Sunday, December 15, 2013
Religion and the Government
Do you know what I can't believe I have to do? I can't believe I have to do two things; defend the Constitution, and defend religion, and it's all because of an article I saw about a cross that sits on government land in San Diego that must come down because it's "unconstitutional." As an anarcho-capitalist, I can't believe I have to defend the Constitution, the very thing that was created specifically to create a bigger, more powerful government, (a different topic for a different day). As an atheist, (more of a deist), I can't believe I have to defend religion. However, since we have the Constitution and religion is mixed with politics, I figure we use the Constitution as intended, even when it comes to religion. That means, per the Constitution, governments can display religious symbols all they want.
First of all, the people who claim this is a victory for religious freedom say the government can't endorse religion. Really? Where in the Constitution does it say that? Oh, that's right, it doesn't say that. It says the government can't establish a religion. Just look at the dictionary: "endorse" means "to support;" "establish" means "to create." The government can't create a national religion and have you support it through taxation; just like the Church of England did to the colonists. Man, did the British do them dirty!
Secondly, the people who still claim this is a victory for religious freedom base it on the constitutional grounds of the wall of separation between church and state. Yes, that phrase that's found in Article...oh, what a minute, that's not in the fucking Constitution either. That phrase was written by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists in Connecticut. What had happened was, after TJ was elected president, the Baptists wrote Jefferson that, while they do enjoy religious freedom in Connecticut, the state legislature, run by Quakers, is giving them this right, and they feared they could be forced to join a state church. The Baptists tried to appeal to TJ's firm stance on religious freedom when they wrote: "...we are sensible that the president of the United States is not the national legislator, and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the laws of each state; but our hopes are strong that the sentiments of our beloved president, which have had such genial effect already, like the radiant beams of the sun, will shine and prevail through all these states..." Translated: "We know the president can't make laws, (my how the times have changed, huh?), and that congress can't override state laws, but can you do something about this?" The reply: "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God...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." Translation: "I feel for you dog, but, like the First Amendment says, I, nor congress, can get involved with religion." Jefferson was saying the federal government stays out of religion, not religion stays out of the federal government; people constantly take this out of context.
And finally, there's this: "The Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution." What's this? That's the preamble to the Bill of Rights? Never seen it before? I'm sorry you had such shitty teachers. Or, maybe, you should've went to class that one day. In a nutshell, the preamble to the Bill of Rights says these first ten amendments, to make those bastard anti-federalists happy, will prove the federal government will not abuse natural rights. That's right, the First Amendment, and the whole establishment clause, applies only to the federal government. That's why the Danbury Baptists wrote "...the national government cannot destroy the laws of each state..." They knew if Connecticut wanted to establish a state church, the federal government couldn't so squadoosh about it. And this cross in San Diego? Put on local government land which means the First Amendment's establishment clause wouldn't apply to the state anyway.
So, there's my defense. Religious symbols can be proudly displayed on local, and federal government property. The only thing the federal government can't do is create a national church and make people support it through taxation and commit to its services, (by the way, James Madison said just that in his 1789 speech before congress on debating the Bill of Rights; it's not my fault y'all don't know history). And this atheist, Constitution hater, used the Constitution to prove it.
As a side note, if my points seemed to ramble on, it's because it's late, and I'm drunk. I will have no recollection of having written this come tomorrow morning. However, it doesn't change the fact that I'm right, more or less.