The Constitution of The United States of America is the document our Republic is based upon. Our Republic is predicated on the rule of law. This rule of law is governed by our Constitution. Anyone arguing with me yet? Good.
The U.S Constitution was ratified in 1788 and has been amended twenty seven times. The first ten amendments were ratified in December of 1791. The first amendment, the first change to this all important document, the thing most important to those forming our country and our government, pertains to freedom of religion.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
What does that say? Does it say freedom from religion or does it say freedom of religion?
Go ahead and read it again. I'll wait. It does say freedom of religion. I'm sure of it. So why do I care if some knucklehead is offended to hear "thou shalt not kill"? Why do I care that someone with an axe to grind with someone in his or her past, has a problem with a nativity scene in a park? Why do I even hear about the person who feels it is his or her duty to be offended by the cross on the t-shirt of a high school student? I will continue to exercise my right to religion. I will pray to God. I will defend my right and your right to do so. But that's getting into the Second Amendment.
The first part of the First Amendment states that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". OK, again this isn't exactly rocket surgery. It seems pretty simple, doesn't it? No creation of a religion by the government. No Church of England, no Church of America. I get it.
How does that translate to no Bible Study around the flag pole before school? How does that translate to no prayer at a football game? How does that translate to the 10 Commandments being prohibited from a courtroom? None of those can possibly be confused with a law being created (we can walk through how a bill becomes a law if you would like), and it certainly doesn't even resemble the creation of a religion.
When politicians get the notion that words can be parsed all the way down to what the meaning of the word "is" is, then we are past interpretation of clear and simply written text and into the ridiculous. Someone needs to tell the children, "NO".
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".
I will watch diligently, that is my promise to you, for any sign that Congress is making a law respecting establishment of religion. I will yell loudly and strongly at the first tiny hint of this happening. I will also not allow anyone to prohibit you or I from the free exercise of religion. "I will not allow" is deliberately chosen strong language. Test it if you like.
Some smart dudes made this priority number one. The first thing on their mind was this one. So how have we gotten to this point where the interpretation is almost exactly the opposite of its original intent? And don't even get me started on "separation of church and state". It's not in there, guys. Yeah, yeah, sure you can go look. It isn't there.
Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, which is where the phrase "separation of church and state" originated. Jefferson wanted the federal government to keep their nose out of the religion business. That's another conversation for another day.
Thank you, God, for giving me another day on this Earth. I appreciate every day so there is no more need to scare the crap out of me like you did today. I pray for enlightenment of the close minded and for the best life possible for all your people. Amen.
(The nice thing about blogs is that I can pretty much say what I want, even if it isn't particularly bloggish.)