GOP Congressman Calls Separation of Church and State a ‘False Belief’

GOP Congressman Calls Separation of Church and State a ‘False Belief’ June 17, 2015

Georgia Rep. Jody Hice claims Christians have been tricked into accepting the separation of church and state, calling constitutionally mandated church-state separation a “false belief.”

In a video statement screened at a San Diego Christian conference earlier today, Hice denounced secular government, and argued that the separation of church and state inevitably leads to “Big Government.”

Right Wing Watch reports:

Hice asked guests to imagine two towns, one “a secular town” and one “that embraces a Judeo-Christian worldview.”

The secular town, Hice claimed, will be so ridden with divorce, teen pregnancy, crime and gang violence that it will require government intervention.

On the other hand, the town with a “Judeo-Christian worldview” won’t need a large government presence since it has few social ills.

Hice concluded:

“I am thoroughly convinced that it is impossible to have limited government in a secular society because of the problems that secularism creates.”

Hice also denounced the separation of church and state, which he labeled a “false belief,” and went on to claim that church-state separation has tricked Christians into ignoring their role in government and, as a result, the government has become more corrupt without the input of “uprighteous, nice people who have moral compasses.”

Hice said:

Somehow we have bought into that false belief that our Constitution forbids us from being involved because of the so-called separation of church and state. I’m sure you’re aware of the fact that that’s not in our constitution. But it’s been said so many times that many Christians believe that we ought not be involved.

Technically Hice is correct, in so far as the words “separation of church and state” are not found in the U.S. Constitution. However, the sentiment and meaning behind the phrase is contained within the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

The actual phrase “separation of church and state” is derived from a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to Baptists from Danbury, Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper soon thereafter. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Jefferson writes:

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.

However, given the appalling nature of Hice’s rhetoric, it is doubtful the buffoon has read much history pertaining to the U.S. Constitution.

This is not the first reckless and misguided claim the right-wing Republican congressman has made. Previously Hice claimed that Satan is to blame for legal efforts to enforce the constitutionally mandated separate church and state, and even went so far as to urge fellow Christians to rise up against any atheist seeking public office.

In addition, Hice has also made the claim that Islam is not a religion, and consequently the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty does not apply to Muslims.

Indeed, Hice is well known for his Biblically based rants. Hice once blamed the Sandy Hook shooting on America’s “kicking God out of the public square.” Hice has also warned that homosexuality “enslaves” people, and compared being gay to alcoholism, drug addiction, “tendencies to lie,” and “tendencies to be violent.”

No surprise, Hice is also a sexist, and claims he has no problem with women entering politics – as long as they ask their husbands first.

(Portions of this article were previously published here.)

Jody Hice (image via Screen Grab)
Jody Hice (image via Screen Grab)
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