Wednesday, November 24, 2004

You're wrong Justice Scalia, there is NOTHING wrong with the principle of neutrality

1st Amendment of the US Constitution:
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 peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

On Monday, Justice Antonin Scalia said (emphasis added): "There is something wrong with the principle of neutrality," said Scalia, considered among the court's staunchest conservatives. Neutrality as envisioned by the founding fathers, Scalia said, "is not neutrality between religiousness and nonreligiousness; it is between denominations of religion."

The religious right's base they're claims that they're following the constitution with the religion based laws/mores they want to enforce by claiming they are not creating a state religion or state sponsored religion that has supremacy over others. The first amendment does not limit the separation of church and state to establising a state religion, as written it states ". ..make no law respecting an establishment of religion. . ." There's a big difference. Now Scalia refers to himself as an "originalist," someone who makes a decision based on the actual text literally, not the verbiage in context with the times, and yet he disregards the actual text.

So, the bible is to be read literally but the Consitution is not? According to the first amendment as written, we are to be protected from state sponsored religion, not just a takeover or implementation of rules based on one or a group of denominations views. We need to start hitting back using the actual language verbatim "Congress will make no law respecting establishment of religion. . ." Anyone who thinks Jefferson meant otherwise needs to read the letter he based the amendment on (emphasis added): "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 eternal separation between Church & State.

Jefferson's final letter to the Danbury Baptists
The draft and recovered text of the Jefferson's letter

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