Building the Wall

As I started drafting a reply to a comment from “catsNjammer” on my last post, the more I wrote, the more I decided this should be it’s own post because it was getting to be far too long with too many responses running about in my mind to be whittled down to a comment-length rebuttal. Let’s start with their comment:

“I understand your argument, however, the Constitution was never written to separate government from religion. The purpose was to ensure the government did not interfere in the individual practice of a citizen’s religion or decree a national religion. We have gotten away from the original intent, but judges knew what it was since the documents have always been there and the purpose of the founding fathers has never been a mystery.”

I still get a blank face filled with WTF every time I read this. I can’t even wrap my mind around the mental gymnastics that had to be done to think that the first two sentences aren’t contradictory to each other. Not to mention that the last sentence agrees, at least partly with the second sentence and my original post.

So, where do we start? How about the Establishment Clause part of the First Amendment?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

…no law respecting an establishment of religion. Let that part sink in for a moment. Then look up at the first sentence of catsNjammer’s comment. “The constitution was never written to separate government from religion.” Followed by the second sentence. “The purpose was to ensure the government did not…decree a national religion.”

Now tell me, how is allowing Christian monuments being erected on public, that is to say state lands, not an “establishment of religion”? Most especially while secular monuments or those from other religions are denied the same rights of display?

“We have gotten away from the original intent…the documents have always been there and the purpose of the founding fathers has never been a mystery.” Well, there I absolutely agree with you. Especially since Thomas Jefferson, one of those founding fathers, wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Church in 1802. Let me quote a piece of it, just in case you don’t feel like clicking over to read the history of the phrase “Separation of Church and State.”

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, & 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 separation between Church & State.

So sure, you can sit there and tell yourself that the government can put the Ten Commandments everywhere and it be fine because it coincides with the majority of Americans. You can tell yourself that you’re free to worship as you wish with corporations being given the same rights as people. But at that point you’ve reached a point of willful ignorance and cognitive dissonance that I just can’t reach no matter how many times I read your comment that I assume makes coherent sense in your mind.

The Founding Fathers that the GOP hold up as demigods did not want a theocracy, and if Gorsuch gets confirmed onto the Supreme Court, I fear that we’ll edge closer and closer to just that. This administration seems to be doing the most it can to damage the country, all while alienating those of other (or no) faiths and harming relations with our neighbor to the south.

So President Trump wants to build a wall? How about the one between Church and State, as the Constitution intended? Now that’s one I can support, and it won’t cost us $10 billion.

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