"Separation of Church and State" Isn't in the Constitution!

So many believers have been dropping by in response to me hammering on Michael Egnor.  None of them seem to have read the first section of the Constitution, but they love to point out that the phrase “separation of church and state” doesn’t appear in the it.  This is a specious, semantic game to avoid arguing against the concept and the framework for it being there.

The phrase “separation of chuch and state” is used as a shorthand description for what the constitution calls for. You might as well say the word “monogamy” isn’t in the bible, so the framework and concept of monogamy isn’t in there. As I pointed out earlier, Article 3 gives the SCOTUS the authority to make the call on separation, and they have made it.

There is no question that the overwhelming majority of church/state separation cases in what has undoubtedly and unarguably been a nation of Judeo-Christian background have nevertheless come down on the side separation. Let’s face it: until recently the population has been around 90% Judeo-Christian.  That is the background of every single Supreme Court Justice ever, and clearly and consistently “separation” has been the winner. They haven’t done this because of their religious beliefs, but in spite of them.

You may kick and scream and insist that this country’s 100% Judeo-Christian Justices have, for decades, pushed a subversive “agenda” of separation, but that idea is absolutely ludicrous. Do you even hear what you are suggesting? Does that make any kind of sense?

What you think the constitution means, or what you think the founders intended, does not matter. You can whine all you want that atheists and the courts don’t get it. It is nothing but sour grapes on your part. The legal precedents are well established, that bell is rung, and you can’t unring it.

People who aren’t well-educated or very bright will believe they know more about applicable legal historical context than generations of Supreme Court justices, but no objective on-looker will buy that story.

The sad part is that Cranston is full of people who are not objective (you can thank deep, unflinching faith for helping them get there) who are going to continue pissing away education dollars on frivolous court cases destined to be lost.

And make no mistake all you godly folk in Rhode Island, you have lost. I suggest you do what the precious prayer banner you are squealing about said to do: be good sports and accept your losses with a smile.

It is a pipe dream for you to hope that people will believe your constitutional knowledge, wisdom, and interpretation is better than decades of jurisprudence and Supreme Court justices. If that it what you are selling, surely the only people buying are those with equally little knowledge.

 

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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