Sunday, January 08, 2006

It is not often that I agree with a member of the ACLU.  I do agree with one statement made in a letter to the editor printed today in the Peoria Journal Star (1/7/05, page A4) by the President of the Peoria Chapter of the ACLU.  He was writing about the first Amendment and its provision in relation to freedom of religion.  As printed in the paper, he wrote “The framers of the Bill of Rights got it right in the 18th century with the First Amendment.”  He is absolutely correct.

Unfortunately, the activist Courtocracy has been rewriting the First Amendment to suit its own purposes rather than following the dictates of the clear wording of that Amendment.  The First Amendment declares “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”  It does not provide for a “separation of church and state” nor does it provide for a “wall of separation between church and state.”  Don’t you think that if that was what the framers of the Amendment wanted; that is what they would have written!  

This is what Mark R. Levin writes in Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America. (pages 40-41)  “In 1947, however, the Supreme Court upended the long-standing balance between the government and religion in a case called Everson v. Board of Education.  Justice Hugo Black, a longtime admirer of Jefferson, revived a previously obscure metaphor from Jefferson’s
writings.  … But in writing for the court in Everson, Black seized on this idea that a ‘wall of separation’ existed between church and state.  Black also declared that the religious clauses of the First Amendment, which were intended to be a check on the federal government, were now applicable to state and local governments.  The term ‘wall of separation’ was to attach thereafter to every case or controversy arising under the establishment clause or the free exercise clause.”

If Mr. Levin is correct, the Supreme Court did not begin to use Jefferson’s concept of a “wall of separation” until 1947 almost one hundred and fifty years after the First Amendment was approved by Congress and adopted by the States.  Dave Weiman, as ACLU Chapter President, is correct—the framers got it right.  It has been U.S. Supreme Court Justices and the ACLU who has gotten it wrong since 1947.  One thing is certain.  The U.S. Constitution does not say anything about a “wall of separation” nor does it say anything about a “separation of church and state.”  

Several months ago in a letter to the editor I challenged anyone to prove those two phrases were in the Constitution.  No one did because no one can.  They simply are not part of the Constitution!  Are they Mr. Weiman?  

If they are, prove it!                


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