Skip to comments.(VANITY) Anyone Else Tired of the Talk About the "Constitution's Separation of Church and State?"
Posted on 06/28/2002 5:46:46 AM PDT by agenda_express
I know that this has come up in various forums before, but since the 9th Circuit's decision on the 26th, much of the liberal media's discussion has centered around the supposed "separation of church and state" clause in the Constitution
I am sick and tired of all of the leftist commentary recently regarding this supposed "separation of church and state." There is NO SUCH comment in the Constitution!!! When are they going to get that through their thick skulls? Since when is outside commentary by someone who did NOT help frame the Constitution allowed to be constued as being relevant to the Constitution itself??? Not only that, but it has been used to define the meaning of the amendment itself!
Jefferson's comments are TOTALLY taken out of context. This is ridiculous. I wish the government indoctrination center's would stop teaching revisionist history, and start teaching the truth.
Even worse is a CNN Poll today:
"Do you agree with the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state?"
What a load of crap! There is no way to correctly answer that...
(stands to take the impending beating like a man)
Baptists in Danbury, Connecticut were persecuted because they were not part of the Congregationalist establishment in that state.
On January 1, 1802, in response to the letter from the Danbury Baptist Association, Thomas Jefferson wrote: Gentlemen:
The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which are so good to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should `make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore man to all of his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessings of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.
So by whatever means it has come about, the SCOTUS determines what the Constitution means -- by the agreement of all branches of government. Therefore their interpretations are also Constitutional.
They've mapped out a seperation between church and state. Therefore that is the law of the land. Get used to it.
I don't know if this is a cleaver trick by CNN, or total stupidity on their part.
My 14 yr old son has been exposed to a lot of talk radio while going to and from baseball and basketball games. Then last night, while flipping through the TV channels, after hearing some bimbette spew her revisionist garbage, I explained to him the lack of "separation of church and state" vs the existance and meaning of "Congress shall make no law". He understood the difference. Then he said: "Dad, you should be a politician." I think he meant it as a compliment, which means I still have some more work to do with him :-)
Link to a good overview of the history of the phrase, "separation of church and state" (and of course you're right, it does NOT appear in the U.S. Constitution -- but it DOES appear in the SOVIET constitution):
No need to be sorry, there are many of us out here that understand, and appreciate, your frustrations with this matter. Hang in there as you are doing good works by raising awareness to this increasingly dangerous problem.
How the SCOTUS could interpret:
Article the third [Amendment 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.
To mean that the govt. should harbor blatant hostility towards religion is simply laughable. And the infection of liberals and democrats continues to fester
Guns Before Butter.
This false doctrine is hammered to them in law school. Funny not too many of them ever challenge the fact that it's not in the Constitution that way.
It seems to me that deliberate misinterpretation by the Warren Court and its close decendents is what is involved in this issue. The Constitution clearly prohibits an established church like that which existed in England. The use of the term "establishment of religion" clearly refers to an established church, otherwise why use the word. As colonists, the founders were very familiar with English people being taxed to support a church they might or might not agree with. They did not want an established church in the U.S. One line in one letter from Jefferson is not significant enough to overcome the wording in the actual Constitution regarding this issue.
I believe this misinterpretation will be changed as time goes on just like the ridiculous view of the Second Amendment is now changing back to one of the right to self defense on the part of individual citizens not just a "militia" which was also a deliberate misinterpertation by the left.
Future decisions (given good results in the Nov. elections and Bush's ability to appoint better SC justices, which I know is NOT a sure thing) will reflect a change back to proper judicial interpretation of these two issues.
What are you talking about. Since Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the decision in 1804 in the Marbury v. Madison case the constitution has been whatever the judges say it is.
The constitution was written as a self evident document upon which our nation was to be based. But in 1803 the Supreme Court ruled that it and it alone could decide what the words in the constitution mean.
That decision was not challenged by President Jefferson, or the Congress. So ever since the constitution says whatever the judges say it says. It says things that are not in the written words. No one can dispute that the physical document called the constitution says that all subjects not covered in the constitution are reserved to the states and the people. The word "abortion" is not in the document. So it is clear the Supreme court has no jurisdiction over abortion. It is a state matter. Uh Huh. So the court said the word was in the document we just can't see it ... It is, according to the court, in the penumbra of the document.
With that and hundreds of other examples only a very nonobservant person could believe that the document called the constitution has any meaning. It has had no meaning since 1803. The constitution that governs us only exists in the judges heads. When the physical document contains what the judges heads contain, they point to the parchment. When the document forbids what is in their heads they find permission in the the unwritten penumbra or just rule with no reference to the parchment.
For 199 years this nation has been a Democracy tempered by Judicial Fiat. Write that down. It is the truth.
This transformation from a Constitutional Republic to a Democracy tempered by Judical Fiat was done on Jefferson's watch. Jefferson was the founder of the Democratic party. Democrats are Democracy Advocates. Democracy Advocates wanted this nation ruled by the will of the people at the moment not a written constitution of eternal law. Democracies can have no real constitution. It is government based on majority rule and what ever the majority wants now is fine with Democracy. In a Democracy if the people want Slavery, then they vote for Slavery. If the people don't want Slavery they vote it out. They can vote it back in tomorrow. That is what Thomas Jefferson the founder of the Democracy Party (Democrats) believed and worked for. It may give you a clue as to why Washington chose Madison and not Jefferson to write our Constitution. But it only lasted until 1803.
This nation has for 199 years had people who believe the system that only lasted from 1792 until 1803 is still in effect. That belief defies all logic and 199 years of experience.
The constitution is what ever the judges say it is today. Tomorrow if they say something different that is what the constitution will say then.
The Democracy party is very happy for you to believe that the 'Constitution is a self evident document'. That way you are not having an effect on the way the government really works.
I wonder what people would believe if they went into a store with a 50 dollar bill. What if the clerk said it was a 20 dollar bill. Pehaps you would go to another store where the new clerk tells you it is only a 20 dollar bill. Then third, fourth , fifth and sixth clerks tell you it is only a 20 dollar bill. Would you soon enough understand that spendable money was whatever the clerks said it was?
We have a nation whose judges tell us one thing when the written constitution clearly says another. That is in fact the way our Government works. We can't change it until we understand that is the way it works.
People who believe that we are a Constitutional Repubic believe that the problem is the wrong people in charge. But it is not the people, it is the way our system works and has worked for 199 years. And our side doesn't even understand the rules of the contest. Are you surprised we rarely win?
There are people here critical of Bush for not taking things to the court. They say the constitution (the document) clearly states X, so take it to the court and get a ruling. They can't figure out they would lose. It does not matter what the document says, it matters what the Judges say. And on many issues the Judges are not with us. The Judges are the constitution. Don't take it to court if you are going to lose.
To change this nation and keep it changed is a four step process. 1. First one side must get control of the presidency and the Senate. 2. Then the president appoints judges and the senate confirms them until that side has a solid majority on the supreme court, and majorities on several district federal courts. 3. Find cases and bring them through the courts to the Supreme court. 4. Understand the other side will do the same thing and the war is never won... Only battles are won and lost.The left has been playing by this set of rules since 1938 when FDR failed to pack the court. If the right does not get in the game and play by the 199 year old rules, we will continue to lose while screaming "The Constitution clearly says...."
I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and State.
It seems pretty clear that at least one founding father believed the 1st amendment implied a complete separation of church and state.
The current interpretation could indeed change with a future change in the make-up of the SCOTUS. However, it is simply the fact that in either case -- their interpretations become the law of the land -- just as the Constitution permits.
We have to remember other historical cases -- slavery was actually upheld by the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott decision -- because they couldn't find any specific language in the Constitution prohibiting it. That's a narrow reading -- an interpretation.
Some of us believe that your inability to find a prohibition of the state endorsing religion is also a narrow reading -- and we agree with the 9th's decision on this.
But somebody has to decide what it means. I don't see the sense in your objection.
It seems pretty clear that at least one founding father believed the 1st amendment implied a complete separation of church and state.
To understand the Constitution we have to understand original intent -- oh wait, never mind. heh heh
I feel that the establishment clause was intended to prevent the capricious imposition of an official state religion, as had been done with the establishment of the Church of England.
Further, as pertains to the Jefferson letter on the separation of church and state, the focus was to prevent any one church or religion from presuming to be the "official" religion, thus enabling persecution of adherants to other faiths of sects.
Beyond those two misuses of state authority to impose a particular religion on its citizens, I feel that allowing charitable organizations to receive funding from the state, even if they are founded upon a religion, does not violate the intent of the Constitution. I believe that proscribing the placement of Christmas or other religious memorials on public lands was not the intent of the Constitution.
I also believe that Atheism is a religion, as I believe Environmentalism is a religion.
The recent actions of the courts as well as those of many government agencies, have the chilling effect of "establishing" Athism and Environmentalism as the "official religions" of the United States; which, of course, should be unconstitutional!
A neutral position on religion will always look like atheism to the religious fanatic. Them's the breaks.
We are in a fight for G-D, not the Church...and state.
Exactly. All three are metaphors, used to express what was given practical effect by structures in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Too subtle for most around here, it seems.
Jefferson, by the way, is a resource that's germane to finding out how the generation of the Framers saw these issues, and how broadly they were construed. Even though he did not participate in the writing of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights directly, his rhetorical point was prodding public debate, even from France, during the height of the ratification debates.
He spurred many of the Antifederalists' discussion points, which shaped how the ratifiers in every state construed the new governmental plan. And his practical suggestion to leverage a Bill of Rights was taken to heart: for nine states to ratify, putting the new Constitution into effect, but for the other four states (soon five, with Vermont's secession from New York) to withhold approval until specific protections of state-government authority and personal liberties were added.
I'll tell you what I'm tired of seeing: several thousand postings of Red Skelton's distillation of the Pledge for children. I think that has made its point already.
The idea that by merely mentioning the word "God" or the words "under God" or "In God We Trust" or "endowed by their Creator" creates one Christian denomination as a "state church," membership in which is required for citizenship and voting rights (that's what a "state church" is), is a little absurd. The "establishment" clause does not prohibit people from suggesting that God exists or that they believe in a Supreme Being. Just because a president, governor, or Senator says, "God Bless America" or "You know, guys, I believe in Jesus Christ," that doesn't create a state church by law, binding on all Americans, etc. If this "no religious expression of any kind" theory were the correct interpretation, Congress would never have had chaplains or prayers.
"Do you agree that Joe Bloggs has stopped beating his wife yet?"
Liberal bias - liberal agenda - disguise the question to get the answer you want.