Tag Archives: religion

Founders got this one precisely correct

I posted an item on High Plains Blogger that sought to explain that the U.S. Constitution need not state matters in black and white for issues to remain relevant.

My particular target dealt with a statement in a column published in the Amarillo Globe-News that the words “separation of church and state” are not in the Constitution, as if to suggest that there really is no “separation.” Well, there is.

Here is what I wrote:

‘Separation of church, state’ need not be written

I want to reiterate a point I’ve made a time or three already.

It is that the founding fathers did not create a perfect governing document, but on the issue of church/state separation, they got that part perfectly.

They didn’t liberate the slaves when they drafted the Constitution. They didn’t give women the right to vote.

However, on the issue of whether to establish a secular state, they hit it out of the park. They sought to form a government that did not dictate how people should worship. They gave us the right to worship as we please, or not worship at all.

The First Amendment contains four elements: a free press, the freedom of speech, the ability to seek redress of grievances against the government and of religion.

Of those four elements, the founders listed the religion part first.

Does that suggest to you that the founders’ stipulation in the First Amendment that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof … ” was the most important civil liberty they wanted to protect?

That’s how I interpret it.

The founders’ direct ancestors fled religious persecution in Europe and they damn sure insisted that it must not happen in the United States of America.

Earth to Judge Moore: Read the Constitution

Roy Moore went to law school, has served on the Alabama Supreme Court and I must presume has actually read the U.S. Constitution.

The Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, though, has blathered ridiculously about whether Muslims should be able to serve in the U.S. Congress.

I am left to utter a simple “ugh.”

Moore says, for instance, that U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., should be barred from serving simply because he is Muslim. The candidate’s idiocy has been challenged by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who earlier had announced his backing of Moore to join him in the Senate.

Moore is demonstrating a breathtaking ignorance about the Constitution, which states quite clearly that there shall be “no religious test” for anyone seeking or holding public office. It means that no one’s faith should become a litmus test for their qualifications to serve in public life.

There once was a time when Catholics were scorned because of their faith. Mormons continue to battle that stigma. As for Muslims, they are considered the dreaded “enemy” of Americans. Yep even those who also happen to be Americans.

Cornyn disagrees with Moore

Roy Moore is furthering the cause of bigotry with his belief Ellison’s faith should bar him from serving the country.

Sen. Cornyn said he disagrees with Moore’s statement about Ellison and whether Muslims should serve. But his statement does sound rather tepid, in that he doesn’t say what I believe he should say — which is that Roy Moore’s ignorance of our nation’s governing framework makes him unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Trump crosses yet another line


I cannot let this one go with just a single post on this blog.

Here I go again. Donald J. Trump has crossed yet another in an endless array of lines one mustn’t cross as he campaigns for president of the United States.

The presumed Republican presidential nominee questioned the faith of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

How in the name of all that is holy does this man have the gall/stones/hubris/guts to question anyone’s religious faith?

This is beyond every possible example of good taste imaginable. Then again, it’s Donald Trump saying it, which makes it OK to those who have glommed on to his candidacy. They, too, question whether Hillary Clinton is an actual Methodist, which she’s been saying for years — decades, actually — was how she was raised.


How does this clown profess to know what’s in another person’s heart? How does he get away with this kind of out-and-out pandering?

He spoke today to a gathering of religious conservatives, evangelical Christians who are trying to size this guy up.

Trump took advantage of the forum to question whether Clinton’s faith is authentic.


I won’t predict this will be the latest “fatal mistake” of this man’s presidential campaign. He’s made countless other such errors already, only to emerge stronger than before he committed them.

However, so help me, this guy just keeps demonstrating how unfit he is to become president of the United States of America.

'Originalist' view is mistaken

Count me as among those who acknowledge that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is brilliant.

The man knows the law. Does he know the U.S. Constitution? Well, sure he does. He was selected by President Reagan in 1986 to interpret the nation’s founding document and he’s still on the job.

OK, I’ve acknowledged the obvious.

Now I wish to take issue with his view that the document isn’t a living one that should adapt to change in society.


Scalia said recently that it’s OK for the courts to favor religion over non-religion. He said the founders were religious men who meant for God to play a role in government. He said the Constitution guarantees “freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.”

We’re fine, so far.

Then he said he prefers to look at the Constitution in its original form, as the drafters of it intended — in the 18th century.

He doesn’t like the “living Constitution” view, saying that only “idiots” believe such a thing.


Can’t the Constitution be adapted to the present day while preserving the principles laid out by the nation’s founders? Sure it can. The Second Amendment, the awkwardly written passage that guarantees the right to “keep and bear arms,” is an example.

Could the framers have envisioned the type of weaponry that has been developed since the Second Amendment was drafted and ratified? Could they have foreseen assault weapons that can kill, oh, 10 or so individuals in a matter of a few seconds? I’m betting they didn’t sit around and wonder: “All right, gentlemen, before we finalize this amendment, should we set aside a provision for the time when gang members will outgun the police on city streets teeming with drugs?” No, they couldn’t predict the future.

But the future has arrived and the “next future” is right around the corner. It’s left, then, for those who live in the here and now to wonder if the Constitution — as written — still is relevant to today’s circumstance.

It isn’t in some instances.

I still honor and respect Justice Scalia’s intellect and knowledge. I just dispute his interpretation of what he knows so well.