Friday, December 07, 2007

When the Constitution says "no" it's to limit government not the people

After organizing my own West Autumn Chapter of the Joe Horn Neighborhood Watch, I responded to this tripe found a couple of days ago in the Daily Punctilio. Lex responds:

Using Stephanie Salter’s backward logic: Quick quiz.

Where in the U.S. Constitution do the words “separation of church and state” appear?

Answer: Nowhere. It's not in there.

The reason that it is generally a fool’s errand to search out where in our Constitution certain rights are provided is that the Constitution does not attempt enumerate each and every right. Rather, the Constitution seeks to LIMIT GOVERNMENT power to interfere with those rights.

That is how Salter accidentally swerved into the truth when she noted that “Ellery Schempp recently observed, the Constitution ‘mentions religion just twice, and both times the word “no” is attached.’”

The first case appears in Article VI and states “…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” The second is found in the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” In both cases the “no” is inserted as a RESTRAINT ON GOVERNMENT’s ability to interfere with the people’s right to free expression of religion.

Don’t even get me started on the Supreme Court legislating from the bench because Liberals can’t get the votes in congress. It would indeed take nine crafty and highly trained legal minds -- minds capable of say, finding a right to abortion and sodomy hidden somewhere in the Fourteenth Amendment -- to turn the First Amendment on its head from “freedom OF religion” to “freedom FROM religion.”

Bonus question: Where in the Constitution are Salter and Schemepp guaranteed that they will never have to gaze upon a Bible in a public space, hear a public official utter the dreaded words Merry Christmas or pass a small cross on the roadside?

Answer. Nowhere. It’s not in there.


I love Christmas for a lot reasons but near the top of the list has to be because I know that somewhere the Salters and Shempps of this world are miserable. They spend every waking minute worrying that there is a manger scene or a Christmas party going on in a public space somewhere. Then they lay awake at night tortured by the fact that, like the Grinch, they will not be able to stop Christmas from coming again this year.

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