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Santorum Tells a Familiar Old Lie

Santorum Tells a Familiar Old Lie December 2, 2014

When I was 17 or 18 years old, my Pentecostal stepmother told me that “separation of church and state is not in the Constitution, it’s in the Communist Manifesto.” I showed her a copy of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists and the Communist Manifesto to show that she was wrong. Rick Santorum is now repeating this ridiculous lie, replacing the Communist Manifesto with the Soviet constitution:

A listener on the call told Santorum that “a number of the things that the far left, a.k.a. the Democrat [sic] Party, and the president is pushing for and accomplishing actually accomplishes a number of the tenets of ‘The Communist Manifesto,’ including the amnesty, the elevation of pornography, homosexuality, gay marriage, voter fraud, open borders, mass self-importation of illegal immigrants and things of that nature.” The likely presidential candidate replied that “the words ‘separation of church and state’ is not in the U.S. Constitution, but it was in the constitution of the former Soviet Union. That’s where it very, very comfortably sat, not in ours.”

This claim that “the words” separation of church and state aren’t in the Constitution and thus the concept isn’t there is just so monumentally stupid. You won’t find “separation of powers” or “checks and balances” there either, but who in their right mind would deny that those phrases describe the intent and meaning of various provisions in the Constitution? The phrase “separation of church and state” was used by Jefferson and Madison to describe the intent and meaning of the religion clauses of the First Amendment. And the Soviet constitution was written nearly a century and a half after ours was written. They borrowed that idea from us.

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