Proposed Constitutional amendment would create an exception to First Amendment.

As seems to be all the rage these days when politicians want to circumvent the system of checks and balances our three branches of government are meant to employ, a new amendment to the Constitution has been proposed to make references to God in the Pledge and on currency exempt from the First Amendment.

JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to the reference to God in the Pledge of Allegiance and on United States currency.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within 7 years after the date of its submission by the Congress:

`Article—

`SECTION 1. A reference to God in the Pledge of Allegiance or on United States currency shall not be construed as affecting the establishment of religion under the first article of amendment of this Constitution.

`SECTION 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.’.

The founding fathers of this country are surely spinning in their graves right now. Amendments should not be introduced lightly as they can be very difficult to remove once in place and amendments that effectively provide an escape clause to another amendment, one that the founding fathers thought was important enough to put at the top of the entire list, should be weighed even more heavily before being considered. The founding fathers debated the church and state issue extensively before they laid down the rules that would define our government and they went to great lengths to explain those rules for years to come. The first amendment is there for a reason and to gut it with another amendment so that the Christian majority can feel good about the fact that the money and the Pledge have the word “God” in it will set a dangerous precedent that could undermine the very principles this country was founded on.

4 thoughts on “Proposed Constitutional amendment would create an exception to First Amendment.

  1. Here is a related item for you…

    In Colorado they are voting on a law that would protect the right to fly the American flag over any public, and government building. 

    Personally, I didn’t think they had to pass laws protecting this type of free speech, but, ok…  If they want to waste tax money on making a law out of the obvious, I guess that’s fair enough.  The most amazing part of all of this is the fact that THERE ARE ACTUALLY PEOPLE WHO OPPOSE THE LAW!!!  There are groups in colorado who are wasting their time and breath fighting this law from being passed!

    Their most convincing argument?? :  We don’t like it.

    My opinion is, You don’t like it?  Good.  Get the f*ck out and stop wasting our time.  You are making fools out of yourselves.  Fighting this law is like trying to make people use only non-dairy creamer in their morning coffee.  Can you do it? Probibly.  Should you waste your time? Probibly not.

    Just to let you know, I didn’t even get into what’s wrong with the people who are trying to pass the law.  I will leave that to the tax payers of colorado to decide how their state should squander their funds.

  2. You know the whole seperation of church and state thing came from a letter from jefferson. I dont have it on hand but he basically said he thought the State should stay out of the church, not the chuch should stay out of the state.
    He knew from history evry time the Government started getting involved in the church there were problems. but the City councles who were the law makers of the colonys of the now US were also the church decons.

    Just somthing to keep in mind

  3. You can’t see me right now but I am shaking my head…I thought that your saying that you had “proof” there was a god even though you seem to be playing a game of semantics with the word “proof” where it applies to evolution was sad and somewhat disingenuous but this…

    “I contemplate with solemn reverence the act of the whole American people
    which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting the
    establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus
    building a wall of separation between church and state.”

    Thomas Jefferson

    What you appear to be glossing over is the line:

    …their legislature should make no law respecting the establishment of religion…

    That would mean that no specific establishment of religion will be given any more legal recognition, and hence governmental power, then any other establishment of religion. On the other hand he is also saying that government will not prohibit people from worshiping however they see fit (or not as the case may be). Jefferson was not a stupid man and probably understood the function of a wall, it keeps things separate. I think he could have come up with a better analogy than a wall if he was indicating that government should not meddle in the affairs of the church but that, oh boy, let’s risk bringing on some of that good wholesome theocracy by letting religious zealots into the governing body. They left the church of England behind, why would they want to risk the same thing happening here?

    But hey, whatever, if it makes you happy to believe revisionist propaganda knock yourself out.

  4. Thomas Jefferson, along with many of the other Founding Fathers, is one of my personal heroes and I’ve spent no small amount of time studying his writings and his life. I happen to have several different books with the very letter you mention reprinted inside of them. The letter was written in reply to a letter he received from The Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut. Most folks are familiar with Jefferson’s reply, or at least the bit about the wall of separation that everyone likes to argue the meaning of, but few people have ever seen the original letter from the Danbury Baptists themselves. Here, then, is the letter Jefferson received in October of 1801:

    Sir, Among the many millions in America and Europe who rejoice in your Election to office; we embrace the first opportunity which we have enjoyed in our collective capacity, since your Inauguration, to express our great satisfaction, in your appointment to the chief Magistracy in the United States; And though our mode of expression may be less courtly and pompous than what many others clothe their addresses with, we beg you, Sir to believe, that none are more sincere.

    Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty—That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals—That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions – That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor: But Sir our constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient charter together with the Laws made coincident therewith, were adopted on the Basis of our government, at the time of our revolution; and such had been our Laws & usages, and such still are; that Religion is considered as the first object of Legislation; and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights: and these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgments, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondered at therefore; if those, who seek after power & gain under the pretense of government & Religion should reproach their fellow men—should reproach their chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion Law & good order because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.

    Sir, 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 affect already, like the radiant beams of the Sun, will shine and prevail through all these States and all the world till Hierarchy and Tyranny be destroyed from the Earth. Sir, when we reflect on your past services, and see a glow of philanthropy and good will shining forth in a course of more than thirty years we have reason to believe that America’s God has raised you up to fill the chair of State out of that good will which he bears to the Millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence & the voice of the people have called you to sustain and support you in your Administration against all the predetermined opposition of those who wish to rise to wealth & importance on the poverty and subjection of the people.

    And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator.

    Signed in behalf of the Association.

    Nehh Dodge
    Ephram Robbins The Committee
    Stephen S. Nelson

    What most people who haven’t studied their American History don’t realize is the fact that Connecticut had legally established the Congregationalist Church as it’s official State church prior to the revolutionary war and the founding of the country and the Baptists, not being a part of the Congregationalist Church, were being persecuted as a result. In short, the letter from the Baptists was a request for Jefferson to clarify what he meant when he wrote the first amendment and Jefferson’s reply in which he coined the phrase about it being a “wall of separation” was exactly the sort of thing the Baptists were hoping to hear. This letter wasn’t the only attempt that Jefferson made to clarify the meaning of the First Amendment, however.

    Our old friend Pat Robertson was the first person to propose the argument you supply above, that “the State should stay out of the church, not the chuch[sic] should stay out of the state” and if we had only the Danbury Baptists reply to consider it might still be a little fuzzy just what Jefferson had intended. History provides us with another reply from Jefferson to a religions organization, however, this time to the Virginia Baptists in 1808:

    Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.
        We have solved … the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.

    Jefferson doesn’t leave anything open to interpretation in this response. It’s clear that he wrote the first amendment to keep church out of the affairs of government and government out of the affairs of church. The wording above has held up under scrutiny by the Supreme Court on more than one occasion over the years. You can’t get much more straight-forward than that.

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