What the First Amendment Really Says about Religion

Many people incorrectly maintain that the First Amendment was designed to remove any and all religious precepts and considerations from civil affairs. An example of this misinterpretation can be found in the Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court:

The two men most responsible for its inclusion in the Bill of Rights constructed the clause absolutely. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison thought that the prohibition of establishment meant that a presidential proclamation of Thanksgiving Day was just as improper as a tax exemption for churches.[1]

The historical facts dispute this interpretation of the First Amendment. James Madison issued at least four Thanksgiving Day proclamations. Note the language used by Madison in his 1814 proclamation: “public humiliation and fasting and of prayer to Almighty God . . . their humble adoration to the Great Sovereign of the Universe, of confessing their sins and transgressions, and of strengthening their vows of repentance and amendment.”[2]

If the Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court has accurately captured the meaning of the establishment clause of the First Amendment, then Madison "violated both his oath of office and the very instruments of government that he helped write and labored to have ratified."[3] In the same way, if Jefferson "construed the establishment clause absolutely, he also violated his oath of office, his principles, and the Constitution when, in 1802, he signed into federal law tax exemption for the churches in Alexandria County Virginia."[4]

Of course, neither Madison nor Jefferson violated the First Amendment by these official State acts. It is the modern day secularist interpreter of Madison and Jefferson who have misread, misinterpreted, and misapplied the First Amendment. This misreading of the First Amendment has come about through "the change in the intellectual climate of the universities, and consequently in the media and the courts. It is these opinion-making centers that have influenced common thinking about law, morality, and religion. These centers have thrown the credibility of religious witness into doubt."[5]

Too many debates over the meaning and implementation of the First Amendment are confused by a failure to cite it accurately:

"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."

An accurate interpretation of the amendment must refer to the following points:

  • There is no mention of the words Church, State, or separation in the First Amendment or in the body of the Constitution.
  • Included in the amendment are additional items which relate to the free exercise of religion. Usually these constitutional protections are narrowly applied so they are not a part of the freedom of religion provision: the right to talk about religion (freedom of speech), the right to publish religious works (freedom of the press), the right of people to worship publicly, either individually or in groups (freedom of assembly), and the right to petition the government when it goes beyond its delegated constitutional authority in these areas (the right of political involvement).
  • The prohibition is addressed to Congress. Individual states and governmental institutions (e.g., public schools, capitol building steps, national parks, etc.) are not included in the amendment's prohibition. As clear as this is, some try to rewrite the First Amendment in order to fit their misconceptions about its meaning and implementation. For example, "The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the direct descendant of Jefferson's Virginia resolution, and its words are quite clear. Congress, and by extension the states, ‘shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.'"[6] If the constitutional framers wanted to include the phrase "and by extension the states," they would have done so. If they had, the states would never have ratified the Constitution.
  • There is no mention of a freedom from religion. The First Amendment offers no support of a position that would outlaw religion just because it exists or offends those of a different religion or those who have no religion at all (agnostics or atheists).

Notes:
  1. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the United States Supreme Court (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1979), 461. Quoted in Robert L. Cord, "Church-State Separation and the Public Schools: A Re-evaluation," Educational Leadership (May 1987), 28. []
  2. The four proclamations in their entirely are published in Robert L. Cord, Separation of Church and State: Historical Fact and Current Fiction (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, [1982] 1988), 257–260. []
  3. Cord, "Church-State Separation and the Public Schools," 26. []
  4. 2 Statutes at Large 194, Seventh Congress, Sess. 1, Chap. 52. Quoted in Cord, "Church-State Separation and the Public Schools, 28. []
  5. Jude P. Dougherty, "Separating Church and State," The World & I (December 1987), 683. []
  6. Editorial Page, Atlanta Constitution (November 15, 1994), A18. []

Comments

comments

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YKSNMOOKV2VNV4QX4ICC3IJ4ZY Lili Q

    Explains the use of the public schools in Michigan to host Muslim same sex dances.

  • Tennessee Sara

    You are so right that the Constitution prevents the establishment of a state religion. It is sickening to see the downward turn from the God who made us.

    • rod

      your mother and father made you with out them you would not excist

      • Dan in NH

        If it wasn't for God no one would exist.

      • Evermyrtle

        Without GOD there would be no Mother and Father, who made them and the baby. My Mother and Father had such a small contribution of me being here. They did not even know that I was present, I was a baby for several weeks. Without GOD I would have shrivled up and died. He watched over me day and night while my parents had little notion what was "GOING ON IN THERE" what he was doing for me. At that time their Christian Spirit was small. But GOD did not let that stop me from surviving. He has blessed and cared everyday since that time and is still watching out for me. WHAT A WONDERFUL GOD.

      • Russ

        Your mom TOLD you he was your father, but...

    • huerfano

      Maybe the following will answer some of your questions:
      The progressives, other than when President Reagan was in office have been in control since President Roosevelt took office in 1933. They believe society has become too complex to be managed by self rule, and believe the Constitution should be interpreted, not as written, but reinterpreted to match the changing needs of the times.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1187127934 Sheila Simmons

        Then why have one at all? Let's just make up the rules as we go along and change them all every time a new administration is elected...or forces it's way into office.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_P7MI63TGC3KFDWBJ5QR3OI3FAI Sapient Hetero

          I believe it was Democrat Alcee Hastings who said precisely that ("What rules? We make up the rules as we go.") when asked about ObamaCare.

      • karlaw55

        Republicans have been president for 20 out of the past 31. Don't blame progressives for the country's problems. You conservatives have a fine job of creating this mess.

        • dianridl

          Just because the President was Republican does not mean he was a conservative. There are progressive Republicans, too. Many, many progressive Republicans...they're known as RINO Republican In Name Only.

        • http://www.facebook.com/melvin.jones Jones Melvin

          Yeah, what she just said.

        • Talltrees

          ACLU has become overly influential during Obama's reign. In fact, Washington Post noted an ACLU lobbyist has had close to 50 personal meetings with Obama at the White House during the past three years. That lady is one of the most frequent lobbyists. Why are the current liberal federal judges always siding with ACLU regarding Christianity when the Constitution states otherwise?
          By the way Republican lobbyists are rare. What does that tell you? Either Republican lobbyists think, "Why bother," or aren't allowed in.

        • karlaw55

          Republican lobbyists are rare! You're too stupid to even debate.

        • Talltrees

          You know this article was written about religion, don't you? Surely, you know about ACLU's attempt to wipe Christianity from the U.S. ACLU misinterprets the First Amendment all of the time.

          Why is ACLU lobbying the president so often? How is the ACLU lobbyist influencing the government?

          ”Republican lobbyists coming to visit are rare, while Democratic lobbyists are common, whether they are representing corporate clients or liberal causes.”

          "White House visitor logs provide window into lobbying industry"
          By T.W. Farnam, Published: May 20 The Washington Post

          http://apps.washingtonpost.com/svc/politics/white-house-visitors-log/visit?visitId=1494423&name=Eldon%20Roth

        • karlaw55

          Republican lobbyists are rare! You're too stupid to even debate.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DBDBIJAVRWI7MKPNMIXSZAKLPI Doubtful

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        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DBDBIJAVRWI7MKPNMIXSZAKLPI Doubtful

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        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DBDBIJAVRWI7MKPNMIXSZAKLPI Doubtful

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        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DBDBIJAVRWI7MKPNMIXSZAKLPI Doubtful

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        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DBDBIJAVRWI7MKPNMIXSZAKLPI Doubtful

          karlaw55: He means that a Republican lobbyist getting into the White House is rare, It was pretty clear if you read the entire statement.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/5K5BEUIMU7LD2S74FWSE3D63YE Terry

      Yes, "wall of separation between church and state" is a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson (in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists) and others expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause, It was never written or stated as such that religion was to be precluded in government only that the government could not establish a government sponcered religion such as the "Church of England"

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DBDBIJAVRWI7MKPNMIXSZAKLPI Doubtful

        Do you expect Liberals to actually understand American history? They're too busy making it up as they go along! They probably don't know that at the time the Constitution was written, most states did have their own established religion, and the First Amendment was intended that that did not happen at the Federal level.
        Also, this may be a surprise to Liberals, but It's important to remember, that unlike today, almost 100% of the Americans of the time were Christian. It was a matter of sects, rather than religion. The "big question" was whether a person was Protestant or Catholic. If anyone in America had mentioned "religion" in the context of another belief completely, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, or any other, they would have been met with shock. There were a few Jews, and someone wrote that there was one Muslim, but that's it!
        Not only that, but before the VI Amendment, written in 1787, states had oaths that had to be sworn to before anyone could hold public office, such as are noted from http://candst.tripod.com/cnstntro.htm below:

        "In addition, many states required tests to keep non-Christians or in some cases Catholics out of public office:

        The New Jersey Constitution of 1776 restricted public office to all but Protestants by its religious test/oath.
        The Delaware Constitution of 1776 demanded an acceptance of the Trinity by its religious test/oath.
        The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 had a similar test/oath.
        The Maryland Constitution of 1776 had such a test/oath.
        The North Carolina Constitution of 1776 had a test/oath that restricted all but Protestants from public office.
        The Georgia Constitution of 1777 used an oath/test to screen out all but Protestants.
        The Vermont state charter/constitution of 1777 echoed the Pennsylvania Constitution regarding a test/oath.
        The South Carolina Constitution of 1778 had such a test/oath allowing only Protestants to hold office.
        The Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 and New Hampshire Constitution of 1784 restricted such office holders to Protestants.
        Only Virginia and New York did not have such religious tests/oaths during this time period."

        From the same site, read this:

        "When the original thirteen colony/states began writing their own constitutions in 1776, four of those colony/states [Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania]had never had an establishment of religion. The greater part of New York, had never had an establishment of religion. However, there were four counties in the area around New York City that did have an establishment. The other eight colony/states did have some form of an establishment of religion."
        Rhode Island was, of course, established by Christians seeking religious freedom, ie the freedom to worship their CHRISTIAN religion with freedom, having left the Massachusetts Bay Colony following their leader, an English CLERGYMAN by the name of Roger Williams. The first white population of Pennsylvania was Swedish, Dutch and Swiss Ana Baptists, then under William Penn's land grant, the state of Pennsylvania was established for Quakers, who didn't believe that the state should have a formal state religion, and were always tolerant of others, Until an influx of Presbyterians in the early 1700, continuing to the 1800's, though, Pennsylvania was mostly Quaker, with some Ana Baptist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ron-Mathis/1207714182 Ron Mathis

    Excellent explanation. It's hard to get these points through to liberals whose minds are already made up, though.

    • MontyAttack

      Ron, when confronted with misinterpretation of this clause in the 1st Amendment, simply pull out your copy of a pocket Constitution (you can get one from The Heritage Foundation) and read it to the person. Ask him what he thinks it means. If he sticks with the "separation of church and state" interpretation, give him some of the excellent points presented in this article. If you don't convince him right then and there, perhaps you will have planted some seeds of reason. The misguided have had years of bad education pounded into them. Though it takes a lot of patience, thinking for oneself can be taught. Don't lose heart when you are right.

      • Evermyrtle

        Basicly you cannot change people's minds. Most people are "mindset"They will believe what they want to believe. If they want to believe my car is pink, I cannot convince them that it is candy apple red. If they think I am Spanish there is no use to tell them I am American Indian, German, Italian mixture

        • MontyAttack

          A zinging response to those who seem to take pleasure in berating the originalist interpretation of the Constitution is often satisfying for a while, but ultimately accomplishes nothing. I've told more than one person to take their crapola elsewhere and luckily resisted the urge to clock 'em; but I usually regret not at least making the attempt to use reason. If we wish to bring a person around to more profound thinking and in the process make him a better American citizen...well, it would make our Founders proud. Not that telling some people to simply buzz off isn't called for.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • jaws4316

          Problem is, reason doesn't work on people who have a mental disorder, or
          have rejected God (reprobates) because in rejecting God one loses their
          ability to understand reason (whether intentionally or
          unintentionally.) Read the first three chapters of the Book of Romans.
          It will give you a lot of insight into the liberal mindset.

        • MontyAttack

          remove

        • MontyAttack

          I got stuck, too! What's up with that! Hahahaha!

        • MontyAttack

          When St. Paul wrote the truly theological book of Romans he was
          definitely under the power and inspiration of God. "While we were yet
          helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will
          hardly die for a righteous man--though perhaps for a good man one will
          dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were
          yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified
          by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
          For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of
          his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we saved by his
          life. Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus
          Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation." (5:6-11)

          As God reconciles us sinners to Himself through Christ and His will is
          for us to be like Christ in our attitudes and words, so must we make
          every effort to be salt and light to others. Even St. Paul did not find
          this easy as he said he often did the very things he knew he shouldn't,
          things which were dishonoring to God.

          FYI: If you will go back into your postings, hit your edit button and
          delete the copy, if you can, or replace your copy with the word "remove" from the 77 extra postings. Apparently you got stuck.
          But it is good to know that you are not stuck in unenlightenment when it
          comes to the faith. God bless!

        • http://www.facebook.com/stella.honeycutt Stella Honeycutt

          Only God can change a persons mind. A change around.

  • Ted R. Weiland

    Regardless what Amendment 1 says or doesn't say, "Christian
    Constitutionalists often point out that the phrase 'separation of church and
    state' is found in the Constitution of the USSR, not the Constitution of the
    United States. This is true. Nevertheless, the mandate for separation of church
    and state is inherent in Article 6 on two levels: 1) The Constitution is
    declared to be the supreme law of the land, which makes any law (secular or
    Biblical) contrary to this 'supreme law' null and void and non-executable by
    the Constitutional Republic, 2) Religious qualifications for government
    officials are denied, which prohibits Biblical qualifications....

    "We
    can debate the intent of the framers, but we cannot debate the effect:
    Christendom became merely Christianity – salt that lost its savor and good for
    nothing but to be trampled under the foot of non-Christians. American
    Christians have been under the boot of non-Christians and antichrists ever
    since 1788."

    Excerpted
    from "Article 6: The Supreme Law of the Land?" at http://www.missiontoisrael.org/biblelaw-constitutionalism-pt9.php.

    Find
    out how much you really know about the Constitution as compared to Yahweh's
    moral law (His commandments, statutes, and judgments). Take our Constitution
    Survey at http://www.missiontoisrael.org/constitutionsurvey/constitutionsurvey.php
    and receive a free copy of the "Primer" (an 85 page book, normally $7
    plus shipping) of "Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The
    Christian Perspective."

  • PMDavis

    Why doesn't someone in office or someone of credibility stand up and finally give the real definition of the 'separation of church and state?' Everyone just assume that it is correct and is in the Constitution but it's NOT. This false, wrong statement is what the liberals and democrats keep using to further their agenda of taking religious freedom away but no one does or says a thing. What is wrong with people? Surely there is someone who could get up and say this statement is totally out of context and has no basis or power. What about the ACLJ, Jay Sekulow(?), why doesn't he say something about it? He's an attorney and is always defending religious freedoms.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YGL65RPHMD3H5TBZC524HBKKPU Dr. Brown

    If the first amendment means freedom from
    religion i.e christian, then all other religions must be banned as well and for the same reason. Our founders were profoundly Christian and created a nation that was based on Judeo-Christian principles and laws. They were fundamental right wing Bible thumping Christians and made no apology for what the believed. As a matter of fact, if they had not been willing to give up their lives for what they believed, there wouldn't have been a United States of America at all.

    • Ted R. Weiland

      Dr. Brown: "Our founders were profoundly Christian and created a nation that was based on Judeo-Christian principles and laws"

      This simply is not true. There is only one standard by which everything (including the Constitution) must be tested - Yahweh's morality as codified in His commandments, statutes, and judgments. By this standard there is hardly an article or amendment that is not antithetical to, if not hostile, to Yahweh's morality in some fashion.

      Find out how much you
      really know about the Constitution as compared to Yahweh's moral law (His
      commandments, statutes, and judgments). Take our Constitution Survey at http://www.missiontoisrael.org/constitutionsurvey/constitutionsurvey.php
      and receive a free copy of the "Primer" (an 85 page book, normally $7
      plus shipping) of "Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The
      Christian Perspective."

      • DOOMED

        Constitutional law and Yahweh law are two different laws and have a difficult time co-existing. We, as (mortal) Christians must honor both, but those who (think) they control us (lol) have different ideals and goals. Those people lust for power and control; Christians lust for Gods will.

      • StopObama2012

        I suggest you see Romans 13:1-3

  • Cliff

    "Probably at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the Amendments to it, the general if not universal, sentiment in America was that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as such encouragement was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation."

    Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story from 1811-1845

  • http://www.facebook.com/ross.blankert Ross R Blankert

    There will be no free election this fall. He will stage an attempt to kill the president, stir up race riots, stir up massive riots with occupy movement, declare martial law, suspend the elections and disarm the American people.

    • DOOMED

      Disarm the American people? Won't never happen...too many guns in the hands of God fearing Christians (Gods Army) who believe in OUR American Christian foundations and faith.

      • JWWeber

        Doomed--They why did the Department of Homeland Security order 450 MILLION rounds of hollow point ammunition? You know the kind that if you're hit with it, the least that can happen to you is the loss of a limb? Why did they establish the FEMA re-education camps? Why do we now have a law that gives the military the authority to detain ANYONE indefinitely for the mere suspicion of terrorist activity, with no trial? Do you really believe that with even all the guns owned by Americans, that we are any match for the U.S. military?

  • JohnC. Freeport, NY

    There is an illegal alien in the White House, so why should we be surprised about all the violations of the US Constitution. If the people of this Country re-elect this fraud to another 4 years as president, then the deserve what they get. We need laws to limit all elected officials to 2 terms, we need a Constitutional amendment that requires all judges to be elected, not appointed by the president. Look at Kagan, she has no intention of following the Constitution. Her job is to further the left-wing (Communist) agenda. She is another obama fraud. This Country is ripe for another Revolution, and I would gladly fight one. I spent many, many years in the Military of this Country, and I took an Oath to Protect, Defend, Preserve the Constitution of the United States of America, so help me God. My oath was to the american people, and to God. It is a lifetime Oath, no expiration date. My only question is this; When are the American people going to wake up and smell the roses? Time is rapidly running out. If we don't do something soon, then we are lost as a people, and a Country.

  • flaphil

    It's meaning is clear as written. The government will not make laws against the citizens right to worship a religion. It does not prohibit people of faith from gaining political office either. Nowhere does it say anything like the liberals make up and use. Governments are destroyed all the time, God and religion has stood the test of time. Government of the United States is not ALLOWED to dictate religion, people are FREE to practice their faith. Too bad the fags don't understand that.

  • Right-on-the-right.

    Of course, that word "respecting" could also be read, perhaps out of historical context, as meaning only or merely, that Congress could make no law giving defference to any specific religion, e.g., no religion would be give any unique or special acceptance or dispensations; if something was done for one religion it would have to be for all. And on that "freedom of assembly" clause, it also means freedom of association, which, taking the other side of it, clearly means that one is free to decline an association; thus, compulsory membership in a union is unconstitutional. And I say it is expressly so.

  • BJ Grove

    American Indian history proves that the framers of the Constitution did not extend freedom of religion to Indians. The various brands of the protestant Christian religion were the ones receiving this freedom. Early Americans included Puritans, Calvinists, Huguenots, and other sects at odds (even threatened) by the power of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Mills/1387372799 James Mills

    well stated...

    The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I
    am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more
    abundantly. The Devil Has a Plan for Your Life! The mission is to highjack the world's greatest county--who boldly stated In God We Trust. Period.

  • David in MA

    ‘shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.’
    I have always believed that the word "establishment" did not mean to make or create, but, it meant the entity or the body of religion. Like the establishment is a ballpark, ie: religion. In fact nin one of Franklin's (I believe Franklin)letters he states that government has no place in religion but Christian Principles must always remain in government.

  • TOO INFORMED

    At last...someone who UNDERSTANDS our first amendment and NOT picking it apart for their own selfish reasons and or personal concepts, but the most importent part of the 1st amendment is the last part, 'the right of the people to petition government for the redress of grievances'. For the past fifty years (or more), government has totally disregarded that part. They fail to realize two things: 1) We the people are the MASTERS; government is our SERVANT and 2) our Constitution is not a Chinese menu where government can choose from column A or column B WHENEVER THEY CHOOSE.

  • jb80538

    The interpretation of this has been perveted by liberals just like most everythingelse.

  • Silas Longshot

    The enemies of the Constitution have been at it since the day after it was signed. These would dupe the unstudied of such fact with conniving language that sounds like it 'might be' as they push their goal, whatever that is, to work around or 'reinterpret' the carefully considered wording of the document. And my friends, that wording was indeed studied, considered and consulted among the scholars of the day to mean PRECISELY what the document states. First word to last, get a dictionary, even a modern one, and look up every word. You will clearly understand, then, every line and phrase and the intent of the founders. This is particularly revealing when you work the 2nd amendment over in this fashion.

    Search surviving urban crisis. Learn. Prepare.

    • huerfano

      Maybe the following will answer some of your questions:
      The progressives, other than when President Reagan was in office have been in control since President Roosevelt took office in 1933. They believe society has become too complex to be managed by self rule, and believe the Constitution should be interpreted, not as written, but reinterpreted to match the changing needs of the times.

      • Russ

        Yes, in other words, they want to claim they are 'reading' the Constitution's meaning but we have to tie our government and laws to a specific anchor. If the Constitution needs updating then it gets amended. We cannot just pretend it says whatever we want, or we immediatly become a nation of men, not of laws.

  • Raymond1

    Hi There, You have an Appointment.
    http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0076/0076_01.asp

  • samtman

    Copied from Wikipedia "Separation of church and state" (sometimes "wall of separation between church and state") is a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson (in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists) and others expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The phrase has since been repeatedly cited by the Supreme Court of the United States." One of the first refugees who came to America, where the Pilrims because they were persecuted by the State Religion of England and Scotland. Many immigrants came to America in the 16 and 17th century from Europe because of State religious persectutlion. I'm sure that this was on the mind of the founders when they wrote the Constitutution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Fryer/100000156546455 Carol Fryer

    These nutjobs in Washington(globalist, open borders) have their agenda going and that has to be above all of the constitution. They twist it into an international document giving all our rights away to all nations and anyone who walks across our borders illegally. The conservatives can talk a good talk but whenever they have actually had the votes , they have never even touched the atrocities the left was allowed to establish. They only time they do is when they can say they dont have the votes. They work together to pretend they are good cop and bad cop, while they are all evil. They dont represent us. They represent greed, ALL of them!!! There is nothing in the constitution of separation of church and state, nothing. It limits federal government in having any say in them at all, which they of course dont like, so they have to twist it into something else. And where is the right...........very quiet.

  • Phil_in_VA

    Apropos the second bullet point... the Reconstruction (post Civil War) Amendments, and subsequent case law, have made it clear that 1st Amendment restrictions on Congress are also restrictions on States and all levels of government.

  • TOO INFORMED

    At last...someone who UNDERSTANDS our first amendment and NOT picking it apart for their own selfish reasons and or personal concepts, but the most important part of the 1st amendment is the last part, 'the right of the people to petition government for the redress of grievances'. For the past fifty years (or more), government has totally disregarded that part. They fail to realize two things: 1) We the people are the MASTERS; government is our SERVANT and 2) our Constitution is not a Chinese menu where government can choose from column A or column B WHENEVER THEY CHOOSE.

  • Russ

    What people just don't realize is that belief in God does not constitute religion. One can believe in God, trust in God, pray to God and not belong to any religion. That is why 'In God We Trust' and 'one nation under God' are wholly proper and acceptable. Religion is a framework - a set of rules and readings and writings and specific beliefs outside just the acknowledgment of God.
    There is nothing about simply believing in God that establishes ANY sort of religion. As for Christianity, Jesus Christ was an actual person who lived and walked on this Earth. Whether someone chooses to believe that he was the son of God or not, he did exist, and those in school who wish to write about him have as much right to do so as if they wanted to write about (shudder) Obama.

  • Steven

    As noted, the amendment states CONGRESS shall make no law ...
    It is not possible for ANYONE other than Congress to violate the 1st amendment, even if they want to do so. This is important to understanding the ENTIRE Bill of Rights. Many people claim the 14th amendment extended the Bill of Rights to prohibit States from acts they previously only prohibited only the Federal government form engaging in. This is not possible, because the amendment prohibit violation of the rights protected. If the intent was to limit WHO was prohibited from violating these rights, language to that effect would have been included, just as it IS included in the 1st amendment.

  • samtman

    You want state religion, Russia has it now, most European contries, they even pays their clregy. All that state religion in Europe and only 20% go to Church, 80 % are agnostic or atheists. Stae religion would do the same thing here. The resson religion in the US is stronger,is because its a business and is sold like a commodity. Actually religion is a big business lin the US and is good for the economy, it is estimated that religios institutlions employ almost one million people. THis posting is a good example.

  • Harold

    When you read the “Patriot Papers” and it is their own words it is easy to see why it states what it does and why. Stop and think about it for a New York minute. Europe had gone through the whole religious rule thing. After the failure of the church governing in England, France, and Spain they did not want to repeat history. What their meaning was that this country not be ruled by the church and therefore came the separation of church and state. But it was never meant to say that God was to be removed from our governing leaders or our government. As a matter of fact the government was to be run under the rules of Godliness. Several were ordained ministers in their own right. That was the reason for the prayer at the beginning of the day in the House and Senate.

  • Sutekh

    in the 1700's, "establishment of religion" meant a state church, such as those in Europe, in which every citizen was required to attend, was required to donate, and was severely punished if he made any statement not in 100% agreement with the doctrines of that state church, as viewed by the priests of that church.
    Kind of sounds like an establishment of religion was the equivalent of Shariah Law.
    But, as the article emphasizes, the provision was addressed only to Congress, and Congress alone. Congress was expected to make the laws. We were not to have a state church set up by executive order, or support given to rebuild mosques, or churches by executive order. Had the authors of the Constitution seen what goes on today, they'd have included the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch in this prohibition, too, because today the separation of powers has been deliberately broken down, and the other two branches make laws.
    As written, the amendment does not prohibit the state of Arkansas from declaring Hinduism to be the state religion, nor does it prohibit Utah from declaring Mormonism the state religion, as it is directed at Congress ALONE.
    The problem is that if the Constitution has defects, it is supposed to be AMENDED to correct those defects or inadequacies. What has happened instead is the courts have tried to second guess and read the personal writings of the Constitution's authors to find out what they would have written had they known what they were writing about, then made "reinterpretations" based on supposition from this research. The Constitution says what it says. If certain parties believe that it doesn't say enough, the Supreme Court has no duty, obligation, nor right to "fill in the blanks."

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YCZFGQTY7RUXZHE56OTS57DNII chetohimler

    Lawyer's...fking lawyer's. Lawyer's can always twist the truth. They can convict and innocent man, or they can free a guilty one....Same thing with the Constitution. If its to their advantange, they twist the constitution and give us more....anchor babies. Get my drift?

  • Ernie

    I would like to know what was the understanding/interpretation of the word " Religion" at the time of writting this document?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ViewsFromTheNest Frederick Allen

    See how many words those who oppose the simple language of the constitution must employ in order to distort the very clear and concise meaning of this amendment. Congress SHALL MAKE NO LAW hindering the free exercise of religion in all its facets. Speech, assembly, writings, and political involvement. Religion and government are both CIVIL institutions and as such are PART of the civil discourse whether we like it or not. Jefferson and the founders was not worried about THE PEOPLE having too much power when he penned the Constitution but rather he foresaw a nation whose government had TOO MUCH POWER.

  • GWY

    Left wing extremists do not care what the Contitution really says or means. They wish only to enforce their enterpretation including words that aren't really included. In the name of their concocted rights, they would use a police state to deny the rights of others. They would deny any religious behavior if it was possible. The Soviets had a non-religious society.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rick-Johnson/100000190455903 Rick Johnson

    There is one thing that none of the secularist can explain. How can you enforce a complete separation of Church and State WITHOUT prohibiting the free exercise of religion? The entire concept of separation of Church and State is itself unconstitutional since you cannot force a complete separation of the two without prohibiting the free exercise of religion. When you tell a kid that he cannot pray before a school event because it violates separation fo Church and State you are prohibiting his free exercise of religion.

  • Misloup

    I disagree with one statement: "...some try to rewrite the First Amendment in order to fit their misconceptions about its meaning and implementation." There are many within the halls of congress, academia, courts and media for whom the correct meaning and interpretation is just too inconvenient for their agenda. They know what is meant, they just want to change it to fit their Godless views.

  • GDC

    Gary DeMar IS DELUSIONAL, PSYCHOTIC!!!

  • mamasview

    When I was in school, we were taught that the First Ammendment was there to prevent the Government from establishing a State Religion, thereby allowing freedom of religion for everyone. (Lessons had been learned by the religious acrobatics in England during the reigns of the Tudors.) There was nothing about this PC crap of not ever allowing any mention of God or allowing anyone to dictate to others that they cannot express their beliefs, on public lands or anywhere else.
    Demanding removal of decades old monuments (mostly crosses) that honor veterans or those killed in other service to the community is just plain hatefulness. There is no intent to push any religion and there is no demand to have people attend and "worship" at those shrines. Don't like it? DON'T LOOK! But, leave those of us who DO recognize and honor those who died for us the right to do so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-R-Compton/1848475256 Robert R Compton

    I am outraged by this scheme of Socio-liberals to further their own agenda regarding the slightest mention of religion in the PUBLIC venue!
    If (and I emphasize the word "if) such displays or proclamations is "unconstitutional" then one would, likewise, have to recall every coin and bill made in the USA! Do they all not have the inscription "In God we Trust." What "God" (other than the Judaeo-Christian God) asked for, much less expected trust? Obedience, fear propitiation, subservience, yes, anything but trust, that requirement is somewhat peculiar to the God of Abraham. Therefore, it could be said that our money establishes a state religion.
    Secondly, look (I mean, put the document in front of your face and read the words) at the Amendment that has been so horribly disfigured to suit the fancy of a few troublemakers. The first five words in particular. Those words are "Congress shall Pass no law ..." Find a dictionary, if you must, and figure out exactly what those words mean. Are cities, states and local municipalities so struck with megalomania that they think that they are the “Congress of the United States”? I think not.
    I've never read where the Federal Army marched into Pennsylvania when the Constitution was ratified and shut down that States' government because they were and continued to be a Quaker (a Christian denomination) State, never happened! Decisions such as that were left up to the States and local governments themselves.
    A town, city or state is not the Federal Government and thus for the Federal Government to say that a local government cannot establish a LOCAL "Official Religion" or display a cross, the Ten Commandments or other religious items or the like is, itself, a violation of just that Amendment being a law that restricts the free exercise of religion.
    Six million Jews died (not to mention thousands of soldiers and citizens on both sides) at the whim of Hitler and his cronies (a minority), countless millions of Russians died at the hands of Stalin and the Supreme Soviet (another minority). Where is the line?
    On the subject of towns and cities, flip open any road atlas and scan the list of cities. Every state has numerous cities whose name is UNDENIABILY derived from the Christian Bible – are those, too, “illegally establishing religion”?
    Never mind the road atlas – just look at any CALENDAR! Every one of the days of the week is named after a Greek or Roman RELIGIOUS Deity and FIVE month names as well!
    Finally, if it is illegal to place a cross, the Ten Commandments, a nativity scene or the like on public property what then of the "holiday" (deriv: "Holy Day") “Halloween”, also known as All Hallows Eve? Nearly all of the emblems, ideas and entities inherent in All Hallows Eve are directly and unmistakably derived from the Christian Bible!
    Thus, whether these symbols are considered (by derivation) to be Christian or are taken as symbols of Satan Worship (an extant and legally accepted "RELIGION") they, too, must be forbidden on public property. Not to mention shamrocks, a symbol of St. Patrick, a Christian Martyr. Or the (Christian derived) angel "cupid" on St. Valentines Day.
    I truly hope that this last paragraph seemed as silly to you as I intended it to be! The idea that crosses are illegal while Devils aren't is a graphic example of how the "minority rule" and “political correctness” that's creeping into this country is ignorant, inconsistent as well as historically deadly if allowed to continue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-R-Compton/1848475256 Robert R Compton

    I almost forgot! We better call out the Army Corps of Engineers to bulldoze EVERY Military graveyard - HORROR OF HORRORS, they are filled with markers displaying a Christian Cross or Jewish Star of David!

  • StopObama2012

    Thanks for some excellent thinking, Gary! I had not previously considered the other clauses of the 1st related to the ideas being expressed concerning the establishment clause. We often take them as isolated concerning speech, the press and assembly. But if the Framers wanted to communicate these ideas as seperates rights they surely would have. That they are directly related to the Establishment and Free Exercise clause as part of the sentence amplifies the significance they were placing on the right of religious freedom. In their context this only makes sense for three reason. First, these men understood the tyranny of state-imposed religion under the regime they were rejecting (i.e The Church of England). Second, they understood the religious freedom sought by the earliest of settlers (i.e Mayflower Compact) and the Puritan influence in Massachusetts. Third, they had just a generation before witnesses the 1st Great Awakening and how that shaped what this nation became. The revivisionist can attempt to change the history with their ungodly agenda but the overwhelming evidence is clear. The 1st taken in totality only makes it more so.

  • GeoInSD

    It amazes me how twisted the interpretation of the First Amendment has become. The amendment is very simple and very clear. It is a pronouncement of a restriction on CONGRESS.

    There is a game where people are in a line, the first person whispers an idea to the next person and one after another, are supposed to relay the idea to the next person. It is said that typically the idea has become quite mangled by the time it reaches the last person compared to the original idea. It looks like this is what has happened to the First Amendment. In interpretations of the First Amendment, rather than go back to the original idea, intermediate flawed versions are referenced. So today we have a mangled interpretation of the First Amendment. But unlike the game, the original idea in its pure form has always been available. It makes no sense to base its interpretation upon potentially flawed intermediate interpretations unless one's purpose is not to make an honest interpretation of the First Amendment. I believe this is the case.

  • dugiewugie

    To day the thing that is feared most in our Government is the Constitution!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_P7MI63TGC3KFDWBJ5QR3OI3FAI Sapient Hetero

    Sorry, but while I agree with most of the premise of this article I must take issue with the oft-repeated error that the 1st Amendment offers no freedom FROM religion in the sense that it does not guarantee religious freedom to non-believers. “Congress shall make no law ... prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." pretty clearly says that each of us has the right to worship as we please. If it pleases some not to worship at all, that is the manner in which they freely exercise their right.

    Does that mean that non-believers have the right not to witness any expression of religious belief by others? Hardly. If so then government could ban pretty much any public activity that offended one group or another, which is to say virtually every part of our lives. But it is fair to expect that our freedom includes the right not to be taxed by the government to promote anyone else's religious beliefs ala "W" Bush's "Faith-Based Initiative" that was subsequently expanded by Obama (care to guess which churches HE funneled our tax dollars to?).

    In the end I see this as a very cut-and-dry question of whether we so admire the results obtained from government intervention in our lives that we want to invite it to be involved in our religious lives as well. Perhaps the feds can "improve" religion like they are "improving" healthcare, financing of retirement and green energy investment.

    Personally I'll pass. Politicians somehow manage to screw up anything they touch. They can keep their grubby hands off both my beliefs AND how I observe them. I don't need Nancy Pelosi or some future Pelosi clone urging the House to pass a bill that gives the federal government control of my religious observances. You know, one of those where we have "to pass the bill to find out what's in it".

  • http://www.facebook.com/VNVMCLobo Lobo Vnv Mc

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." To me this is self-explanatory, Congress cannot establish a religion or prevent a person or group from worshiping in whatever they believe or don't believe. When the Ten Commandments, a cross, the Star of David, or some combination there of is posted or hung on a government site/building that is not establishing a religion. Yes, it acknowledges that there is a God, but in noway does it prohibit the free exercise of your religion or non-religion. As far as the states are concerned I would say they fall under the same restrictions as Congress or any government agency. I'm under the believe the Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to all government agencies (Federal, State, County, City,or Municipality).

    Read more: http://godfatherpolitics.com/5267/what-the-first-amendment-really-says-about-religion/#ixzz1vRKVmDVn

  • Reagan64

    God is the answer to America's problems!

  • Fedup

    The Constitution is like the Bible. Their principles work, no matter what the century.

  • mark

    Someone needs to take this on with the supreme court and set the record straight! I wish I had the money!!!

  • Saltporkdoc

    Thank you for a most astute and well documented and reliable source for the refutation of the illogic of the progressives and atheists trying to secularize the great country.
    I only hope this is not another time when we end up only preaching to the choir, to chose an appropriate metaphor.