Skip to comments.What Media Won't Tell You About Separation of Church and State
Posted on 10/20/2010 10:03:03 AM PDT by opentalk
The media are in a full-scale hyperventilation following Tuesday's separation of church and state comments by Delaware Republican senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell.
As an Investor's Business Daily editorial points out, O'Donnell was right when questioned about this issue during a debate with Democrat candidate Chris Coons, and all the nattering nabobs of negativism filling the airwaves are wrong:
There is, of course, no such passage. Those scoffing law scholars might want to look at the Constitution's unadorned text instead of the judicial activist law review articles that take up so much of their day.
What the Constitution does say, in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, is that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" a restriction imposed upon the state to prevent its interference in religious practice.
IBD referenced Mark Levin's "Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America."
The "Wall of Separation" phrase comes not from the Constitution, but from President Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802. As Levin notes, the obscure comment was virtually ignored for nearly a century and a half. It wasn't until 1947 when Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black ruled in the Everson case which actually upheld the use of taxpayer money to transport children to Catholic and other parochial schools that the Jefferson metaphor was used to establish "the anti-religious precedent that has done so much damage to religious freedom."
...Levin's argument is similar to that of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. In his dissent in a 1985 ruling against silent school prayer, Rehnquist pointed out: "There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the Framers intended to build the 'wall of separation' that was constitutionalized in Everson." He called Jefferson's "wall" "a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging."
... Is it any wonder that the newest Supreme Court justice, Elena Kagan, did not require the study of constitutional law when she was dean of Harvard Law School but did require the study of foreign law? Those future federal judges graduating Harvard might catch onto the fable liberal activists have gone to such trouble weaving.
Hugo Black was a Catholic hating Klansman.
“Separation of Church and State” is in the same (liberal) Constitution wherein you can find “A Woman’s Right to Abortion.”
Why didn’t Christine O’Donnell tell Coons this? The clips I saw, she kept saying, “In the Constitution?” over and over. She obviously knew it wasn’t in there, so I don’t know why did she allowed everyone to laugh at her.
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.
Whats with all the laws passed to restrict "the Church" from "the State"..
Democrats must be dyslexic.. they reverse the context..
AND no republicans call them on it..
THIS MUST CHANGE... and it is.. The TP Caucus is growing, growing, growing..
They must KNOW she's correct - why let the media buffoons have the floor??
I don’t need the Media to tell me about Separation of Church and State.
First off, they do not even have the terminology right, little lone any answer.
What the founding fathers referred to was the Separation of THE POWERS of CHURCH, and THE POWERS of STATE.
Separation of Church and State is in the same (liberal) Constitution wherein you can find A Womans Right to Abortion.
That must be the one with the right to free healthcare.
As pointed out in the article, it is very troubling that under Dean Kagan, Harvard law students were not required to study constitutional law but did require the study of foreign law.
“Why doesn’t the damn GOP come out and back her up?
They must KNOW she’s correct - why let the media buffoons have the floor?”
Rush is talking about it now.
Maybe to make it a story. If Christine would’ve just said what the truth was, it wouldn’t have been a news story. That’s just a theory. She could’ve done better in the nat’l review interview where she brought the free exercise clause into it.
Anyway, for background - here’s the threads on Everson and Elk Grove I posted yesterday so that people could get an informed understanding of what’s actually going on with establishment clause issues.
I know that Ron and Rand Paul agree with her and have a very good understanding of these matters.
it’s all in the magic penumbra.
How the Supreme Court is Destroying America.
He also wrote the majority opinion in the case involving the removal of school prayer in 1963...Engel v. Vitale.
This is not a can of worms that the media wants open.
Sometime, check out his first wife’s sister and her husband. It gets rich....real rich.
Because moderates are afraid of theocracy. Republicans don’t want to go on record talking about how the Constitution actually does not prevent Delaware from becoming officially Catholic. It doesn’t. The 1A establishment clause is in there to allow Delaware to be officially Catholic. Politicians should know this. But they know that voters don’t want to worry about Christine O’Donnell turning Delaware into an officially Catholic state. Something about extreme or something. Also something about “getting off message”. Stopping Obama from doing more terrible things. Taxes. Jobs. These are the things that the Republican candidates want to be talking about because these are the things they think are going to get them votes.
Republicans don’t really want to run under the banner of “we can institute a theocracy state by state if we overturn the Everson line of cases, but we won’t”.
Almost no one on either side of this debate seems to have any clue at all. I’m 100% for Christine for the win - donated to her again yesterday - and she did get it right in the debate - but her answers to nat’l review about free exercise after the debate were wrong. That’s ok, she didn’t go to Yale Law, but the idea that schools can teach creationism because of the free exercise clause is wrong.
Aren’t there emanations from the penumbra?
'splains a lot.
Separation of Church and State is in the same (liberal) Constitution wherein you can find A Womans Right to Abortion. or in the liberal Constitution that a Gay person has the right to be openly Gay in the military.
I’m not proud to admit that I didn’t know that it wasn’t in the Declaration until four or five years ago. Brit Hume had a special on FOX about the loss of liberty in our country, and he spent a few minutes on that.
Amid all the argument over semantics and what is and is not an appropriate short hand for the rights guaranteed under the 1st Amendment (both Madison and Jefferson seemed to think that the 1st was necessary as a “wall” (Jefferson) or as “perfect separation” (Madison) between Church and State) - is lost that VERY salient point.
O’donnell did a terrible job of trying to make her point. Her point is well taken, that judges have interpreted the constitution in a way which gives us legal precedent about this “separation”. She said it terribly but I know what she was trying to say. The liberals are making lots of fun of her because of it.
Could this mean a Sharia Law studies program? Yet Constitutional law was not a priority.
I like Phyllis Schlafly’s book The Supremacists better than Levin's ‘Men in Black’. Bought them both. Levin gets himself in a corner on the chapter about filibustering judges. It is like he thought a Democrat could never win.
well, schools can teach creationism because of the establishment clause.
Orginally, as written, schools can teach creationism or have school prayer, or whatever, because the establishment clause protects the state and the localities from Federals telling them what to do. “creationism” is “an establishment of religion.
Congress shall pass no law respecting creationism
Congress shall pass no law respecting school prayer.
States can have these things, and did without anybody caring at all until 1947, when the SCt decided to clearly negate the clear meaning of the 1A.
Christine, after the debate yesterday, decided to explain what she was doing during the debate as an attempt to get Coons to talk about the free exercise clause. Unfortunately, the free exercise clause isn’t really relevant here.
Very very few people on either side of this debate have any real clue. Honestly, I think I have as good an understanding of anybody, and I am not confident at all in my mastery of this.
I recommend everyone take a look at Elk Grove - the Thomas concurrence.
But it’s also fun to just type whatever based on what little information. It can be fun to read post after post and article after article by people who really have no idea whatsoever about what they’re talking about.
If she wins it is a slap to elitist inside GOP group. They would have to concede the Tea Party power. There are many forces working against her.
If DE is against Obamacare and new taxes, this is their only option.
It can't be too much to expect the GOP to at least try to stop them by correcting their misinterpretations.
“Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State”
the foundation of “Americans United for Separation of Church and State”
Bigotry by any other name is still bigotry.
never once in the media reports about that woman destroying an “art print” of a painting of Jesus engaged in a sex orgy did I read about how it was a taxpayer funded work and how the government had NO business funding religious (pro OR CON) artworks.
Just wait until the Onanists declare they want to march in an Onanist Pride Parade funded by the city, and set aside quotas for Onanists who don't engage in sexual relations with anyone else.
Will employers be required to provided Onanists with separate restroom facilities?
People who define themselves by their sex acts are an odd sort.
According to your view of the Constitution, would it be acceptable for a State to pass a law abridging a citizen's freedom of speech?
Are the right guaranteed to us under the Constitution derived from the Natural Rights of man, or from Government? If they derive from the Natural Rights of man, then none but a tyrannous government could abridge those rights. Our Constitution was NOT set up so that we would live under State tyranny, but so that we would live in freedom.
Our rights mean little if they are only guarded at the Federal level.
But I agree with you that teaching Creationism in public schools would be “an establishment of religion”, giving preference and the government seal of approval to one set of religious doctrine over others.
Christine was right in the debate. She might’ve accidentally stumbled into it, but she was right. And Coons was wrong. Unfortunately Christine went on to explain herself to national review a few minutes or hours after the debate. Don’t read that article if you want to think that Christine does in fact have a clear understanding of the issues. Or maybe the national review writer had no understanding of what Christine was trying to say.
But, Christine was right, and Coons was wrong.
“that’s in the Constitution?”
You’re right Christine, it isn’t. Not even close. The written Constitution says Congress, because the 1A was designed to protect States from the Federal Government. Today, we think that the 1A does prohibit states from enacting the very same things the 1A was originally designed to protect. Everson was in error.
She was being too clever by half,
and should not have assumed that everyone in the room,
or in the media,
would understand what she was getting at.
She should have spelled it out, explicitly.
But the IBD quote is right - the law students spend all their time in [liberal] case law instead of looking at the text and the writings of the time of ratification.
How about the secular humanist view that the world was created by a random event termed the Big Bang and that even if some sort of god did exist, he had absolutely no role in the event or subsequence turn of random events.
Everyone has a “creation” story. They differ in the details.
Scientologists believe that aliens populated the planet and bestowed on humans “imperfect” traits. There are some scientists who dress it up and say that life here came from Mars.
I heard someone put it well:
“Homosexuality does not define a group, it defines an ACT.”
All you have to do is go back to the time of the founding.
There were official religions of various states,
and no one even mentioned these as violating the first amendment.
The states wouldn’t have ratified it if that is what it meant.
See Elk Grove.
Freedom of Speech is an individual right.
The establishment clause isn’t. It’s a right that was given to the states. Not to the people.
The Free Exercise clause is the individual right part.
Please, people, stop with the Natural Rights, Natural Law stuff. You get it, but the lawyers, myself included, have no real idea what you’re talking about.
It’s as if you want to understand the law, but find all the little complications too much, and decide to pretend that this Natural Law and Rights stuff is somehow relevant to the law today.
No one seems to touch at all on the the actual law. As it exists now, as it existed in 1947. None of that.
I’m saying that the 1st Amendment allows the teaching of Creationism. I’m not putting some Lemon test out there for that. I’m not concluding that creationism is impermissible.
I’m saying that Everson was wrong.
See Thomas in Elk Grove. Here’s the handy link to the Elk Grove thread I set up yesterday.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2610810/posts - elk grove
Serious conservatives should study Clarence Thomas here. Establishment clause jurisprudence is a mess.
Quite simply, the Establishment Clause is best understood as a federalism provisionit protects state establishments from federal interference but does not protect any individual right.
That’s what Clarence Thomas said. He actually gets to vote on what the Constitution says. What he said is not, technically “law”, because it’s a concurrence, but we want Justices who agree with him, so that he can write a majority opinion on the establishment clause, and overturn Everson.
Teaching that the evidence suggest the universe is expanding from an initial point of creation is compatible with the evidence and is science.
Teaching that the Earth is only a few thousand years old and that all species were created nearly simultaneously is a religious belief without evidence and is not science.
Do you think that Mormons teaching the “history” of Semitic people in the Americas in Utah public schools would be acceptable under the 1st Amendment?
“See there you go again...” < /reagan >
YOU are the one setting the argument as “creationism” being only a few thousand years old for all religious believers.
EVERYONE Christian, Jewish, Agnostic, Atheist, Scientologist, Buddhist has a creation belief. THAT is “creationism”.
if you want to use it as a pejorative and say that “creationism is a belief that a god or many gods created everything” that still does NOT give you the right to insist that everyone start that clock at 6,000 years.
That is the fallacy of this debate. Because “some religious believers” say “6,000 years” EVERYONE who believes in a God and believe that their God created the universe and life MUST believe THAT view of “creationist story” is a false argument.
There are some who see a “clockmaker view” of the universe, that the observed scientific principles had been put into motion by the creator.
To say ABSOLUTELY that there was no creator is a religious litimus test that makes ATHEISM the state religion. And that is outright academic bias.
We may “agree to disagree” as a nation but we cannot demand that everyone “forgo their religious beliefs to submit to the secular humanist atheists’ view”. That is what the muslim theocracy also demands. You may hold a different opinion as long as you never tell anyone that opinion.
Thus “freedom of speech” and “freedom of religion” become meaningless.
MSNBC has been playing the clip which I documented here :'CO'D gets in trouble talking First Amendment' link ref #23 over and over.
The problem is she responding to the statement ..the government shall make no establishment of religion with the question ..that is in the first amendment? . She may not have meant that sequence of wording but it made her look like she got in over her head.
I notice that both MSNBC and FNC tend to play clips that make the other party (sides) look bad. I watch them side by side sometimes and it looks like two different debates.
Just because a Republican takes a position we agree with doesnt mean that they are not doing damage to the argument by trying to explain stuff that they are not prepared to. A great example is Elizabeth on The View. It is torture to watch her.
That is NOT. I repeat NOT. in the 1A.
NOT IN THE FIRST AMENDMENT.
Christine was RIGHT.
It says Congress, not Government.
No it's not.
It's an interpetration of the apparent evidence.
Not as clear cut as saying the sun rose this morning, and we all saw it. That is a fact. But not science.
The big bang theory is relatively recent, and controversy and contradictions and revisions have been a constant companion to its "development." Contradictions and unexplained phenomena abound.
Now is not the time for that. 2 weeks before the election. Nope, “we think it’s ok to have theocracy as the framers intended in the states but not at the federal level” is not “on message”.
But we know that Christine will try to figure all this stuff out, and will push for more Creationism in schools and School Prayer and all that stuff we want. But after the elections.
Now is a time to talk about Taxes, and Obamacare and Cap and Trade and all the bad Obama stuff. Add Coons poisons people to that and to the reward cronies stuff, or whatever they want to talk about that will bring the targets of the message to Christine.
Whatever the timeline, the impetus of the belief in the near simultaneous “special” creation of all species is a RELIGIOUS belief, not a scientific one based upon evidence.
Nothing in science precludes God. Many Christians embraced the scientific data that points to a “Big Bang” because it so closely comports with the theology that there WAS a beginning to the universe (many previously thought the universe might not have a beginning).
So would teaching the Book of Mormon as actual history be acceptable in Utah public schools under your view of the 1st Amendment? Or would that be an establishment and/or endorsement of a religion?
Hypotheticals are the weapons of the intellectually unarmed.
Bernie Ward comes to mind.
Only another fool steps into a "hypothetical" trap.
The STATES have rights now? The STATE has the right for Congress to not pass law respecting the establishment of religion?
To not understand Natural Law is to not understand the philosophical foundation of our Nation.
“This idea? that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.
You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream-the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.” Ronald Reagan
If CO'D had made that clarification and explained the difference in meaning between the two she would have looked good. But instead she asked “That's in the First amendment?” as a question, as if she didn't have a clue.
Congress vs ‘the government’ is the the same in so many minds, and term ‘the government’ to complain about congress is used over and over by Republicans, so she is easily crucified for responding in this way to such a fine difference in common use of words.
Arguing against decades old judicial precedents in debates is not for amateurs. Scalia would have most (all) people for lunch, I have seen him in debates.
Your inability to give an answer shows that it is you who are intellectually unarmed and afraid to give battle on the field of ideas.
The democrats have successfully made what should have long ago been a national referendum on liberalism into a mass of individual races, election after election, and then proceed to destroy our candidates with such misdirection in detail. Frightened republicans NEVER challenge them out of fear of the liberal media.
Still we continue to lose more often than not.
Well, NOW is the time to start challenging them and show them for the sophists and liars they are. Telling the truth is never a bad policy.
You don't know what you're talking about. States are nowhere said in the law to posses "rights". States only have "Powers", and only persons have rights.
Did God spring forth from the Big Bang or was the Big Bang an Act of God? Or was God surprised by the whole Big Bang thing? Or does God just not exist? Those are the 4 "Big Bang stories of creation" to consider.
Which ONE of the Four Big Bang stories is the one taught in schools?
Believing that God caused the Big Bang even with a timeline of millions of years is still a "creationist" worldview. Anyone who believes in God as creator is a creationist. But even those who beleive in the no god god of Atheism still believe a creation story of how everything came to be.
Saying "science proves my religion of atheism" is still pushing a religion on pupils.
The schools are already doing with when they say "homosexuality is not sinful or immoral". That is contrary to other religious views.
When they use "Gaia" as a concept to promote the Global Climate Change bunk, that is pushing a religion on the students as fact.