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An Evil And Twisted Interpretation Of The First Amendment

I get seriously ticked off when I think about the dramatic difference between what our Founders intended with the Constitution and Bill of Rights vs what the Powers That Be consider them to mean.

It baffles me that people can take simple, straight forward language, and twist it into whatever they want it to mean.  Actually, it doesn’t baffle me that they do it, it amazes me that We The People let them get away with it with our own inaction.  Except, of course, when it comes to Prohibition.

My wife and I had an interesting conversation about the First Amendment and the so-called ‘Separation of Church and State’ doctrine the other day.  And in a strange twist of time, a Tea Party Senatorial candidate in Delaware is in hot water because of what she said to her opponent about the same topic.

Now, I don’t want to go into what my wife and I talked about, or about what Christine O’Donnell said.  But I do want to address the First Amendment and its proper interpretation.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution

To refresh our memories, the text of the Amendment is as follows:

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.

The part I want to address is the bolded part of the quote.

Leviathan … err … Congress Shall Make No Law

On first glance, the phrase ‘Congress shall make no law’ is pretty straight forward and clear.  But people have interpreted ‘Congress’ to mean ‘Nobody’ which is just plain wrong.

See, the Founders were pretty smart folks.  They wrote what they meant, in relatively clear English.  The intent to limit only the federal government via the First Amendment is quite clear.  It becomes even more clear if you look at the other Amendments in the Bill of Rights.  None of them bind what Congress can do with these words.  Not a single one.

Do you really think they did that by accident?  Nope.  The view of the Founders was that individual States, as sovereign entities, could make their own laws, subject to their own Constitutions.  It was entirely plausible for a State to create laws establishing religion.

Remember, the Federal Government was intended to be EXTREMELY LIMITED in power, not the all encompassing Leviathan it is today.  The thought that individual States make their own laws and people could find a State to live in that fits their beliefs was the rule of the day back then.

The Ever Present Establishment Clause

The next part is ‘respecting an establishment of religion’.  This is the bit that has been twisted to mean that nobody in this country can do anything at all related to religion with any sort of public dollars.  This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Looking back in history, religion was a part of life for most people, and was a preeminent part of politics and government as well.  If you doubt this, simply read the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and other early documents.  A history book or two as well.

Establishment in the context of religion means “a church recognized by law as the official church of a nation or state.”

This part of the First Amendment is there to prevent the Church of America from being formed.  Remember, the Church of England, which the Pilgrims fled, was formed because Henry VIII wanted to marry Anne Boleyn and the Pope wouldn’t give him a divorce.  So he left the Catholic Church and formed the Church of England.  Our Founders didn’t want a repeat performance of any kind in the United States.

The intent is clear.  The Federal Government can’t pass laws that recognize a religion as the official religion of the United States.  It doesn’t say anything else, or limit anything else.

The Evil Intent Of Twisted Words

How do you get from that to what we have today, where you can’t even talk about God in a public setting, let alone begin a meeting with a customary prayer, or say the Pledge of Allegiance? Unless, of course, you’re Muslim, in which case you can do whatever you want.

By twisting words beyond all reasonable definition or meaning.

I find that to be plain evil.

What do you think?

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.
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6 Responses to An Evil And Twisted Interpretation Of The First Amendment

  1. If you think in the context of where the elite of this world and country are wanting to take this country, we are to become “one” world with one government and one currency. One of the things in the way is EXACTLy what you discuss. State Sovereignty. One of the upcoming battles that is actually coming to the forefront now is the “battle between Federal and State Authority and rights. Consider Arizona and immigration issue. The feds are sueing the state! Or gun ownership rights. Not trusting the Feds, states are making clear laws about any issues that affect those. Do u know what i am talking about Rudy?

  2. I believe that everyone has their own right to whatever religion they believe in, and in no circumstances should it be forced or even preached to someone unwillingly.

    One things that irks me beyond belief is people preaching to me. Whether they are Christian, Hindu, Jehova Witnesses, Satanic, … whatever…it is all pushing your beliefs onto me.

    I like the fact that religion is not part of public events because most public events are not compromised of people of a single religion.

    If I want to be preached to about XYZ, I’ll be at the XYZ Church on Sunday morning.

    • Actually, Jared, that would be Freedom FROM religion, and that is not guaranteed to you (despite MSM claims to the contrary).

      No one can push their ideas onto someone else. No one can force you to believe. But, believe it or not, it is not your right to determine what can and can’t be said. in terms of religion, in a public arena. And even on a one-to-one basis, it is not illegal to discuss religion or even try to convert someone. Now, some people are obnoxious buffoons in the way they go about it. However…. it is not illegal to be an obnoxious buffoon, either.

  3. Back then, the Founding Fathers knew that making this or that church the official church of a state or country resulted in persecution and even death of those who didn’t follow that particular church. This happened when the Baptist church was the official church of at least one state. Presbyterians, Quakers, and a host of other folks were treated quite poorly. Making a law that respects (prefers) any establishment (organization, denomination) of religion is therefore prohibited. That includes legal favoritism of any sort, preferential treatment or looking the other way when laws that apply to everyone else (zoning laws, child labor laws, etc.) are violated.

  4. You know I was checking out your blogs etc because I do beleive in self suffiency and grow your own, personal responsibility etc. You were starting to look really interesting until I read this “Unless, of course, you’re Muslim, in which case you can do whatever you want.” and now I can see that your a racist pig like most of the RW preppers are. It is truly sad that you don’t really understand the meaning and practice of the words Compassion, Kindness and Generosity.

    • Oddly enough, I have a number of friends that I don’t share a skin color with. I suspect they’d differ with you on the ‘racist pig’ part.

      Incidentally for your future reference, Islam is a religion, not a race. Muslims are followers of Islam. Your assertion that someone is a racist because they make a comment regarding Muslims is the same as calling someone a racist because they make a similar comment about a Christian.