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Amenment XXVII: A Modest Proposal
Self/Constitution ^ | 2002.06.26 | B-chan

Posted on 06/26/2002 1:56:03 PM PDT by B-Chan

A Modest Proposal For A New Constitutional Amendment:

Amendment XXVII

I. 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.

II. The right of the several States to make laws regarding an establishment of religion shall not be abridged.



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: atheism; constitution
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With this amendment in place, a state could establish the Christian religion (or any other) as the official religion of that state. This would neatly end-run the atheists and the ACLU. And there's plenty of precedent: many states had taxpayer-supported official churches in colonial times...

B-chan

1 posted on 06/26/2002 1:56:03 PM PDT by B-Chan
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: B-Chan
An alternative, based on the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment:
Civil religion in the United States shall consist only of the Christian faith. While Congress shall pass no law regarding an establishment of that religion, neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to abridge the right of the States or the people respectively to acknowledge the Christian faith as the foundation of our civil law and national culture.
Amenment = Amendment, by the way.
3 posted on 06/26/2002 2:03:33 PM PDT by B-Chan
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To: B-Chan
I think you mean Amendment XXVIII.

Amendment XXVII currently reads "No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened."
4 posted on 06/26/2002 2:04:07 PM PDT by jae471
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: B-Chan
And that would be a good thing because...?
6 posted on 06/26/2002 2:05:55 PM PDT by Sloth
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To: jae471
You're right, of course. Typo. Sorry.
7 posted on 06/26/2002 2:07:53 PM PDT by B-Chan
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To: B-Chan
That's okay. Most of Congress doesn't realize Amendment XXVII exists, either.
8 posted on 06/26/2002 2:13:31 PM PDT by jae471
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To: analog
I guess you think everyone hanging out here on FR is a happy little Christian, do you?

If only.

Read your history. Escaping from taxpayer supported state churches is part of the reason this country was founded.

Really? Then why did Massachusetts wait so long (until 1833!) to disestablish their official state church (the Congregational Church)? South Carolina's Constitution of 1778 established the "Christian Protestant religion" as the official the religion of the state and the Supreme Court never said a word about it. That's pretty odd behavior for a bunch of folks "escaping from taxpayer supported state churches", isn't it?

Read your Constitution. The Founders never said a word against States having official churches. The First Amendment only prohibits Congress from establishing a national church, not the several States, which is why these established official churches existed.

Sorry to disappoint you, but the "wall of separation" between Church and State has no Constitutional basis.

B-chan

9 posted on 06/26/2002 2:17:16 PM PDT by B-Chan
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To: Sloth
And that would be a good thing because...?

...It would allow the state legislatures to constitutionally establish Christianity as the official religion of their states.

B-chan

10 posted on 06/26/2002 2:19:10 PM PDT by B-Chan
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To: B-Chan
To say that all Islamists are whacked-out religious fanatics is not to say that all whacked-out religious fanatics are Islamists.
11 posted on 06/26/2002 2:21:41 PM PDT by per loin
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To: B-Chan
Let me know when you get your amemdment/law passed. So I can be the first to break it.


12 posted on 06/26/2002 2:23:30 PM PDT by freeeee
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To: B-Chan
It would allow the state legislatures to constitutionally establish Christianity as the official religion of their states.

Sorry, but as a Christian, I don't see that as a good thing. This is a republic, not a theocracy. Once you make a state religion possible, you open the door for oppression of religious minorities.

13 posted on 06/26/2002 2:23:36 PM PDT by Sloth
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To: freeeee
Let me know when you get your amemdment/law passed. So I can be the first to break it.

Cute, but how exactly could you "break" such an amendment?

B-chan

14 posted on 06/26/2002 2:24:53 PM PDT by B-Chan
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To: B-Chan
The Founders never said a word against States having official churches.

"Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as it was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical;..."

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786)

- Thomas Jefferson

15 posted on 06/26/2002 2:27:17 PM PDT by freeeee
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To: Sloth
Sorry, but as a Christian, I don't see that as a good thing. This is a republic, not a theocracy

Those are hardly the only two choices available.

Once you make a state religion possible, you open the door for oppression of religious minorities.

Oh, you mean like the Branch Davidians?

A state church would not necessarily entail religious persecution. State religions are the norm, not the exception in the Western world. (See above for examples of U.S. states that had official state churches.) Besides, my amendment would only allow the states (cities, counties, etc.) to establish a state church or not according to the will of their legislatures; no entity would be required to do so.

B-chan

16 posted on 06/26/2002 2:30:13 PM PDT by B-Chan
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To: B-Chan
Cute, but how exactly could you "break" such an amendment?

Well, your amendment allows states to set up official churches. These churches will pass laws very similar to those they had previously. Laws like mandatory attendance under punishment of whippings, mandatory tithings, banishments/exiles for the wrong beliefs, whippings, beatings, executions for heathens, and Catholics, ect...

And I'll break every one of their damned laws. With impunity.

The first guy to come to my house to enforce mandatory church attendence is definitely in for a "religious experience". He's going to meet God.

17 posted on 06/26/2002 2:31:16 PM PDT by freeeee
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To: freeeee
Jefferson's opinion and the Constitution are two different things.

B-chan

18 posted on 06/26/2002 2:32:25 PM PDT by B-Chan
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To: B-Chan
Amendment XXVIII

The first thing let's do is kill all the lawyers.

What play was that from? I'm getting old and forgetful, but it got quite a laugh in my college class when we read it.

19 posted on 06/26/2002 2:35:01 PM PDT by Richard Kimball
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To: B-Chan
Jefferson's opinion and the Constitution are two different things.

My comment was in reference to this statement of yours:

"The Founders never said a word against States having official churches."

20 posted on 06/26/2002 2:35:53 PM PDT by freeeee
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: freeeee
Well, your amendment allows states to set up official churches.

True.

These churches will pass laws very similar to those they had previously.

Really? Says who?

Laws like mandatory attendance under punishment of whippings, mandatory tithings, banishments/exiles for the wrong beliefs, whippings, beatings, executions for heathens, and Catholics, etc...

Well, as a Catholic myself, I'd hardly support the establishment of a mandatory Protestant church -- although I have to admit that would be a possibility. That being said, there's no reason to assume that these new state churches would necessarily enact such draconian laws. It's more likely that any establishmentarian legislation would be more along the lines of protecting the right of persons to display Christian holiday symbols on public property, etc.

Personally, I think a few horsewhippings and banishments would be a boon to society -- but I digress.

And I'll break every one of their damned laws. With impunity. The first guy to come to my house to enforce mandatory church attendence is definitely in for a "religious experience". He's going to meet God.

Let me get this straight: You don't mind when the government confiscates half your yearly income to pay for Piss Christ and midnight ghetto basketball, but you'd shoot somebody for trying make you go to church?

What a man. Thanks for writing.

B-chan

22 posted on 06/26/2002 2:42:53 PM PDT by B-Chan
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To: B-Chan
"A Modest Proposal For A New Constitutional Amendment: "

The best idea yet. Whatya bet, the big mouth politicians would rather exercise their gums than solve the problem.

23 posted on 06/26/2002 2:43:20 PM PDT by ex-snook
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To: B-Chan
...It would allow the state legislatures to constitutionally establish Christianity Islam as the official religion of their states.
24 posted on 06/26/2002 2:43:26 PM PDT by dpa5923
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To: B-Chan
I doubt that it would help- for very long at least because the currently adopted words already have that meaning, it's just that the courts over the years have added meaning that simply isn't in the English.

Also, sometimes "less is more". For example, the 2nd Ammendment would be better if it simply stated, "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged". The introductory phrase about a militia only serves to give those with an agenda an excuse to skew the meaning.

25 posted on 06/26/2002 2:45:53 PM PDT by libertylover
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To: analog
B-Chan, if you like state religions so much, point out some places on Earth where they have worked well. Saudia Arabia, Britain, Algeria, Laos, Nepal, Russia, Greece, Norway and Utah...?

What about England? (Britain is an island, not a state.) Sweden? Canada? Holland? Massachusetts? South Carolina?

B-chan

26 posted on 06/26/2002 2:46:10 PM PDT by B-Chan
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To: dpa5923
What's your point?
27 posted on 06/26/2002 2:46:43 PM PDT by B-Chan
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To: Richard Kimball
Shakespere, Merchant of Venice, IIRC

Regards

alfa6 ;>}

28 posted on 06/26/2002 2:49:00 PM PDT by alfa6
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To: FreeperJr.
As well as:

IV The stomach of Ted Kenedy SHALL be infringed whereupon it passes beyond the borders of the state he shall reside in and thereby threatens life and liberty.

29 posted on 06/26/2002 2:49:38 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: libertylover
I agree completely. The fact that several states had and maintained established churches after the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 is proof that there is no Constitutional "separation of Church and State" as such. The Bill of Rights only prohibits Congress from creating a Church of the United States; nothing in the Constitution prohibits the creation of official State churches. The states retain that right.

The effect of my proposed amendment would merely make this right explicit.

B-chan

30 posted on 06/26/2002 2:50:54 PM PDT by B-Chan
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To: B-Chan; freeeee
B-Chan - I'm sure that if such an amendment was proposed to a hypothetical Roman Constitution about 2,000 years ago that the Jew commonly known today as Jesus would have been one of the first to violate it, as freeee has volunteered to do with your ludicrous proposal. I will also break any law forcing me to be any particular religion - this is supposed to be a FREE nation, where anyone can worship (or not) as he or she sees fit. If you want to know why we were specifically designed NOT to be a theocracy, look to Iran under the Ayatollahs or Afghanistan under the Taliban. For that matter, look to Spain during the Inquisition. There are at least dozens of similar examples of such paragons of free thought and liberty in history.

I invite anyone from any level of government to come to my house and impose the state religion on me. Then they'll understand (for a fraction of a second) why we have the 2nd Amendment.

31 posted on 06/26/2002 2:51:03 PM PDT by Ancesthntr
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To: B-Chan
Really? Says who?

It's what they did last time.

Well, as a Catholic myself, I'd hardly support the establishment of a mandatory Protestant church

That's funny because in your previous post you mentioned Massachusetts as a good example of a state church. And that's precisely what they did. And they executed 4 of your fellow Catholics. Great example.

there's no reason to assume that these new state churches would necessarily enact such draconian laws

No reason, except all of the hard learned lessons of thousands of years of human history. Even our own, before the 1st Amendment.

Find me a theocracy that isn't corrupt or oppressive. Any time in history. Just one.

Let me get this straight: You don't mind when the government confiscates half your yearly income to pay for Piss Christ and midnight ghetto basketball

Sure I mind. Where'dya get that crazy idea?

but you'd shoot somebody for trying make you go to church?

Damned strait. And then I'd put 'em on a pike in the front yard as an example for any other dumbass that gets that idea.

What a man.

Free man.

32 posted on 06/26/2002 2:51:57 PM PDT by freeeee
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To: B-Chan
What about England?

Ever heard about the penal laws England passed in Ireland, as a way to oppress Catholics (Such as yourself). Read "History of the Irish Race" if you're interested. Their laws were shocking.

England is a very poor example.

33 posted on 06/26/2002 2:56:13 PM PDT by freeeee
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To: per loin
To say that all Islamists are whacked-out religious fanatics is not to say that all whacked-out religious fanatics are Islamists.

Agreed, some whacked-out religious fanatics are Christian.

34 posted on 06/26/2002 2:56:43 PM PDT by TightSqueeze
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To: B-Chan
Perhaps you would like to be forced to provide money to a Mosque to teach people that women are property of her husband to be treated as such and that a month long fast would become law and public schools in your state to teach this religion of peace as the truth and all others religions as lies and followers of the same as infidels, but I don't.

Tell you what, you try and get your amendment passed. See how many people in this country want the state to dictate religion to them.
35 posted on 06/26/2002 2:57:27 PM PDT by dpa5923
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To: B-Chan
LOL! Golly, but you're a troublemaker.

FWIW, I think you're going in the right direction. Your proposed amendment doesn't force a state to establish a religion. However, it does nothing to address the definition of "establish," which is the real issue at hand in this ridiculous 9th Circuit decision.

I think it might be better put along these lines:

II. The right of the several States to permit religious displays or statements shall not be abridged.

36 posted on 06/26/2002 2:58:02 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: B-Chan
Read the 14th amendment.
37 posted on 06/26/2002 2:59:30 PM PDT by dpa5923
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To: B-Chan
As you point out, Europe is full of state churches, and from my non-expert view Christianity is in retreat much more there than here. (Far more Americans than Europeans attend church, more Americans than Europeans believe in God, etc.) Don't you think religious vitality is greater when it's not a protected monopoly intertwined with the state and its intrigues?
38 posted on 06/26/2002 3:00:28 PM PDT by untenured
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To: libertylover
Brilliant post. If I may illustrate, "It all depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is."

Although Clinton did tell the truth when he said, "Well, every so often she'd come through and I'd stick my head out."

39 posted on 06/26/2002 3:02:12 PM PDT by Richard Kimball
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To: Ancesthntr
I will also break any law forcing me to be any particular religion...

Me too. It's a good thing that no one would be forced to practice any particular religion should my proposed amendment pass, isn't it?

...this is supposed to be a FREE nation, where anyone can worship (or not) as he or she sees fit.

How would my proposed amendment change that?

If you want to know why we were specifically designed NOT to be a theocracy, look to Iran under the Ayatollahs or Afghanistan under the Taliban. For that matter, look to Spain during the Inquisition.

No one is proposing anything like Iran. All my amendment would do is allow states to establish a given religion as the officially-acknowledged state religion. No one could be forced to practice it, since such coercion would violate the first section of the amendment itself, as well as other Constitutiional protections.

As for the Spanish Inquisition: it was well-intentioned in creation (as a tool to root out genuine heretics and traitors) but flawed in practice (as a tool of the house of Aragon and Castile to root out their enemies). In any case, my proposal has nothing to do with creating any Inquisition. (A well-run Inquisition of the USCCB, administered by competent authority, wouldn't be a bad thing today in my opinion.) It has everything to do with providing an ethical basis for society and law.

There are at least dozens of similar examples of such paragons of free thought and liberty in history.

And there are dozens examples of "free republics" where the practice of the Christian religion was legally guaranteed -- like the USSR, Mexico under Diaz, Poland (pre-1989), and the granddaddy of all democracies, revolutionary France. (Look up the Vendée for a real eye-opener). The République Libre killed thousands, commited regicide, and even trashed the Cathedral of Notre Dame (they set up an idol of the goddess Liberty where the Cross and altar once stood). Their philosophical heirs are still doing so today.

I invite anyone from any level of government to come to my house and impose the state religion on me. Then they'll understand (for a fraction of a second) why we have the 2nd Amendment.

Thanks for the testosterone check, soldier.

B-chan

40 posted on 06/26/2002 3:14:08 PM PDT by B-Chan
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: r9etb
Thanks! The reason I posted this "modest proposal" was not as a serious call to legislative action (as we've seen here, there is little popular support for such an amendment) but rather to stir up the kind of discussion we're having here on the topic of church-state relations.

For what it's worth: I'd support legislation that acknowledged Christianity as the "fundamental basis for the laws and culture of the state of Texas" or somesuch, but the odds of such a proposal coming before the voters is nearly nil.

To the atheists: relax. No one is going to force you into a church at gunpoint. I no more intend to actually propose such an amendment than Swift intended to see folks chowing down on Irish infants. I have neither the training nor brains (nor desire) to actually create a real constitutional amendment, or any other sort of law.

Thanks to all for participating in this little thought experiment.

B-chan

42 posted on 06/26/2002 3:26:07 PM PDT by B-Chan
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To: B-Chan
No one could be forced to practice it, since such coercion would violate the first section of the amendment itself, as well as other Constitutiional protections

Like the first amendment, Section I of yours specifiies Congress, not state legislatures.

43 posted on 06/26/2002 3:28:32 PM PDT by Sloth
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To: B-Chan
A few more suggestions:

- The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. No state shall make any law regarding the keeping and bearing of arms by the people.

- The Fourteenth Amendment is repealed.

- U.S. citizenship shall be determined as follows: if either biological parent is a citizen, the child is a citizen. If neither parent is a citizen, the child is not a citizen but can become one by the process of naturalization.

- The Seventeenth Amendment is repealed.

- The word "person"--wherever it appears in this Constitution--shall be replaced by the word "citizen".

--Boris

44 posted on 06/26/2002 5:22:01 PM PDT by boris
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To: B-Chan
I would laugh my ass off if Atheism became the established religion of CA, Oregon and Washington State.
45 posted on 06/26/2002 6:11:20 PM PDT by dheretic
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To: B-Chan
Sweden

You mean the Socialist hellhole which has not experienced the creation of one job since the 1950s?

Canada

The number one importer of Islamists in the Americas?

Holland

The most libertine country in the Western world?

(The People's Republic Of) Massachusetts?

South Carolina

Ah SC, the paragon of culture and industry in the South.....

46 posted on 06/26/2002 6:19:42 PM PDT by dheretic
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To: B-Chan
No one could be forced to practice it, since such coercion would violate the first section of the amendment itself, as well as other Constitutiional protections.

Yeah right, that is what they said about seat belt laws, think we should trust them not to enforce this?

47 posted on 06/26/2002 7:29:42 PM PDT by TightSqueeze
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To: eightroundclip
All the Moslems, Jews, Pagans, Atheists, etc who don't like it can go elsewhere.

I hope you are prepared to kill promoting this plan, because there are fine American citizens who are willing to die in defense of their liberty.

48 posted on 06/26/2002 7:32:17 PM PDT by TightSqueeze
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To: B-Chan
I don't agree could the state then decide to send all Jews to the gas chambers. I just want an amendment banning Islam everywhere.
49 posted on 06/26/2002 8:19:39 PM PDT by weikel
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To: B-Chan
Besides Im in Massachussetts the official church would be Catholic and I would rather die then give the Catholic Church any recognition or allegiance. The state( ie goverment at all levels) already take more of our property then medevil serf( we pay a slightly higher percentage on average) but I will not let them force me back into the dark ages when everything was subject to the will of the Catholic Church.
50 posted on 06/26/2002 8:28:48 PM PDT by weikel
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