Friday, October 22, 2010

Constitutional repentance?

In the scheme of things, O'Donnell characterizing a one week indoctrination at a right-wing think tank as a "Graduate Fellowship in Constitutional Government" so grossly misstates and exaggerates the facts that we are forced to characterize it as a flat-out lie.
And since the tea-baggers pay lip service to what the founders—and particularly Thomas Jefferson—intended, we have Jefferson's letter to Danbury Baptist Association written on the first of January, 1802, which says:

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 & State.
Can it get any clearer than that?


Floyd R. Turbo said...

But then that letter isn't the Constitution is it? Jefferson didn't write the First Amendment -- James Madison did and seeing as it was written in part to keep a promise to John Leland - a Baptist minister in Virginia who helped him during the ratification debates -- the wall was to prtect the church FROM the state -- not to keep religion out of the public square. Look -- O'Donnell is a bit out of her depth to be sure, but what she said was nto factually wrong. Separation of church and state is NOT in the COnstitution. Dinner at Morton's on me if you can find it in the actual Constitution as opposed to correspondence from people who didn't write the Constitution (Jefferson was in Paris after all). Hate O'Donnell all you want -- but you don't trump ignorance with ignorance.

The Supreme Court (Justice Black I believe) said it was there in a 1947 SCOTUS case. That doesn't make it so.


Floyd R Turbo

Floyd R Turbo said...

And tea baggers....

Isn't that a bit stupid as it would imply that we are dominant and you are the tea-bagged -- or is it bagee? -- you guys seem more conversant on deviate sexual acts -- or at least Bill Maher and Anderson Cooper do. Anyway... be more clever in your pejoratives.

And lastly... love the daguerreotype post linked to by The Atlantic. Civility is not dead even if that guy shining his shoes in Paris 1838 is.



You're right, Floyd, the actual phrase "separation of church and state" is not found in the Constitution. But, since you bring him up, in a letter to the historian Robert Walsh Madison wrote:
"The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state."
Given the disastrous history of religious involvement in Europe, the intention of the founders to keep that from happening in the new nation seems pretty clear, and the courts have agreed.
As far as my being "conversant with deviate sexual" acts: I beg your pardon? I have no clue what you're referring to.
But it sounds like fun.

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