Perry steps in it … again

Paul Burka has it exactly right. Rick Perry’s latest pronouncement about church/state separation will doom any future bid he might launch for the presidency.

The Republican Texas governor calls the notion of such separation as the work of the devil. He sounds so much like those on the far right who keep positing a goofy notion about what the Constitution says about the separation of church and state.

A former colleague of mine is fond of saying that the U.S. Constitution does not contain the words “church and state separation.” He’s right about that very narrow point. But the Constitution does say in its very first amendment that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” And virtually every legal scholar – including some of those “strict constructionists” – since has affirmed that the First Amendment means that the state and the church must be separate. I’m no legal scholar, but I do understand fully what the framers meant when they wrote that amendment.

Were they the spawns of Satan? No, they sought to create a secular nation that governs a people who are free to worship – or not worship – as they please.