Friday, December 09, 2011

Hateful Atheists Demonstrate Intolerance For Christians' First Amendment Rights

Story here.

Might offend someone, eh?  Then can't have it!

Oh, you mean like how this offends a lot of folks?

(Oh, come on, it's not hurting anyone; be tolerant, you hater!)

I say if the atheists get to ban "state-sanctioned" displays of Nativity Scenes, then we must also ban state-sanctioned displays of "sexuality", like the "gay" parades.

Oh, wait... I almost forgot... in the US Constitution, religious freedom and expression of religious belief is guaranteed.  There is absolutely no mention of "sexuality" in the Constitution.  And the myth of "separation of church and state" is just that; a myth (go ahead and find that phrase in the Constitution and show me exactly where it is... good luck, sucker!).

Funny how atheist militants take the part of the Constitution that says that there can't be an establishment of a state religion via legislation... into saying that non-state religions must be "separate" from the state in every conceivable way.

(Christianity is not a "state religion", so feck off, you haters!  We know you're really just Christianophobic haters!  Monsters!)

Well, if this bullshit, not-in-the-Constitution myth is to be followed, then let's be fair.  Let's keep EVERY ideology "separate" from the state, and ban "gay" parades, because allowing them to walk down the street flaunting in ways offensive to many... constitutes an "unconstitutional" establishment of sexuality ideology by the state...

Oh, and if we're gonna keep religion and state separate, then let's certainly put a stop to the "advice" Obama is taking from Muslim Brotherhood advisors who we know are there in the White House!

Seems to me that the "Progressive" movement is always opening one of these...


balbulican said...

That's pretty silly.

Hopefully the same thing will happen there as happened here in Ottawa about three years ago. Some silly prof objected to the installation of a Christmas tree in the foyer of the Unicentre on similar grounds. A coalition of Christian, Muslim and Jewish student groups submitted a petition to the Board of the University insisting that the tree be restored. It was.

∞ ≠ ø said...

From my back yard.

This has been an ongoing problem for at least 3 years.

It's the separation of church and state not the exclusion of church from state.

And in the above story we are dealing with deliberate defamation of a religious celebration, not a celebration of/on it's own.

Canuckguy said...

Wow, we are all on the same page here for once

Doug Indeap said...

Why you direct your ire at those seeking to uphold the Constitution rather than those trying to circumvent it is not apparent.

It is important to distinguish between the "public square" and "government" and between "individual" and "government" speech about religion. The constitutional principle of separation of church and state does not purge religion from the public square--far from it. Indeed, the First Amendment's "free exercise" clause assures that each individual is free to exercise and express his or her religious views--publicly as well as privately. The Amendment constrains only the government not to promote or otherwise take steps toward establishment of religion. As government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, when those individuals are performing their official duties (e.g., public school teachers instructing students in class), they effectively are the government and thus should conduct themselves in accordance with the First Amendment's constraints on government. When acting in their individual capacities, they are free to exercise their religions as they please. If their right to free exercise of religion extended even to their discharge of their official responsibilities, however, the First Amendment constraints on government establishment of religion would be eviscerated. While figuring out whether someone is speaking for the government in any particular circumstance may sometimes be difficult, making the distinction is critical.

A word should be added about the commonly heard idea that this is all about people easily offended or majority and minority rights. We’re not talking about the freedom of individuals to say or do something others find offensive; we have that freedom. We’re talking about the government weighing in to promote religion. Under our Constitution, our government has no business doing that--regardless of whether anyone is offended and regardless of how many like or dislike any particular religion. While this is primarily a constitutional point, it is one that conservatives--small government conservatives--should appreciate from a political standpoint as well. While the First Amendment thus constrains government from promoting (or opposing) religion without regard to whether anyone is offended, a court may address the issue only in a suit by someone with "standing" (sufficient personal stake in a matter) to bring suit; in order to show such standing, a litigant may allege he is offended or otherwise harmed by the government's failure to follow the law; the question whether someone has standing to sue is entirely separate from the question whether the government has violated the Constitution.

Wake Forest University recently published a short, objective Q&A primer on the current law of separation of church and state–as applied by the courts rather than as caricatured in the blogosphere. I commend it to you.

Canadian Sentinel said...

The First Amendment states, simply:

"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."

I see nothing therein regarding state apparatchiks allegedly "favoring/disfavoring/promoting/whatever". I have no idea where you got that stuff; it's clearly not there in the First Amendment.

Canadian Sentinel said...

"shall make no law" is very limited, obviously, and obviously means that no law shall be made by Congress to establish a religion (of the state, obviously)... I don't see where you're coming from, Doug, on the other stuff you said. I see no connection between the other stuff you said and the Constitution.

Doug Indeap said...

Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our Constitution much like the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. In the Constitution, the founders did not simply say in so many words that there should be separation of powers and checks and balances; rather, they actually separated the powers of government among three branches and established checks and balances. Similarly, they did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of "We the people" (not a deity), (2) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (3) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (4), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. Given the norms of the day, the founders' avoidance of any expression in the Constitution suggesting that the government is somehow based on any religious belief was quite a remarkable and plainly intentional choice. They later buttressed this separation of government and religion with the First Amendment, which constrains the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions. The basic principle, thus, rests on much more than just the First Amendment.

Madison, who had a central role in drafting the Constitution and the First Amendment, confirmed that he understood them to “[s]trongly guard[] . . . the separation between Religion and Government.” Madison, Detached Memoranda (~1820). He made plain, too, that they guarded against more than just laws creating state sponsored churches or imposing a state religion. Mindful that even as new principles are proclaimed, old habits die hard and citizens and politicians could tend to entangle government and religion (e.g., “the appointment of chaplains to the two houses of Congress” and “for the army and navy” and “[r]eligious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts”), he considered the question whether these actions were “consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom” and responded: “In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.”

While the First Amendment undoubtedly was intended to preclude the government from establishing a national religion as you note, that was hardly the limit of its intended scope. The first Congress debated and rejected just such a narrow provision (“no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed”) and ultimately chose the more broadly phrased prohibition now found in the Amendment. During his presidency, Madison vetoed two bills, neither of which would form a national religion or compel observance of any religion, on the ground that they were contrary to the establishment clause. While some in Congress expressed surprise that the Constitution prohibited Congress from incorporating a church in the town of Alexandria in the District of Columbia or granting land to a church in the Mississippi Territory, Congress upheld both vetoes. In keeping with the Amendment’s terms and legislative history and other evidence, the courts have wisely interpreted it to restrict the government from taking steps that could establish religion de facto as well as de jure. Were the Amendment interpreted merely to preclude government from enacting a statute formally establishing a state church, the intent of the Amendment could easily be circumvented by government doing all sorts of things to promote this or that religion–stopping just short of cutting a ribbon to open its new church.

Canadian Sentinel said...

"Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our Constitution"

I'm sorry, but there is no such phrase in the Constitution.

It's a myth. It's NOT THERE.

But you can believe it is, if you wish. You're free to believe it says whatever you want it to say, not that believing it says something makes it say something.

The Constitution says what it says, period. We must be careful not to make fools of ourselves claiming that it says something it doesn't.

Canadian Sentinel said...

Sure, some folks from back then said stuff to which you wish to refer as "proof" of meaning of "Congress shall make no law..." as "separation of church and state". But that doesn't make it so. For the Constitution says what it says, period.

Canadian Sentinel said...

We must be careful of claiming that the Constitution says stuff it doesn't, whatever our rationales for such interpretations.

Just look at the judicial activist judges claiming that the Constitution says that gay marriage is a right, while, in fact, the Founding Fathers never intended any such interpretation....

Doug Indeap said...

You implicitly (by your silence) acknowledge the fundamental aspects of the Constitution I noted above, yet fail to recognize that these are reflections of the very separation of government and religion you deem a myth.

That the phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the text of the Constitution assumes much importance, it seems, to some who may have once labored under the misimpression it was there and, upon learning they were mistaken, reckon they’ve discovered a smoking gun solving a Constitutional mystery.

To those familiar with the Constitution, the absence of the metaphor commonly used to name one of its principles is no more consequential than the absence of other phrases (e.g., Bill of Rights, separation of powers, checks and balances, fair trial, religious liberty) used to describe other undoubted Constitutional principles.

To the extent that some nonetheless would like confirmation--in those very words--of the founders' intent to separate government and religion, Madison and Jefferson supplied it.

In any event, the very fact that evidence and arguments can be advanced in support of both sides of issues like this is one of the reasons we have courts and call on them to resolve such issues. In this instance, the Supreme Court has done just that--decisively, authoritatively, and, in the most important respects, unanimously.