stormer
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To: Houghton M.

She may have been incautious. But it’s extremely difficult to guard against media misinterpretation all the time, without sounding pretty stilted.

It’s clear from the earlier part of the discussion that she knows what’s in the Constitution (establishment of religion) and what’s not (separation of church and state).

Moreover, although it didn’t come up here, the Constitution did NOT originally forbid establishment of religion within the states. Massachusetts had an established religion for years, and so did several other states.


49 posted on 10/19/2010 9:25:07 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius.)
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To: truthfreedom

See 47 above.

I think she was intent on “separation” and never caught his switch to ‘establishment”.


50 posted on 10/19/2010 9:27:18 AM PDT by mrsmith
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