Bryan Fischer, being the Christian fascist that he is, writes once again that the First Amendment applies only to Christians, not to the adherents of any other religion. Reacting to the Florida school stopping outside distribution by religious groups, he offers his usual stupidity and hyperbole:
The Orange County School Board in Florida is getting ready to ban God.
The board had allowed an evangelical group to passively distribute Bibles on its campuses. Passive distribution means simply that nobody is handing them out. They are placed on a table and students can come by and pick one up if they want. If they don’t want one, they don’t have to go get one.
But once members of the Satanic Temple publicly declared their intentions to distribute material on the “philosophy and practice of Satanism,” the board re-evaluated its stand and decided not only to ban Satan from its campuses but God too. No longer will Bible distribution be allowed on its campuses.
And how does this “ban God”? Is your deity so weak that this little rule change prevents him from existing at that school?
This incident serves as a prime example of how the gross distortion of the First Amendment is destroying religious liberty and turning Christian literature into the educational equivalent of pornography, something that is considered so toxic it must be kept from the eyes of inquisitive students.
Wrong. Wrong, wrong, incredibly fucking wrong. All it means is that Christian literature is being treated exactly the same way the literature of any other religion is, which is exactly what the First Amendment requires. The government cannot take a position on the truth or falsity of any religion, including yours. Which is exactly why this bothers Fischer about it. You see, he advocates “smaller government” — except he wants the government to be a big church that promotes Christianity to kids in school even if they are of a different religion. Like I said, Christian fascist.
I have written on numerous occasions that the purpose of the First Amendment, as Justice Joseph Story declares in his monumental history of the Constitution, was only to protect the free exercise of the Christian faith and to prevent the selection and designation of one Christian denomination as the official church of the United States.
Story said the purpose of the Founders in crafting the First Amendment was not to “countenance much less to advance Mohammedanism, Judaism or infidelity…but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects” (meaning denominations).
But because low-information educators have so mangled our history, and activist judges have so mangled our Constitution, most Americans, even educated ones, do not understand this basic fact about the First Amendment: that by the word “religion” in the First Amendment, the Founders meant only the various expressions of Christianity.
He has flogged that out of context Joseph Story quote for all its worth. But bear in mind that Story was not one of the Founding Fathers at all. He had no role in either the Declaration of Independence (written 8 years before he was born) or the Constitution (written when he was 7 years old). Two decades later he was appointed to the Supreme Court. And for all Fischer’s talk of Story thinking Christianity was the only thing protected by the First Amendment, Fischer would certainly not consider Story a Christian himself. Story’s brother William wrote his biography, which included this from a letter he wrote to Story’s son:
“After my continued absence from home for four or five years, we met again, your father being now about eighteen years old, and renewed our former affection towards each other. At this time we were, from a similarity of sentiment, drawn more closely together. I allude particularly to our religious opinions. We frequently discussed the subject of the divinity and the humanity of Christ, and we both agreed in believing in his humanity. Thus you see that your father and myself were early Unitarians, long before the doctrine was preached among us by any one…
This faith he retained during his whole life, and was ever ardent in his advocacy of the views of Liberal Christians. He was several times President of the American Unitarian Association…He admitted within the pale of salvation Mahommedan and Christian, Catholic and Infidel. He believed that whatever is sincere and honest is recognized of God.”
So Story believed that Jesus was only a man and he was both a unitarian and a universalist (though not a Unitarian Universalist, which did not exist at the time). Fischer would condemn him as a heretic and an infidel and claim that he himself was not protected by the First Amendment.