Perry Fights Obama’s Non-Existent War on Religion

Perry Fights Obama’s Non-Existent War on Religion December 12, 2011

Rick Perry has a new campaign ad out promising credulous morons everywhere that, if elected, he would “end Obama’s war on religion.” You know, the one that exists only on Planet Wingnuttia. On Earth, Obama has made a huge public show of his Christian faith, disappointed civil libertarians with his policies on faith-based initiatives and talked incessantly about the role of faith in public life. On Planet Wingnuttia, of course, there are no rainbows because gay people might like that and the emissions from oil refineries smell like Coors Light.

httpv://youtu.be/0PAJNntoRgA

"A link to the bill itself, so we can be sure we're talking about what ..."

Graham: Schools Have No Right to ..."
"Well, according to most Biblical literalists young Earth creationists, there wouldn't be humanity without incest ..."

Is Steve King’s Political Future Almost ..."
"If LGBTQ people played a significant role in history, then yeah, that's part of the ..."

Graham: Schools Have No Right to ..."
"I know, but I'd sure like to be there when they find out that they're ..."

Log Cabin Republicans Endorse Anti-Gay Trump

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • slc1

    Apparently, the governor is still wearing the controversial overcoat.

  • Ouabache

    On Fox News he just said that he wants a Constitutional amendment that allows kids to pray in school. Of course, we already have an amendment that covers that. It’s the very first one. Perry might want to take the time and read it some point.

    Also, I really hope some reporter follows up on this and asks him if the amendment would allow Muslims to pray in school too.

  • peterh

    He’s pretty much clueless.

  • ArtK

    Is the Republican primary process geared towards answering this question? “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the dumbest one of all?”

    Conservatism in the US these days seems to be a race between producing a dumber electorate and dumber politicians to pander to them. I’m not sure which one is winning at this point.

  • @ ArtK

    Mr. president, we must not allow a stupid gap!

  • lofgren

    Perry isn’t running for president anymore. That much should be obvious. Right now he’s just making a play to be demagogue-in-chief for the religious right speaking circuit.

  • bbgunn

    It’s really not fair to the man*, but I can’t help recall this article when I read or listen to what Perry has to say on any topic.

    *The man from the article, not Perry.

  • Ouabache says:

    On Fox News he just said that he wants a Constitutional amendment that allows kids to pray in school. Of course, we already have an amendment that covers that. It’s the very first one

    Then why did the framers allow prayer in schools and themselves pray in Jesus’ name? Obviously, modern separation doctrine is wrong.

  • ArtK

    @ james-the-goose

    Then why did the framers allow prayer in schools and themselves pray in Jesus’ name?

    What you and Perry don’t understand is the difference between the words “allowing” and “forcing”. Prayer is allowed in schools — what’s not allowed is the government forcing someone to pray or to listen to a prayer. Perfectly consistent with what the founders wrote — remember Jefferson and the “wall of separation between church and state”?

    BTW, citation needed for the “… and themselves pray in Jesus’ name” statement. Was that all of the framers, most of them, a few or one? Which will you pick as your “representative”? In a previous thread, you seemed confused about whether Mason or Jefferson could be representative of the founders.

  • Retired Prodigy Bill

    Two replies, Jamesgosick. First, why did the framers allow slavery? Obviously, modern slavery doctrine is wrong, everybody should own some human beings just like the framers. The framers allowed slavery for political reasons, yet they also designed a brilliant, secular system that could change with time.

    Second, if you really want the skinny on how Christian privilege started sucking the life out of the founder’s Enlightenment ideals almost immediately, go read Chris Rodda’s “Liars for Jesus.” It’s a little bit boring because it is accurate history from primary source documents.

  • timberwoof

    jamesgoswick wrote, “Obviously, modern separation doctrine is wrong.”

    Are you saying that the doctrine of separation of church and state is modern and wrong, or are you saying that a modern interpretation of it is wrong?

    The doctrine itself dates from Thomas Jefferson. (See his letter to the Danbury (Connecticut) Baptist assocation http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html ) He wrote,

    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

    This means that schools can’t start assemblies or school days with prayer. That’s not an infringement on your right to pray. Go ahead; have a prayer if you want to. What this means is that a school can’t tell me I have to leave assembly—walk out in plain sight of everybody, so they can all see who does not believe as they do—while they can have their prayer before we start.

    You know how peer pressure works in schools, don’t you? You force the doubters to try to stay out of trouble and at least publicly pretend, so they can’t know how many of them there actually are. That way they won’t have meetings and discuss unauthorized religious belief.

    The authors of the Constitution were not all as Christian as you think. Even if they were, they recognized that there are many religions and that the government should not be in the business of specifying which one.

    If you had to choose which kind of Christian prayer was used in public schools, what would it be? Something Aramaic or Greek Orthodox? Coptic? Latin and Catholic, perhaps? A Lutheran prayer? Episcopalian? Anabaptist? Quaker?

    And (how) would you accommodate kids of non-Christian religion or no religion at all?

  • sunnydale75

    I wonder if Rick Perry believes in any other nutty conspiracies.

    Tony

  • gshelley

    Having seen him try to defend this, what is interesting is that he knows it is nonsense (he has accepted that Obama has done a lot of pro Christian stuff and has used actions of others on the “left” as evidence of Obama’s war), but that he does seem to genuinely believe it.

    It is also interesting that after all the protests during the repeal of DADT about how the antis were not against for purely religious reasons, but were concerned about morale and combat effectiveness, Perry is willing to come out and say that repeal is an attack on Christianity

    The third part I found interesting is that in any rational world, he would have been laughed out of the contest for even trying to imply that there is any sort of feeling that being a Christian id looked upon as being even slightly negative for a candidate for any political office and that he was doing something special by coming out and admitting to being one. As it is, he does seem to have been mocked a lot, but the paranoid, ignorant delusional bigots he was aiming at have just lapped up his nonsense.

  • ambulocetacean

    On Planet Wingnuttia, of course, there are no rainbows because gay people might like that and the emissions from oil refineries smell like Coors Light.

    Heh. Nice one, Ed =)

  • otrame

    jamesgoswick

    I will say this as clearly as I can: THERE IS NO ONE PREVENTING KIDS FROM PRAYING IN SCHOOLS.

    Hell, even if anyone wanted to stop them, they couldn’t, now could they?

    What has been stopped is the leading of students in prayer by a teacher or other government employee.

    I repeat, in case you are hard of reading NO ONE is preventing prayer in schools. It just has to be private. You know, like Jesus said (Matt. 6:6).

    Or don’t you believe you need to pay attention to what Jesus said.

  • juice

    OT, but thought you’d be interested.

    http://www.cantonrep.com/news/x1722160946/Call-to-duty-Local-Guard-unit-deploys?img=2

    Members of the Ohio Army National Guard’s Company B, 3rd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment, are applauded as they exit Faith Family Church Sunday during their send off ceremonies.

  • ArtK says:

    Prayer is allowed in schools — what’s not allowed is the government forcing someone to pray or to listen to a prayer

    By continuing the practice of mandatory administrative prayer in all schools, from 1620 to 1961, the framers supported it. Of course, anyone can walk out of prayer–strawman argument.

  • peterh

    This thread has found its One True Dissenter.

  • sunnydale75

    Timberwoof:

    Not only were the founding fathers not all Christian, many of them were deists.

    http://web.wm.edu/news/archive/index.php?id=6083

    http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/Philosophy/god_theorem/god_theorem/node26.html

    Contrary to what several conservative Republicans think, this country wasn’t founded on Christian values, no matter how many times they try their historical revisionism.

  • Retired Prodigy Bill says:

    Two replies, Jamesgosick. First, why did the framers allow slavery?

    To have a Union, which Madison said would not happen unless slavery was permitted.

    The framers allowed slavery for political reasons, yet they also designed a brilliant, secular system that could change with time

    First, you make a fallacy–not all the framers had slaves. Only the liberals like Jefferson and Madison had slaves. How could the framers design a secular govt. when the States mandated Christianity for office holders:

    Constitution of the State of New Hampshire (1784,1792), required senators and representatives to be of the: Protestant religion. (in force until 1877)The Constitution stipulated: Article I, Section VI. And every denomination of Christians demeaning themselves quietly, and as good citizens of the state, shall be equally under the protection of the laws. And no subordination of any one sect of denomination to another, shall ever be established by law

  • timberwoof says:

    Are you saying that the doctrine of separation of church and state is modern and wrong, or are you saying that a modern interpretation of it is wrong?..The doctrine itself dates from Thomas Jefferson

    Modern separation is wrong. TJ himself said modern separation is wrong. The framers believed in separation as a national church ruling the state as in the Church of England. That is the context. Now, it’s all whacked out. TJ left States to establish whatever religion they wanted:

    I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the States the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General Government. It must then rest with the States, as far as it can be in any human authority..Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands..But I have ever believed, that..what might be a right in a State government, was a violation of that right when assumed by another

    –-to Rev. Samuel Miller, January 23, 1808

  • Azkyroth

    and the emissions from oil refineries smell like Coors Light.

    Actually, that one’s pretty much true…

  • Akira MacKenzie

    A war on religion? I fucking wish!

  • tomh

    jamesgoswick wrote:

    By continuing the practice of mandatory administrative prayer in all schools, from 1620 to 1961,

    Where did you get this idea? I was in public elementary school and high school from 1951-1962. There was no “mandatory administrative prayer” during any of that time. Give a credibloe reference for this BS.

  • observer

    I personally long for a return to the sectarian violence that resulted from the early 19th century conception of the establishment clause. There is nothing quite as American as riots and murders over whose version of the Lord’s Prayer should be recited in schools. Damn that pesky 14th amendment that overrode the power of the states to establish mini-theocracies!

  • tomh says:

    By continuing the practice of mandatory administrative prayer in all schools, from 1620 to 1961,

    Where did you get this idea? I was in public elementary school and high school from 1951-1962

    If adminstrators lead prayer, it was mandated until the 1961 SC decision.

  • tomh

    jamesgoswick wrote:

    If adminstrators lead prayer, it was mandated

    Do you know what mandated means? You’re trying to say that prayer was required in all schools until 1961. That’s simply not true.

  • tomh

    jamesgoswick wrote:

    TJ left States to establish whatever religion they wanted:

    So what? All states had disestablished state religions by 1833. Even if they hadn’t, federal law has been shown to supersede all state laws. What does any of your argumet have to do with anything today?

  • tomh

    Do you know what mandated means? You’re trying to say that prayer was required in all schools until 1961. That’s simply not true

    Then why need a supreme court decision to prohibit it?

  • Azkyroth

    ….uh, because it was required in some, but not others?

  • tomh says:

    So what? All states had disestablished state religions by 1833

    None of the States had state religions. The point is all Christian sects were equal–others were not. If the federal laws contradict TJ’s et al. words, they are wrong, and the Supreme Law of the Land (the Constitution) has been subverted–which it has.

  • michaelswanson

    James Goswick,

    The entire list of circumstances under which public school students will not be allowed to pray, on their own or with other students:

    1. If it affects classroom or student activities, such as praying aloud during tests, assemblies or while the teacher is speaking. Similarly, students are not allowed to discuss politics, fashion, the Super Bowl or who they’re taking to the prom if it will disrupt classroom activities.

    2. That’s about it.

    And now, the entire list of circumstances under which public school students will not be permitted to state that there is no god, or that prayer is pointless, on their own or with other students:

    1. If it affects classroom or student activities, such as making these statements during tests, assemblies or while the teacher is speaking. Similarly, students are not allowed to discuss politics, fashion, the Super Bowl or who they’re taking to the prom if it will disrupt classroom activities.

    2. That’s about it.

    And now the times during which a public school teacher or faculty member can lead a prayer:

    1. Never. Would you want your Catholic teacher leading your Baptist students in prayer? Your Jewish teacher leading your Seventh Day Adventist students? Your Evangelical teacher leading your Buddhist students? Your Pentecostal teacher leading your atheist students in prayer? (I know the answer to the last one.)

    And now the times during which a public school teacher or faculty member can state that there is no god or that prayer is pointless:

    1. Never.

    ***

    By not allowing the schools to dictate or promote any particular religion or sect, it allows the students complete freedom of religion. As soon as schools are allowed to actively promote religion it will just be a matter of time before people start fighting over which religion it should be. Let’s leave other religions out of it for a moment and address this: Christians in America think they have a common enemy, but they’ll quickly learn to hate each other (Ireland, anyone?) if different schools and districts start espousing different Christian values!

  • tomh

    jamesgoswick wrote:

    Then why need a supreme court decision to prohibit it?

    You really don’t know anything about it, do you? The New York State government wrote a prayer that school districts could read to begin the school day. The Supreme Court said this violated the Establishment Clause. You would do well to educate yourself, by reading

    Hugo Black’s opinion in Engel v. Vitale and you will learn why it was necessary. He also gives a lucid history of the importance of the separation of church and state, which you would do well to acquaint yourself with.

  • Nibi

    This is the second time now that Goswick has trotted out his “to Rev. Samuel Miller” quote. Is anyone curious about the stealth double-dot faux ellipses?

    Let’s see, we have

    It must then rest with the States, as far as it can be in any human authority..Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises,

    which elides

    But it is only proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe a day of fasting and prayer. That is, that I should indirectly assume to the United States an authority over religious exercises, which the Constitution has directly precluded them from. It must be meant, too, that this recommendation is to carry some authority, and to be sanctioned by some penalty on those who disregard it; not indeed of fine and imprisonment, but of some degree of proscription, perhaps in public opinion. And does the change in the nature of the penalty make the recommendation less a law of conduct for those to whom it is directed? I do not believe it is in the best interests of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines; nor of the religious societies, that the General Government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them an act of discipline.

    (emphasis mine)

    Gee, I wonder why that bit was left out?

  • gshelley

    What does any of your argument have to do with anything today?

    He’s trying to pretend the 14th never happened.

  • ArtK

    @ michaelswann

    By not allowing the schools to dictate or promote any particular religion or sect, it allows the students complete freedom of religion.

    But jamesgoswick doesn’t want religious freedom. He fervently wants Christianity to be the law of the land. He’s already said, “The point is all Christian sects were equal–others were not”. To that end, he’s more than happy to ignore the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution and claim that the current interpretation of the separation of church and state is wrong. He’s happy to quote Jefferson as an exemplar of the founders when TJ says something that he agrees with, but then to deny that Jefferson is an exemplar when it becomes inconvenient.

  • tomh

    jamesgoswick wrote:

    If the federal laws contradict TJ’s et al. words, they are wrong, and the Supreme Law of the Land (the Constitution) has been subverted–which it has.

    You seem to think that Jefferson had something to do with writing the Constitution, when, actually, he was out of the country when it was written and adopted, and had no hand in writing it.

  • michaelswanson

    I see. I’m not familiar with this Goswick fellow. (It’s probably for the better.) I suppose if he’s hellbent on having a Christian nation, then it’s our duty as the forces of darkness to oppose him.

    [spooky voice]

    Oooh! We’re coming to get you, Mr. Goswick! We’re coming to teach your children… that they should think for themselves! Oooh! We’re coming to get your wives… and tell them that they should drop their woman-hating religion and leave their husbands if they aren’t respected and cherished! Oooh! We’re to take all the babies and sacrifice… our time and effort to see them raised healthy, loved and happy! Oooh! Fear us! Fear reason, logic and compassion, for they will be your undoing, Mr. Goswick! Mwahahaha!!!

    [/spooky voice]

  • ArtK

    @ jamesgoswick

    Then why need a supreme court decision to prohibit it?

    You really, really don’t know how the Constitution works, do you? There’s no way for the courts (acting as agents for the Constitution) can proactively address unconstitutional laws. There are lots of unconstitutional laws on the books and have been for a long time — they only reason that they’re still there is that no one has challenged them on constitutional grounds.

    Witness, say, Proposition 8 in California. It almost certainly violates the equal protection clause, yet the law was enacted. It will continue to be law until the appeals are done — which may well include a SCOTUS decision.

    There’s nothing that proactively prevents a school board from establishing an unconstitutional rule; a city council from enacting an unconstitutional bylaw; a county, state or the federal government from passing unconstitutional rules and laws. It’s all done after the law, or rule is put in place.

    Sometimes the challenge comes quickly, sometimes it takes a long time. That’s why areas that did have mandatory school prayer continued to do so until 1962 — there wasn’t a challenge that made it to SCOTUS. That’s not evidence that the laws were right to begin with and the current interpretation of separation is wrong.

  • ArtK says:

    Witness, say, Proposition 8 in California. It almost certainly violates the equal protection clause

    The very fact you brought this up proves my point. The founding fathers executed homosexuals, which proves the bill of rights did not protect them:

    That if any do commit the detestable and abominable vice of Buggery, with man or beast, he or she so offending, shall be adjudged a felon, and shall suffer death, in the case of felony, without the benefit of Clergy

    –A Collection of All Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia 1802, (Richmond:Pleasance and Price, 1803), page 179, ch. C [50], enacted Dec. 10, 1792.

    You are thinking in modern terms. We are not supposed to do that:

    I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution…What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense

    –JM to Henry Lee on June 25, 1824

  • michaelswanson says:

    I see. I’m not familiar with this Goswick fellow. (It’s probably for the better.) I suppose if he’s hellbent on having a Christian nation, then it’s our duty as the forces of darkness to oppose him

    It is the founding fathers you are opposing, which they said you weren’t supposed to do. The Constitution is only to be amended not contrary to Christianity. They set up the Christian nation, not me.

  • Nibi says:

    This is the second time now that Goswick has trotted out his “to Rev. Samuel Miller” quote. Is anyone curious about the stealth double-dot faux ellipses?

    Let’s see, we have

    It must then rest with the States, as far as it can be in any human authority..Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises,

    which elides

    But it is only proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe a day of fasting and prayer. That is, that I should indirectly assume to the United States an authority over religious exercises, which the Constitution has directly precluded them from. It must be meant, too, that this recommendation is to carry some authority, and to be sanctioned by some penalty on those who disregard it; not indeed of fine and imprisonment, but of some degree of proscription, perhaps in public opinion. And does the change in the nature of the penalty make the recommendation less a law of conduct for those to whom it is directed? I do not believe it is in the best interests of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines; nor of the religious societies, that the General Government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them an act of discipline.

    (emphasis mine)

    Gee, I wonder why that bit was left out?

    Because it’s too long.

  • cptdoom

    Not that I want to encourage troll-feeding, but I like jamesgoswick’s reasoning that the First Amendment only protects “Christian” sects. After all, that means we can strip First Amendment protections from the Mormons, the Southern Baptists, the Christian Scientists, the Scientologists, Rick Warren’s church, Joel Osteen’s church, and all the other fly-by-night “evangelical” churches that have sprung up in the past few years. All of these “churches” were created after the Founders had long died (at least most of them) and therefore cannot be protected in the Constitution.

    Of course, that same reasoning means we can pass a law the prevents jamesgoswick’s arguments from being expressed in blogs like this. After all, the Founders couldn’t possibly have intended to protect speech in a virtual environment.

  • michaelswanson

    It is the founding fathers you are opposing, which they said you weren’t supposed to do.

    Okay. Then I won’t oppose the following sentiments. (Sure, I’m quote mining, I know. I’m sure that someone can provide plenty of quotations that clearly show how the Founding Fathers were pious, Christian men to the last! I’ll just wait over here.)

    Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.

    -Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802

    The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

  • The Constitution is only to be amended not contrary to Christianity. They set up the Christian nation, not me.

    Funny, then, how the first amendment gives me the right to ignore roughly half of your precious Ten Commandments. I can worship any god I please, make graven images, work on the sabbath, and talk shit about my parents (if I’m so inclined, which I’m not).

    How exactly does that “set up a Christian nation?”

  • The Christian Cynic

    Witness, say, Proposition 8 in California. It almost certainly violates the equal protection clause

    The very fact you brought this up proves my point. The founding fathers executed homosexuals, which proves the bill of rights did not protect them

    You realize that the Equal Protection Clause is part of the Fourteenth Amendment, which is a) not a part of the Bill of Rights and b) not written by the founders, right? Talk about walking into the punch.

  • Nibi

    jamesgoswick writes

    Because it’s too long.

    and cinches this year’s Cheetos® DullTroll™ award.

  • The Christian Cynic says: You realize that the Equal Protection Clause is part of the Fourteenth Amendment, which is a) not a part of the Bill of Rights and b) not written by the founders, right?

    The Father of the 14th Amendment, Sen. Bingham from Ohio, makes it clear in the ratification debates, the 14th referred only to giving rights to slaves. How its applied now is disgraceful–flying in the face of TJ’s “religion is left to the States.”

  • imrryr

    Only the liberals like Jefferson and Madison had slaves.

    So, according to our friend here, Thomas Paine was a conservative and Patrick Henry and George Washington were liberals. There are some tea partiers who will be shocked to hear that, I’m sure.

    Alternatively, jamesgoswick could have just pulled that “fact” out of his ass.

  • feralboy12 says:

    Funny, then, how the first amendment gives me the right to ignore roughly half of your precious Ten Commandments. I can worship any god I please, make graven images, work on the sabbath, and talk shit about my parents (if I’m so inclined, which I’m not).

    How exactly does that “set up a Christian nation?”

    Only Christ gave us freedom of religion–the framers took it straight from the Bible. They prohibited acts that subverted public morality. Religion is left to the States to form whatever religion they wanted. You may disagree with them and Jefferson, but it is what it is. If a State prohibited blasphemy, etc. There are still sabbath laws on the books.

    We were set up a Christian Nation, because the States established biblical laws of morality, and non-Christian sects were not equal, thus, each State had Christian clauses for office holders.

  • imrryr says:

    So, according to our friend here, Thomas Paine was a conservative and Patrick Henry and George Washington were liberals. There are some tea partiers who will be shocked to hear that, I’m sure

    Theologically speaking TJ and JM were liberals religiously compared to the others.

  • The Christian Cynic

    Only Christ gave us freedom of religion–the framers took it straight from the Bible.

    [citation needed]

  • observer

    If Madison’s views are the be seen as the arbiters of Constitutiona interpretation, then why don’t we insist upon Madison’s view of the Establishment Clause? It doesn’t remotely resemble what Jamesgoswick is championing.

    When you say that we have to view the Constitution the way the founders did, you have to confront the fact the founders themselves did not always agree on the meaning and implications of its various clauses. Cherry picking, Mr. Goswick’s specialty, is inevitable. Further, you have to confront the fact that we have changed the Constitution since the Bill of Rights; again, something that Mr. Goswick in unwilling to do.

    In fact, the First Amendment created a seculuar *national* government, but not secular state governments. James Madison, the chief architect of the Constitution, and indisputably the primary mind behind the establishment clause, clearly hoped that the principles he championed therein would eventually be adopted by the states. To a large degree they were, as testified by the fact that immediately following the ratification of the Bill of Rights most of the states immediately disestablished their churches. They didn’t all, of course. A few waited decades.

    Madison did not see that the federal government had the authority over states to enforce a distinctly federal view of church state separation on them. Neither did Jefferson. This does not mean, however, that either thought that impositions on rights of conscience that were common in the states was either right or proper. Nevertheless, their view of the role of the federal government in Establishment Clause interpretation no longer matters. The 14th amendment renders any argument about the founders’ intent vis. federal over state authority irrelevant. The rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights now supercede any state efforts of abridge them, and none of Jamesgoswick’s cherry picking of founder’s quotes can change that.

    When once we were secular on a national level only, we are now secular at all levels of government. This has nothing to do with a ‘modern’ interpretation of the Establishment Clause, and although it is not contrary to original intent, it doesn’t depend on it for it’s authority. The authority for our contemporary Establishment Clause jurisprudence comes from the primacy of our Constitutional rights over state laws.

  • 1. “Only Christ gave us freedom of religion–the framers took it straight from the Bible.”, “We were set up a Christian Nation…”

    2. “…and non-Christian sects were not equal…”

    Discuss.

    Also, jamesgoswick, you should probably read up on a little known Founding Father named James “I wrote the First Amendment” Madison. Virtually forgotten today, his virtually forgotten “First Amendment” and the virtually forgotten logic behind it (not to mention his fight to further amend it to specifically include the states) were “written” by him on multiple occasions in multiple forms.

    In short, you’re full of shit. That’s not me saying that (although I agree). That’s James “I wrote the First Amendment” Madison. He had it going on. He was the Chuck Norris of his day. After a disagreement one time, he made a Franklin stove out of Benjamin Franklin! True story!

  • Chiroptera

    jamesgoswick, #50: We were set up a Christian Nation….

    Even if that were true, they were wrong to do so, and we have largely corrected their error and are trying to put the finishing touches on the corrections.

    That’s called “progress.”

  • chilidog99

    If adminstrators lead prayer, it was mandated until the 1961 SC decision.

    The words appear to be English, yet I cannot parse that “sentence” into any discernable meaning.

  • chilidog99

    The Father of the 14th Amendment, Sen. Bingham from Ohio, makes it clear in the ratification debates, the 14th referred only to giving rights to slaves.

    So, for those slaves that were NOT Christians, their rights to practice whatever form of worship that they desired is protected, right?

  • imrryr

    @jamesgoswick – Regardless, that doesn’t change the fact that your assertion that “only liberals owned slaves” was completely ridiculous. Was George Washington “theologically liberal” too?

    They prohibited acts that subverted public morality.

    Nothing keeps the public acting morally like legalized slavery.

    We were set up a Christian Nation

    Treaty of Tripoli (1797), Article 11, look it up. It passed the Senate unanimously.

  • chilidog99

    And t ofolow up, it doesn’t matter one bit what Bingham may have intended, it’s what the ENTIRE CONGRESS voted on and the state ratified that counts.

    You can not hand wave away the plain language of the 14th amendment.

    I bet that really pisses you off.

    Anchor babies being eligible to be President, the states having to follow the bill of rights, it just burns you up, doesn’t it.

  • chilidog99

    jamesgoswick, which “Christian Sects” are more equal than others.

    do you think that we should force kids to say a rosary of Hail Mary’s every morning?

  • Thank you, Observer, for saying what I was drafting and posting slightly before I posted it.

  • observer

    It is true that belief in freedom conscience was strongly informed by what at the time was believed by many to be biblical principles. The Baptists, Anabaptists and Quakers were very strong advocates of Church-State separation, partly because they were so badly persecued by the established chuches, but also because they definitely believed they had scriptural basis for these beliefs. Of course the Anglicans disagreed, also presumably on scriptural basis.

    Freedom of conscience was also informed by distinctly Enlightenment ideas, so we don’t owe the notion exclusively to Christianity. But let’s assume that we did. Let’s further assume that this freedom is a divine mandate. It does not follow that what we end up with is a Christian Nation in a legal sense. In fact, it follows that we cannot have a legally Christian Nation if we are to follow that mandate. This is not my opinion, rather it is the opinion of the religious people of the time who strongly believed that Christ established freedom of religion. Hence, Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists.

    All of us who are supporters of freedom of religion, including those of us who are non believers, owe a great debt to many of the religious of that time. That fact is one of the reasons why we are *not* in any legal sense a Christian Nation.

  • observer

    Modusoperandi,

    If it’s any consolation, your version is a lot more entertaining.

  • observer, obviously.

  • jamesgoswick obviously is a member of this group:

    GOP Site Plans To Infiltrate Liberal Sites With “Trolls”

    http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/gop-site-plans-to-infiltrate-liberal-sites-with-trolls/question-2331281/

  • jakc

    Gos says: “TJ himself said modern separation is wrong”

    Seriously dude, seriously? TJ has been dead since 1826 – he didn’t say anything about the current state of the law on the separation of church and state. And as for what people who have been dead for 200 years want, so what? Any lawyer will tell you to look to the document first, and the case law second. I don’t care if Rev. Lovejoy wanted a state church in 1792 but not a national church; I don’t want either, and the Constitution, amendments and case law support my position.

    As for school prayer – there were few, if any, public schools in 1800; this is not a problem the founders of this country thought about it. So in short, stop praying over my kids in school, and I won’t bitch to you later when they’re burning in hell.

  • dingojack

    PoG planning to infiltrate liberal sites with trolls, eh?

    Well that, at least, explains the quality of Mr Goswick’s arguments.

    Perhaps he should, in future, preface his remarks with: “Brought to you by the Republican Party. The people who gave you such luminaries as Perry, Bachmann, Romney, Gingrich and Cain”*

    Dingo

    —-

    * Is there an American equivalent to the Trades’ Practices Act?

  • dan4

    @20: “How could could the framers design a secular govt. when the States mandated Christianity for office holders:”

    By writing a document (the Constitution) that would put in place federal rules/laws/regulations that would override ridiculous state laws (like “mandated Christianity for office holders,” for instance).

  • dingojack

    How could could the framers design a secular govt. when the States mandated Christianity for office holders?”

    How can a Republican Governor, like Arnie, hold office when a Democrat, like Obama, is in the WH?

    You’re not even trying, Goswick!*

    Dingo

    —–

    * What’s your next question? WHY ARE THERE DWARFS + PGYMYS??? @@

  • So many falsehoods, so little time. jamesgoswick wrote:

    Then why did the framers allow prayer in schools and themselves pray in Jesus’ name? Obviously, modern separation doctrine is wrong.

    They didn’t allow prayer in schools; they had nothing at all to do with public schools at the time. The establishment clause did not originally apply to the states at all. The states were even free to have official churches and many of them did. That changed with the passage of the 14th amendment.

    How could the framers design a secular govt. when the States mandated Christianity for office holders:

    Because they were designing a federal government, which had almost no power over the state governments at the time. The federal government was explicitly secular and religious tests for office were specifically forbidden at the federal level.

    Modern separation is wrong. TJ himself said modern separation is wrong.

    No he didn’t. There are two separate questions here: how the establishment clause should be interpreted and whether it should be applied to the states or only to the federal government. At the time it was applied only to the federal government. But Jefferson’s interpretation of the establishment clause was pretty much identical to the modern judicial interpretation. He was opposed to all government endorsement or support for religion, even when entirely non-coercive and merely suggestive.

    The framers believed in separation as a national church ruling the state as in the Church of England. That is the context. Now, it’s all whacked out. TJ left States to establish whatever religion they wanted.

    And for the second time, that changed with the 14th amendment, which applied the Bill of Rights to the states. You see, constitutions can be amended. And those amendments change reality.

    If adminstrators lead prayer, it was mandated until the 1961 SC decision.

    1963, actually. And again, the federal constitution had nothing to do with what state-funded public schools could and couldn’t do until after 1868.

    None of the States had state religions. The point is all Christian sects were equal–others were not. If the federal laws contradict TJ’s et al. words, they are wrong, and the Supreme Law of the Land (the Constitution) has been subverted–which it has.

    Actually, many of the states had state religions at the time. The letters between Jefferson and the Danbury Baptists was all about the fact that Connecticut had an established church — Congregationalist. Virginia was officially Anglican until Jefferson and Madison led the fight to disestablish the church with the Act for Establishing Religious Freedom. Massachusetts was officially Puritan. Only Rhode Island lacked an official church originally. After the passage of the Virginia act, which formed the basis for the First Amendment, the states disestablished their state churches one by one, the last one (Massachusetts) being removed in 1833.

    The very fact you brought this up proves my point. The founding fathers executed homosexuals, which proves the bill of rights did not protect them.

    And as wingnuts always do, you continue to ignore the 14th amendment as though it didn’t exist.

    It is the founding fathers you are opposing, which they said you weren’t supposed to do. The Constitution is only to be amended not contrary to Christianity. They set up the Christian nation, not me.

    Please provide a single provision of the U.S. Constitution that establishes a Christian nation. Your ancestral wingnuts at the time were opposed to the passage of the Constitution precisely because it didn’t do that. They railed against the ban on religious tests and the lack of a declaration of belief in God in the document, claiming that this would bring down the wrath of God on the nation. They tried and failed to amend those things in the state ratification conventions and they tried and failed more than a dozen times to pass amendments over the course of the next hundred years to do the same thing. Then suddenly, in the early 20th century, the argument changed. After a century of arguing that the Constitution was a godless document that had to be amended to make us officially Christian and avoid the wrath of God, they suddenly started arguing that it was intended to be a Christian nation all along.

    The Father of the 14th Amendment, Sen. Bingham from Ohio, makes it clear in the ratification debates, the 14th referred only to giving rights to slaves. How its applied now is disgraceful–flying in the face of TJ’s “religion is left to the States.”

    This is false. Bingham repeatedly said during the debates over the amendment that the purpose was to apply the first 8 amendments in the Bill of Rights to the states. On Feb. 27, 1866, he said that the amendment was intended to “arm the Congress … with the power to enforce this bill of rights as it stands in the Constitution today.” In a similar statement he said that the amendment would “arm Congress with the power to … punish all violations by State Officers of the bill of rights.” More importantly, the language of the amendment is clear. It was not limited to former slaves, it was much broader. It says that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” Those privileges and immunities were those found in the Bill of Rights.

  • Aquaria

    Only Christ gave us freedom of religion–the framers took it straight from the Bible.

    You lying sack of shit. Your emo scumbag slacker deity said everyone had to worship him and his genocidal scumbag father. Nobody else. That’s not fucking freedom, you illiterate, lying toad.

  • otrame

    Aquaria, dear, I must protest on behalf of toads. What did they ever do to you that you would insult them so?

    Poor Jamestheidiot is obviously used to talking to people a great deal more ignorant than those commenting here, making flat statements like “freedom of religion comes from the Bible” (oh, yeah? Chapter and verse, you liar) and all that Christian nation nonsense and thinking anyone would do anything but laugh at such pathetic attempts to subvert reality.

    As for what the “framers” intended or actually did, I don’t give a fuck. They wanted to prevent the “mob” (that is people who didn’t own a whole lot of land) from voting, with the Senate explicitly set up to be voted on by state legislators, not by popular vote. They did not allow women to vote. They supported (reluctantly in many cases) the continuation of slavery. I think they did a damned good job of setting up a government, given the culture at the time and certain political necessities, but even they understood that it would need to be changed as time went on. It has been changed, and very much for the better.

  • Jamesgoswick blithered thusly:

    The founding fathers executed homosexuals, which proves the bill of rights did not protect them…

    No, it only proves the Bill of Rights was not enforced as consistently as it should have been.

    The Father of the 14th Amendment, Sen. Bingham from Ohio, makes it clear in the ratification debates, the 14th referred only to giving rights to slaves.

    The actual text of the amendment makes it clear that it was about FAR more than protecting slaves. It’s one of the longer amendments, which is probably why you never managed to understand it. Besides, it was the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery, not the 14th. Lemme guess, James is a homeschooled Southern nationalist, right?

    Only Christ gave us freedom of religion–the framers took it straight from the Bible.

    Quote the Bible passage(s) from which the Framers allegedly cribbed. I’ll bet you can’t — you’re probably just as ignorant of the Bible as you are of the Framers and the Constitution. And even if you could quote some bits talking about religious freedom, we could quote (and have quoted) LOTS of bits where people were put to death in various ways for not supporting the right interpretation of the right religion.

    (Oh, and if Christ gave us freedom of religion, then who are we to take it away from anyone, Christian or non-Christian? Your stupid bullshit isn’t even internally consistent.)

    They prohibited acts that subverted public morality.

    Fine. If a particular act is found NOT to subvert public morality, it can be legalized, right?

  • Yeah, this notion that religious freedom is a Biblical idea simply couldn’t be any more ridiculous. How many times are slaughters justified in the Bible because the targets of the attack worship different gods? There isn’t a single verse in the Bible that even suggests the concept of religious freedom. And it was the long history of officially Christian governments destroying religious freedom, including in the original colonies, that prompted the push to disestablish the churches and forbid the federal government from establishing Christianity. This is what Jefferson was talking about when he wrote:

    Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned: yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    And one thing I forgot to add to my previous comment was that the notion that the only thing the Establishment Clause was intended to prevent was the official establishment of a national church is clearly contradicted by history. During the debates over the Bill of Rights, Congress considered and rejected several alternate wordings for the religion clauses of the First Amendment that would have done exactly that. Here’s one:

    Congress shall not make any law, infringing the rights of conscience or establishing any Religious Sect or Society.

    Here’s another:

    Congress shall make no law establishing any particular denomination of religion in preference to another, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, nor shall the rights of conscience be infringed.

    If they had wanted only to prohibit the official establishment of a specific sect or denomination, they could have done so but they voted such wordings down in favor of the much broader one that was ultimately ratified, which forbids any even “respecting” an establishment of religion.

    There were disagreements over the exact requirements and boundaries of that prohibition, of course, but none of the men involved believed that it only prevented the official establishment of a specific denomination. There was famously a split between the first four presidents. Washington and Adams believed that the government could give rhetorical support to religion in general (not to Christianity specifically; they always used broader theistic language) as long as it was non-coercive and they issued many proclamations of thanksgiving and urging people to fast and pray. Jefferson and Madison argued forcefully that the First Amendment forbid the federal government from saying anything at all on the subject, even if it was merely rhetorical and suggestive. Madison, the man in charge of actually writing the First Amendment, believed that it even forbid the military from having chaplains unless they were paid for by the churches rather than the government (a position not taken even by the ACLU today).

  • abb3w

    @70, Ed Brayton:

    The states were even free to have official churches and many of them did.

    It’s perhaps worth also noting that in the intervening years, such establishment was increasingly frowned on, such that (IIR) those states had mostly disestablished their churches well before the civil war. (There’s a decent summary at Wikipedia.)

    Contrariwise, it’s worth noting that it was Madison, not Jefferson, who introduced the Bill of Rights before congress. However, Madison was Jefferson’s protege. Madison originally wanted the Antiestablishment to also apply to the states, but this was rejected — the Massachusetts delegation choked on the notion. Thus, the necessity of incorporation via the 14th. And, after the expressly religious establishment of the CSA proved rather less than successful, separation of Church and State was common currency for both major parties until a bit before WWI.

  • The Christian Cynic says:

    Only Christ gave us freedom of religion–the framers took it straight from the Bible.

    [citation needed]

    The entire N.T.

  • observer says:

    <i.If Madison’s views are the be seen as the arbiters of Constitutiona interpretation, then why don’t we insist upon Madison’s view of the Establishment Clause?

    I never said they were. He was a junior member. Fisher Ames wrote the 1st amendment and Charles Pinckney is the real Father of the Constitution.

  • The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    Jefferson the disestablishmentarian from Ed’s post

    Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned: yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

    This would be a great bumper sticker, and would also elucidate the meanig of a word that some people seem to choke on:

    ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM KILLS!

    Now if only we could find a way to use “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanikoniosis”.

  • Modusoperandi says:

    Also, jamesgoswick, you should probably read up on a little known Founding Father named James “I wrote the First Amendment” Madison

    As Ed said, so many booboos and so little time. Fisher Ames wrote the 1st amendment.

  • The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    The entire N.T.

    LOLWUT?

  • imrryr says:

    @jamesgoswick – Regardless, that doesn’t change the fact that your assertion that “only liberals owned slaves” was completely ridiculous. Was George Washington “theologically liberal” too?

    Yes.

  • dan4 says:

    @20: “How could could the framers design a secular govt. when the States mandated Christianity for office holders:”

    By writing a document (the Constitution) that would put in place federal rules/laws/regulations that would override ridiculous state laws (like “mandated Christianity for office holders,” for instance)

    This can’t be true because the guys that wrote the Constitution wrote their State Constitutions.

  • Anri

    Only Christ gave us freedom of religion–the framers took it straight from the Bible.

    (Emphasis added)

    Compare/contrast with Exodus 20:3.

    Sheesh.

  • imrryr

    Only Christ gave us freedom of religion–the framers took it straight from the Bible.

    [citation needed]

    The entire N.T.

    He’s telling the truth, Christian Cynic! Open your NT to any page and you’ll find freedom of religion enshrined in every verse!

    That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    Philippians 2:10-11

    See?!

    You’re clearly not familiar with the real Constitution, the one where every noun is replaced with “Jesus”

  • eric

    This can’t be true because the guys that wrote the Constitution wrote their State Constitutions.

    No, this is not necessarily true. For example, John Adams wrong the Massachusetts Constitution. Even granting your 1st amendment authorship claim, which seems a bit ridiculous to me, your vaunted Fisher Ames had nothing to do with his own State’s constitution. Of course Jefferson famously authored Virginia’s religious freedom statute…but I doubt you really want to cite him as an example. While he was consistent in his state and federal opinions, it wasn’t a consistency that supports your claim.

    Second, the Mass constitution was ratified 7 years before the US constitution. The Pennsylvania one was 11 years before the US one. Virginia: 11 years. And so on. You seem to think these events happened contemporaneously; they did not. Its perfectly sensible that these representatives from pre-existing states decided that the rule which would govern them all collectively should be revised based on their experiences over the past several years.

    Lastly, you forget that the Bill of Rights was a result of political debate, argument, and compromise. It wasn’t a consensus document, and if some founders thought the language was too secular, well, then they argued against it and lost.

    Long story short: if the US constitutional 1st amendment was more secular than some of the earlier state religious freedom provisions, there is nothing historically problematical about that whatsoever.

  • Ed Brayton says:

    Then why did the framers allow prayer in schools and themselves pray in Jesus’ name? Obviously, modern separation doctrine is wrong.

    They didn’t allow prayer in schools; they had nothing at all to do with public schools at the time

    Ed, since the Bible was mandatory reading to promote religion in schools, do you have proof the Founding Fathers prohibited prayer?

    Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God

    –Gouverneur Morris, The Penman of the Constitution, responsible for Style, 1792, Notes on the Form of a Constitution for France.

    [T]he primary objects of government are the peace, order, and prosperity of society. . . . To the promotion of these objects, particularly in a republican government, good morals are essential. Institutions for the promotion of good morals are therefore objects of legislative provision and support: and among these . . . religious institutions are eminently useful and important. . . . [T]he legislature, charged with the great interests of the community, may, and ought to countenance, aid and protect religious institutions

    –Oliver Ellsworth, Wrote the Judiciary Act. Head of Senate Conference on First Amendment. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1796-1800). Connecticut Courant, June 7, 1802, p. 3, Oliver Ellsworth, to the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut.

    That changed with the passage of the 14th amendment

    And incorrectly so as you yourself claim, “The establishment clause did not originally apply to the states at all. The states were even free to have official churches and many of them did.”

    The federal government was explicitly secular

    The framers prayed in Jesus’ name.

    But Jefferson’s interpretation of the establishment clause was pretty much identical to the modern judicial interpretation

    See TJ’s quote at num 21.

    And for the second time, that changed with the 14th amendment, which applied the Bill of Rights to the states

    Violating every branch of govt, including the Judiciary:

    These amendments demanded security against the apprehended encroachments of the General Government — not

    against those of the local governments. In compliance with a sentiment thus generally expressed, to quiet

    fears thus extensively entertained, amendments were proposed by the required majority in Congress and

    adopted by the States. These amendments contain no expression indicating an intention to apply them to the

    State governments. This court cannot so apply them

    –Chief Justice Marshall. Barron v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore, 32 U.S. 243 (1833)

    Actually, many of the states had state religions at the time

    Which ones? No State had an established religion. All Christian sects were provided equal protection.

    Please provide a single provision of the U.S. Constitution that establishes a Christian nation

    The Constitution leaves religion to the States and the States formed non-denominational Christianity as their religion. Moreover, The Constitution neither abolished nor replaced what the Declaration had established; it only provided the specific details of how American government would operate under the principles set forth in the Declaration.

    Please provide a single provision of the U.S. Constitution that establishes a Christian nation. Your ancestral wingnuts at the time were opposed to the passage of the Constitution precisely because it didn’t do that. They railed against the ban on religious tests and the lack of a declaration of belief in God in the document, claiming that this would bring down the wrath of God on the nation

    Who? Not the framers. My Christian ancestors: George Mason, and Patrick Henry didn’t sign the Constitution because it didn’t abolish slavery, and omitted a bill of rights to protect the States.

  • ArtK

    @ james-the-liar-for-jeebus

    He [Madison] was a junior member.Fisher Ames wrote the 1st amendment and Charles Pinckney is the real Father of the Constitution.

    Citation needed on all three assertions there! I’ve looked at bios for Ames and none have credited him with writing that amendment; on the other hand, you can see prototypes for it in a lot of Madison’s writings. Ames wasn’t even a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Madison, on the other hand made the speech that presented the Bill of Rights to the convention. Some “junior member” there.

    As for Pinckney, can you explain why Madison’s Virginia Plan (a strong, bicameral legislature) was adopted, but Pinckney’s plan (a looser federation) wasn’t even debated?

    You can’t possibly be this ignorant and stupid, so you must be lying. How do you reconcile this with the Christian dictum against false witness? Your asserting things that can be verified as false within minutes.

  • James Goswick wrote:

    Ed, since the Bible was mandatory reading to promote religion in schools, do you have proof the Founding Fathers prohibited prayer?

    I didn’t say they prohibited prayer. I didn’t say anything like that. I said they didn’t have anything to do with the subject. Because the First Amendment didn’t apply to the states and the federal government had nothing to do with public schools at the time, what public schools at the time did or didn’t do has no bearing at all on how the First Amendment should be interpreted (which, again, is a separate question from whether it should be applied to state and local government actions — interpretation and application are distinct issues that you insist on combing).

    And incorrectly so as you yourself claim, “The establishment clause did not originally apply to the states at all. The states were even free to have official churches and many of them did.”

    WTF are you talking about? You do realize that later amendments supercede the previous text, don’t you? The 14th amendment is obviously not in line with what the founding fathers intended; that’s why it was necessary. If it had been consistent with what was originally intended, there would be no need to have the amendment. So no, the 14th amendment didn’t apply to the states “incorrectly” — it changed the nature of the Constitution and asserted the Bill of Rights as binding on the states as well as the federal government.

    The framers prayed in Jesus’ name.

    Some of them undoubtedly did. Thomas Jefferson certainly didn’t because he didn’t believe Jesus was anything but a man. But this has nothing at all to do with what the government can do. Like all wingnuts, you confuse personal practice with the meaning of constitutional provisions.

    I wrote:

    And for the second time, that changed with the 14th amendment, which applied the Bill of Rights to the states.

    And you replied:

    Violating every branch of govt, including the Judiciary:

    These amendments demanded security against the apprehended encroachments of the General Government — not against those of the local governments. In compliance with a sentiment thus generally expressed, to quiet fears thus extensively entertained, amendments were proposed by the required majority in Congress and adopted by the States. These amendments contain no expression indicating an intention to apply them to the State governments. This court cannot so apply them –Chief Justice Marshall. Barron v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore, 32 U.S. 243 (1833)

    Holy crap, you are a moron. You cited a Supreme Court decision from 1833 explaining that the Bill of Rights did not originally apply to the states — which is true, of course — as evidence that a later constitutional amendment “violated” that ruling. But as I said, amendments change the constitution itself. That’s the whole point of amendment. The 14th amendment didn’t “violate” Barron v Baltimore, it changed its result. In 1833, the Bill of Rigths did not apply to the states; after 1868, it did. The 14th amendment changed that, quite intentionally.

    Which ones? No State had an established religion. All Christian sects were provided equal protection.

    No they didn’t. In Connecticut, for example, all people, regardless of their religion, had to pay taxes to support the Congregationalist church. Until the early 1700s, it wasn’t even legal for any other church to exist. After 1708, the state would exempt certain churches from that law — ones they called “sober dissenters” — but not others. This is not equal protection by any coherent definition.

    I wrote:

    Please provide a single provision of the U.S. Constitution that establishes a Christian nation

    And you replied:

    The Constitution leaves religion to the States and the States formed non-denominational Christianity as their religion. Moreover, The Constitution neither abolished nor replaced what the Declaration had established; it only provided the specific details of how American government would operate under the principles set forth in the Declaration.

    So much stupid in one paragraph. yes, the constitution originally left religion to the states. For the millionth time, the 14th amendment changed that. And some of the states had established religions, but following Virginia’s example they removed them one by one. And the Declaration of Independent didn’t establish anything. While I’m among those who think the Declaration is an important document for interpreting the Constitution (many disagree, even on the right; one of the big distinctions between Justices Scalia and Thomas is that Scalia rejects the Declaration as an interpretive tool while Thomas thinks it is a necessary one. I agree with Thomas), it had and has no actual legal force. It did not create a government, or even attempt to create one. But even so, bear in mind that it was written by a man who explicitly rejected Christianity.

    Interesting that you don’t bother to reply to any of the other facts I offered. By the way, this is all going into its own post tomorrow, so people don’t miss it.

  • ArtK wrote:

    I’ve looked at bios for Ames and none have credited him with writing that amendment; on the other hand, you can see prototypes for it in a lot of Madison’s writings. Ames wasn’t even a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Madison, on the other hand made the speech that presented the Bill of Rights to the convention. Some “junior member” there.

    No. The Bill of Rights was not part of the constitutional convention, which ended when the constitution was sent to the states for ratification. Those ratification conventions demanded a Bill of Rights and it was added by Congress after ratification. Madison’s presentation of a model 12 amendments (later consolidated to 10) was to the House. And Ames did, in fact, supply the final wording of the amendment, but this is much overblown. There were lots and lots of wordings proposed by many different members and rejected, and lots of arguing back and forth on them. Ames was the one who suggested the wording that finally ended up being accepted. But still, the notion that Madison was a “junior member” of the group that wrote the Bill of Rights is monumentally idiotic.

  • ArtK

    Thanks for the correction, Ed. Too speedy in my research.

  • Ed Brayton says:

    Yeah, this notion that religious freedom is a Biblical idea simply couldn’t be any more ridiculous

    Ed, I’m referring to the N.T. Open the Gospels, Jesus said “Whoesoever believes” He didn’t force anyone to believe–either did the framers.

    In the quote you used, obviously TJ is referring to catholicism, which has murdered more people than Hitler, and Stalin put together. But you won’t find that in the N.T. Jesus said to “love your enemies” on an individual context. Nations cannot love murderers and rapists, can they?

    During the debates over the Bill of Rights, Congress considered and rejected several alternate wordings for the religion clauses of the First Amendment that would have done exactly that

    Take Virginia for example. TJ made his Christian, and he wasn’t even a true Christian–but he knew his audience.

  • eric said

    Long story short: if the US constitutional 1st amendment was more secular than some of the earlier state religious freedom provisions, there is nothing historically problematical about that whatsoever

    Many men did write or ratify the Constitution and wrote their State Constitutions. This proves they didn’t have a problem with it–that the 1st amendment context belongs to the States–Christian context.

  • ArtK says:

    Citation needed on all three assertions there! I’ve looked at bios for Ames and none have credited him with writing that amendment

    It is common knowledge Ames-an orthodox christian–wrote the House version–not Madison–of the 1st amendment.

    As for Pinckney, can you explain why Madison’s Virginia Plan (a strong, bicameral legislature) was adopted, but Pinckney’s plan (a looser federation) wasn’t even debated?

    Because later James Wilson wrote about Pinckney’s draft and it is very identical to the original.

  • James Goswick wrote:

    Ed, I’m referring to the N.T. Open the Gospels, Jesus said “Whoesoever believes” He didn’t force anyone to believe–either did the framers.

    Which has nothing at all to do with what a government can or can’t do. There is not a single verse in the Bible that even suggests the idea that governments cannot or should not establish an official religion, or any other form of political liberty for that matter. And the notion that sending people to hell if they don’t believe is an example of not forcing anyone to believe is moronic.

    In the quote you used, obviously TJ is referring to catholicism, which has murdered more people than Hitler, and Stalin put together.

    Wrong. He was speaking of non-Catholic religious establishments as well. Remember, he led the revolt against King George, who was a Protestant ruler with an officially established Protestant state church. And the things he said about Calvin were far worse than anything he wrote about the Catholic Church. Calvin’s Geneva was no more free than any Catholic nation before the late 19th century was. There is not a single example of an officially Christian nation, Catholic or Protestant, up to that point having anything even vaguely resembling religious freedom.

    I wrote:

    During the debates over the Bill of Rights, Congress considered and rejected several alternate wordings for the religion clauses of the First Amendment that would have done exactly that

    And you replied:

    Take Virginia for example. TJ made his Christian, and he wasn’t even a true Christian–but he knew his audience.

    What on earth are you talking about? Jefferson made his WHAT Christian? Certainly not Virginia. It was his bill that disestablished the Anglican church in that state and established religious freedom there. And this has absolutely nothing to do with the statement it is supposed to respond to, which were the many alternate wordings of the First Amendment that were rejected that would have forbidden only the establishment of a particular Christian sect. You still have not responded to that argument (because you can’t, which is why you changed the subject to this bizarre statement instead).

  • Ed said

    I said they didn’t have anything to do with the subject..and the federal government had nothing to do with public schools at the time, what public schools at the time did or didn’t do

    The quotes show, as I posted, they promoted religion in schools, from Morris and Ellsworth, by the legislature no less, as well as in the Northwest Ordinance, written mostly by an orthodox christian.

    The 14th amendment didn’t “violate” Barron v Baltimore, it changed its result

    Marshall wrote not to apply the Bill of Rights to states, but they did. Seems pretty clear he believed it was a violation.

    And some of the states had established religions, but following Virginia’s example they removed them one by one

    Of course. It took until the 20th century because they saw no problem with it. Modern secularism took control.

  • Ed wrote

    Jefferson made his WHAT Christian? Certainly not Virginia

    It is common knowledge the Holy Author of our religion is Christ. Read any Colonial Pastor.

    Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical

    –VA Act for Religious Freedom

  • He was speaking of non-Catholic religious establishments as well. Remember, he led the revolt against King George, who was a Protestant ruler with an officially established Protestant state church

    This is the separation doctrine the framers despised. I agree, this is tyranny. Catholicism started this, made possible by Constantine merging the State and the Church.

    Calvin’s Geneva was no more free than any Catholic nation before the late 19th century was

    The greatest historian of the 19th century, wrote Calvin founded America. Freedom of conscience, Republicanism, etc. applied to nation states was started and promoted by Calvin and the Reformation. Sure, blasphemy was penalized, but this is the subversion of public order the framers referred to.

  • eric

    [Me] if the US constitutional 1st amendment was more secular than some of the earlier state religious freedom provisions, there is nothing historically problematical about that whatsoever.

    [James Goswick] Many men did write or ratify the Constitution and wrote their State Constitutions. This proves they didn’t have a problem with it–that the 1st amendment context belongs to the States–Christian context.

    You are merely re-asserting your claim, without evidence, without addressing any of my arguments. Here they are, see if you can actually address them this time:

    (1) Not all State constitution writers gave preference to Christianity. Example: Jefferson.

    (2) Of those that did, they had many years between the state documents and the federal document to change their minds.

    (3) The historical record is fully consistent with those who wanted Christianity to be preferred being voted down during the convention. IOW, being a minority who lost a vote to the majority.

    Really, your argument is no better than claiming that Ross Perot’s Reform party represents the opinion of 2011 Americans since it took 19% of the popular vote in 1992. Your argument has the same problem of mistaking some voters for all, same problem with being years out of synch, and same problem with mistaking a losing minority’s opinion for the prevailing majority’s.

  • TJ ties The VA Act for religious freedom with Christ “that all attempts to influence it [freedom of conscience] by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do.”

    All founded on Christ.

  • observer

    The assertion that Ames is the author of the First Amendment or that his notion of its meaning would take precedence over Madison’s even to a person wedded to the doctrine of original intent is absurd. Madison drafted the original proposal, which then had its wording altered through several proposed amendments. Ames provided the specific wording that was passed by the house, but his wording was based on phraseology that has been bandied back and forth during the process, based largely on the arguments of Madison himself, and the wording was yet again changed in the senate. This is fairly common when committees adopt wording for just about any proposals. At best Ames could be seen as an editor.

    Not only is this the real “common knowledge,” it’s doccumented in the records of the debate.

    Re: Establishements of religion in the early states. Prior to 1776, many states, particularly those in New England, had establishments of a single church, most commonly the Congregational church. You were required to pay taxes to support the church and its clergy. Following the Declaration of Independence states began to distestablish single churches, but many moved to a multiple establishment approach, which was a fairly common mode by 1789. Under the system of multiple establishments, you were still required to pay taxes to support the church and clergy, but you could choose which Protestant sect to support. You could not, however, choose to support a Catholic church or a non-Christian church, or opt-out altogether. In addition, several state Constitution prohibited Catholics and non-Christians from holding office.

    The important point was that this system of multiple establishments was still an establishment of religion, and was universally seen as such by the people of the time. The people who were against changing this model were called “antidisestablishmentarianists.” And the reason the final wording of the Establishment Clause prohibits “an establishment of religion” as opposed to “the establishment of a religion,” was to prohibit on the national level precisely this system of multiple establishment. The framers of the Bill of Rights didn’t want the federal government to coerce religious observance or support of any kind.

  • James, it doesn’t matter who wrote the First Amendment; it matters WHAT THE FIRST AMENDMENT SAYS. And as any literate person can see, the First Amendment makes absolutely no exceptions for any religion, and has absolutely no language restricting religious freedom to Christianity, or any sect thereof, big or small. That’s all we need to remember to prove you’re full of shit. “Freedom of religion” means ALL religions, dumbass; and your aparent inability to see this obvious point speaks volumes about your character.

  • James Goswick wrote:

    Marshall wrote not to apply the Bill of Rights to states, but they did. Seems pretty clear he believed it was a violation.

    Holy fuck, you are stupid. The Supreme Court ruled in 1833 that the Bill of Rights did not then apply to the states. They were right, it didn’t. The 14th amendment changed that reality and applied the Bill of Rights to the state. Barron correctly interpreted the constitution as it was then written, but amendments change the constitution and supercede what came before. You can’t really be this clueless, can you? Tell me you’re just trolling.

    The greatest historian of the 19th century, wrote Calvin founded America. Freedom of conscience, Republicanism, etc. applied to nation states was started and promoted by Calvin and the Reformation.

    Amusing that you keep quoting Jefferson — one of the men who actually did found America — and yet ignore what he had to say about Calvin. This is from a letter he wrote to John Adams

    I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did. The being described in his 5. points is not the God whom you and I acknolege and adore, the Creator and benevolent governor of the world; but a daemon of malignant spirit. It would be more pardonable to believe in no god at all, than to blaspheme him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin.

    This was also the letter in which he famously said, “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” Jefferson totally rejected any claim of divinity for Jesus, arguing that he had never claimed to be anything but a man.

  • jamesgoswick “The greatest historian of the 19th century, wrote Calvin founded America.”

    Now you’re just being ridiculous. David Barton wasn’t even born then.

    Freedom of conscience…applied to nation states was started and promoted by Calvin and the Reformation. Sure, blasphemy was penalized, but this is the subversion of public order the framers referred to.” (emphasis mine)

    And…brain goes pop.

  • Raging Bee says:

    James, it doesn’t matter who wrote the First Amendment; it matters WHAT THE FIRST AMENDMENT SAYS

    The 1st amendment is to be interpreted in the context of the States, or in their writings, given lack of specifics. All religions cannot be protected in the first amendment because the framers imprisoned open practicing pagans, witchcraft, etc.

  • Ed said

    Tell me you’re just trolling

    Ed, What does this mean?

    It isn’t the personal opinion of Jefferson that matters, everyone knows he denied the fundamentals of Christianity–don’t know why you keep bringing it up. It is the colonists understanding of what TJ is saying, and the ratifiers of Law that matters.

  • ArtK

    The 1st amendment is to be interpreted in the context of the States, or in their writings, given lack of specifics.

    Only until the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted. Why do you keep ignoring that? As pointed out earlier, James Madison felt that the First Amendment should have applied to the states right from the get-go. It was the resistance of Massachusetts that prevented that.

    All religions cannot be protected in the first amendment because the framers imprisoned open practicing pagans, witchcraft, etc.

    Laws don’t determine the meaning of the First Amendment, the Amendment determines the laws. Stop citing laws as giving interpretation to the First Amendment. Those laws were unconstitutional, even though they were enforced. When a law is struck down, it’s because the law is wrong, not because the court is misinterpreting the Constitution.

    Congress could pass a totally unconstitutional law — to take it out of the First Amendment, let’s say they ban personal possession of firearms. That law would stay on the books and could be prosecuted as long as it’s there. People could go to jail under that law and weapons confiscated. The existence of that law wouldn’t negate the Second Amendment. But that’s the equivalent of what you’re claiming — that the existence of a law changes the meaning of the Amendment. In the example I gave, the law would stand until someone appealed it and it reached SCOTUS who would quickly strike it down. But someone would have to be charged under the law and appeal it on constitutional grounds for it to be overturned.

    If laws punishing pagans stayed on the books, or rules on mandatory prayer in school stayed on the books, it’s because nobody appealed them, not because the laws or rules were constitutional.

    Where laws and the Constitution are concerned, you seem to have the cart before the horse — or perhaps your head where the other end should be.

  • Trolling = deliberately saying stupid things to provoke controversy. You can’t really believe that the 14th amendment “violated” the ruling in Barron v Baltimore or that Marshall’s decision should overrule a constitutional amendment passed 35 years later. Well, you can, but you’d have to be a congenital idiot to believe that. Yet you’ve said it more than once in this thread. So you’re either an idiot or a troll. Which is it?

  • ArtK says:

    The 1st amendment is to be interpreted in the context of the States, or in their writings, given lack of specifics.

    Only until the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted. Why do you keep ignoring that?

    Because it’s bad, unlawful, and contradicts the will of the framers. The 1st amd is never to be applied to the States.

    James Madison felt that the First Amendment should have applied to the states right from the get-go

    No. He believed the same as the others.

    If there were a majority of one sect, a bill of rights would be a poor protection for liberty. Happily for the states, they enjoy the utmost freedom of religion…Fortunately for this commonwealth, a majority of the people are decidedly against any exclusive establishment. There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermeddle with religion. Its least interference with it would be a most flagrant usurpation. I can appeal to my uniform conduct on this subject, that I have warmly supported religious freedom. It is better that this security should be depended upon from the general legislature, than from one particular state. A particular state might concur in one religious project. But the United States abound in such a variety of sects, that it is a strong security against religious persecution; and it is sufficient to authorize a conclusion, that no one sect will ever be able to outnumber or depress the rest

    –James Madison, June 12, 1788. Elliot’s Debates In the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution(Virginia)

  • ArtK is right. Madison originally opposed a bill of rights completely. He changed his mind. And he did, in fact, propose to make them applicable to state governments as well. He was voted down, of course. But for the nine millionth time, the 14th amendment ultimately did what he had proposed.

  • ArtK says:

    The 1st amendment is to be interpreted in the context of the States, or in their writings, given lack of specifics.

    Only until the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted. Why do you keep ignoring that?

    The court mis-applied a good amendment it wasn’t supposed to, and the Executive failed to not enforce it, and the legislature failed to rescind it.

  • Ed Brayton says:

    Trolling = deliberately saying stupid things to provoke controversy. You can’t really believe that the 14th amendment “violated” the ruling in Barron v Baltimore or that Marshall’s decision should overrule a constitutional amendment passed 35 years later. Well, you can, but you’d have to be a congenital idiot to believe that. Yet you’ve said it more than once in this thread. So you’re either an idiot or a troll. Which is it?

    Thanks for clearing that up Ed. I apologize if I wasn’t clear about what I said. I mean to say the court’s mis-application of the amendment.

  • slc1

    I am willing to bet that Mr. Goswick is one of those clowns who consider that the 14th Amendment was not legally adopted because the 3/4 vote of the states that ratified it excluded the Southern states which had seceded and therefore is inapplicable. However, Mr. Goswick, knowing he will be totally discredited if he attempts to make that argument, instead ignores all the comments citing the 14th Amendment and pretends that it doesn’t legally exist.

  • Bullshit. You’ve said several times that the 14th amendment cannot be applied to the states because of the earlier ruling in Barron. You even quoted the ruling. Now you’re changing to an entirely different argument because you got called out on that bit of stupidity. You already tried this argument too when you claimed that Bingham had said the 14th amendment only applied to ex-slaves, but I quoted him saying that the amendment applied the entire Bill of Rights to the states. He said that many times, as did all of the men who wrote and advocated the 14th amendment. So you made two stupid arguments and now you’re trying to resurrect one of them, but without actually making any reasoned argument as to why. The text and history of the 14th amendment clearly supports the application of the Bill of Rights to the states.

  • Nibi

    Ed

    Amusing that you keep quoting Jefferson — one of the men who actually did found America — and yet ignore what he had to say about Calvin.

    Goswick, way up at #20

    First, you make a fallacy–not all the framers had slaves. Only the liberals like Jefferson and Madison had slaves.

    I don’t think Goswick gives a fuck what Madison or Jefferson actually said or believed. Did they own slaves? Well, then, we’ll just call them liberals. The only reason the idiot troll quotes (quotemines) them is to dishonestly argue that they held positions which he knows are not true.

  • The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    I don’t think you’re going to convince Mr. Goswick of anything, guys—he obviously gets all of his information from that anal fissure Barton, and Barton’s all ejumacated an’ shit…like N00t. An’ it’s all writ down in books! Beat that, loony libs!

  • ed said

    You already tried this argument too when you claimed that Bingham had said the 14th amendment only applied to ex-slaves, but I quoted him saying that the amendment applied the entire Bill of Rights to the states

    Bingham said he wouldn’t have devised it if not for the slaves:

    [I]f the rebel States would make no denial of right to emancipated citizens no amendment would be needed. But they will make denial

    –Rep. John A. Bingham.

    This is true given Article IV, Section II and the 5th amendment. I copied this from our previous conversation on this point:

    Mr. Bingham tells us this language will “not impose upon any State of the Union, or any citizen of the Union, any obligation which is not now enjoined upon them by the very letter of the Constitution.

    –Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., 1034 (1866)

    and seals it:

    I propose, with the help of this Congress and of the American people, that hereafter there shall not be any disregard of that essential guarantee of your Constitution (Art. IV, Sec. II) in any State of the Union. And how? By simply adding an amendment to the Constitution to operate on all the States of this Union alike, giving to Congress the power to pass all laws necessary and proper to secure to all persons—which includes every citizen of every State—their equal personal rights

    –Rep. John Bingham (Cong. Globe, 39th, 1st Sess., 158 (1866))

    Bingham continued:

    [C]itizens of the United States, and citizens of the States, as employed under the Fourteenth Amendment, did not change or modify the relations of citizens of the State and the Nation as they existed under the original Constitution

    Rep. Samuel Shellabarger of Ohio echoed the same thing, that the amendment pertains to no one but slaves:

    It [14th amendment] protects no one except such as seek to or are attempting to go either temporarily or for abode from their own State into some other. It does not attempt to enforce the enjoyment of the rights of a citizen within his own State against the wrongs of his fellow-citizens or his own State after the injured party has become or when he is a citizen of the State where the injury is done

    –Cong. Globe, 39th 1st Sess., Appendix, 293 (1866)

    Bingham is telling us the 14th Amendment is not to be incorporated, but is to be as it always has been under the First Federal Congress. Bingham even commented on Barron v The Mayor that “I did imitate the framers of the original Constitution. As they had said “no State shall emit bills of credit, pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligations of contracts;” imitating their example and imitating it to the letter, I prepared the provision of the first section of the fourteenth amendment as it stands in the Constitution . . .”

    Religion was to be left to the States. The court changed that. The States formed Christian States, including Virginia, and the context of the First Amendment is that of States–who formed Christianity. Christianity is the foundation of our Republicanism:

    [O]ur citizens should early understand that the

    genuine source of correct republican principles is the

    Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the

    Christian religion

    –History of the United States (New Haven:Durrie & Peck,

    1832), p.6.

    Even James Madison believed all non-christian religions were false:

    The first is an arrogant pretension falsified by the contradictory opinions of Rulers in all ages, and throughout the world: the second an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation….Because the policy of the Bill [assessment bill] is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who enjoy this precious gift ought to be that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind. Compare the number of those who have as yet received it with the number still remaining under the dominion of false Religions; and how small is the former! Does the policy of the Bill tend to lessen the disproportion? No; it at once discourages those who are strangers to the light of revelation from coming into the Region of it; and countenances by example the nations who continue in darkness, in shutting out those who might convey it to them

    –Memorial and Remonstrance, June 20, 1785.

    That JM would allow a false religion to be the established National Church has no evidence for foundation.

  • Nibi:

    Did the more theologically left leaning jeffersonian democrats such as: Mason, Madison, Washington, and throw in Mason, have slaves?

    Generally speaking, the Southern slave-holders were Jeffersonian Democrats. This is a fact of history as the election of 1800 supports.

  • Minus GW in the last quote.

  • The fact that Bingham said he was motivated by the mistreatment of slaves has nothing to do with the fact that the 14th amendment clearly did apply the Bill of Rights to the states and all of the legislators involved in its passage, not just Bingham — Stevens, Conkling and Senators Howard and Fessenden — said so repeatedly. I dealt with all of these arguments here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2005/05/the_historical_basis_for_14th.php

    Here is Bingham:

    Is the Bill of Rights to stand in our Constitution hereafter, as in the past five years within eleven States, a mere dead letter? It is absolutely essential to the safety of the people that it should be enforced…’Mr. Speaker, it appears to me that this very provision of the bill of rights brought in question this day, upon this trial before the House, more than any other provision of the Constitution, makes that unity of government which constitutes us one people, by which and through which American nationality came to be, and only by the enforcement of which can American nationality continue to be…’What more could have been added to that instrument to secure the enforcement of these provisions of the bill of rights in every State, other than the additional grant of power which we ask this day?…Gentlemen who oppose this amendment oppose the grant of power to enforce the bill of rights.

    And here is Sen. Howard:

    ‘Now, sir, there is no power given in the Constitution to enforce and to carry out any of these guarantees. They are not powers granted by the Constitution to Congress, and of course do not come within the sweeping clause of the Constitution authorizing Congress to pass all laws necessary and proper for carrying out the foregoing or granted powers, but they stand simply as a bill of rights in the Constitution, without power on the part of Congress to give them full effect; while at the same time the States are not restrained from violating the principles embraced in them except by their own local constitutions, which may be altered from year to year. The great object of the first section of this amendment is, therefore, to restrain the power of the States any compel them at all times to respect these great fundamental guarantees.’

    There simply is no doubt that the 14th amendment was intended, and was explained to the public, to have the effect of applying the Bill of Rights to the states. You will not find a single judge on the bench, even Clarence Thomas, who believes otherwise. Not one.

  • Nibi

    Goswick

    Did the more theologically left leaning jeffersonian democrats such as: Mason, Madison, Washington, and throw in Mason, have slaves?

    Slave ownership was ubiquitous. What one can conclude about the correlation between this and “theological leanings” and the equivocal “left” escapes me.

    Generally speaking, the Southern slave-holders were Jeffersonian Democrats. This is a fact of history as the election of 1800 supports.

    And the Southern slave holders who weren’t Jeffersonian democrats were … what?

  • dingojack

    jamesgswick (#97) posted – “Catholicism started this, made possible by Constantine merging the State and the Church“.

    Nice to see your ignorance of world history is on par with your ignorance of — well, everything really.

    Dingo

  • Chiroptera

    Remind me again, was it Beck who invented this “slavery was a liberal institution” schtick?

    I know it hasn’t been around as long as the “conservatives were at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement” meme that was popular among the Right a couple of years ago.

  • Michael Heath

    Chiroptera writes:

    Remind me again, was it Beck who invented this “slavery was a liberal institution” schtick?

    He certainly was the primary proponent recently pushing this.

  • The 1st amendment is to be interpreted in the context of the States, or in their writings, given lack of specifics.

    What do you mean by “in the context of the States?” (The First Amendment was ratified by the States!) And what do you mean by “their writings?” Who is “they” here? You seem to think that when interpreting the Constitution, everything matters EXCEPT what the Constitution says. Do you even have a substantive argument, or are you just flailing away from having to face reality?

    All religions cannot be protected in the first amendment because the framers imprisoned open practicing pagans, witchcraft, etc.

    The framers also supported the expropriation of property from colonists who supported the British during the Revolution. Does that mean the right to own property can’t be protected either?

    James has proven his indifference toward the Bill of Rights is a match for his ignorance. There’s no point in trying to reason with such a blatant bigoted liar.

  • Generally speaking, the Southern slave-holders were Jeffersonian Democrats.

    Yep — just as I predicted, this guy sounds like a Southern nationalist, mindlessly repeating the same transparently ridiculous blather-points as the slavery-apologists.

    Oh, and most slave-owners were anything but “Jeffersonian” — Jefferson was way too free-thinking for their authoritarian tastes, and they never forgave him for trying to abolish slavery.

  • dan4

    “All religions cannot be protected in the first amendment because the framers imprisoned open practicing pagans, witchcraft, etc.”

    Uh, so if a person has a law passed, and then said person violates that same law, that automatically means then that the aforementioned legislation doesn”t REALLY mean what it plainly says (after all, the First Amendment mentions “freedom of religion,” NOT “freedom of religion except for the ones dealing with paganism and witchcraft.”)? Who could argue with ironclad “logic” like that?

  • Pingback: Dispelling Christian Nation Myths « The Age of Blasphemy()