Sunday, January 30, 2011

MiThoughts on the First Amendment (Separation of Church and State)

The First Amendment in the United States Constitution states that,

“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 to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

There are (obviously), different opinions on the meaning of this amendment. Some think it means religion has no place in government because of “Separation of Church and State” doctrine. Others say that there is no real separation of church and state anywhere, in the Constitution.

A question then arises,

“Where in the world did separation of church and state come from anyway?”

To answer that question, we have to go back to the 19th century, during Thomas Jefferson’s term as president. The Danbury Baptists (a minority denomination in Connecticut) had written Jefferson about their concern over religious rights. The president wrote back to them, and you can read the transcript of Jefferson’s letter below:


Mr. President

To Messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem & approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more & more pleasing.

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, and 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 and state. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Thomas Jefferson
Jan.1.1802.

(Source: http://www.newgenevacenter.org/06_Historical-Documents/1802_Jefferson's-'Wall-of-Separation'-Letter.html)



That, ladies and Gentleman, is where the term “Separation of Church and State” originated. To make a long story short, Jefferson’s letter (or rather that specific section of the letter) is used to justify the efforts to remove any and all expressions of religion from essentially every aspect of government.
So what do I think? What are MiThoughts on the issue?

I do believe that the first Amendment creates a “wall of separation” between Church and State.

Now, before you start jumping to conclusions, allow me to explain what I mean: The First Amendment CLEARLY STATES that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

SOOOO…the Constitution CLEARLY forbids Congress to make any law that concerns an establishment of religion… I believe that the constitution has separated congress from affecting and influencing religion. But I won’t get into what an “establishment of religion” means. SO MANY other people are concerned with that, and there are so many wonderful debates on the subject.

I want to touch on a DIFFERENT aspect of the amendment, specifically the part that says CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW…

Does the First Amendment say that THE PRESIDENT is expressly forbidden to be religious or to express his religious beliefs? Does it say that a STATE SUPREME COURT may not have the Ten Commandments on display? Does it say that SCHOOLS are forbidden to have prayer, or to express religion in any way?

Does it mention ANYTHING other than forbidding CONGRESS to make a LAW?


I have not heard many people asking these questions, and I think it is high time somebody did!


The fact is, the Constitution does NOT say anything other than Congress shall make no LAWor prohibit the free exercise thereof.

Don’t be caught up by asking the wrong questions, or letting someone trick you into answering the wrong questions….


The mind of El Pensador doesn’t work that way, and neither should yours.


Rock on, America!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I REFUSE to Post Today!

There are many reasons why I decided not to post on the blog today. A few of the more significant reasons are as follows:

1. I just don't feel like it.

2. I have previously been too busy, and to post now would be almost the same as admitting that I had free time for a few moments (which ISN'T true).

3. ...I forgot what reason number three was, but it was a GOOD reason!

4. I am working on an forthcoming post which deals with a very controversial topic...the First Amendment.

5. I wanted to add that last part as a "teaser" to keep you on your toes, and encourage you to "stay tuned" until I eventually post it (which won't be too far away, so have patience).


Those reasons (as well as many others) are why I chose NOT to post today. Sorry to disappoint!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quote of the Day: And it's a DOOZY!

"The man who tries to walk two roads will split his pants."
    - West African Maninka Tribe Proverb 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ronald Reagan: Jokes About Communism

It's no wonder why so many people loved President Reagan. He wasn't afraid to laugh! Here are some clips of him telling jokes about communism. Enjoy!


Saturday, January 1, 2011