Tittering, they make their claim
Noses skyward, great disdain
Aloof in mind, the royal nod
Above the rabble, not far…from God
Yes these, with diapers barely shed
With pap and poison plenteous fed
The spawn of towers, sick and tall
They come to rule
Lord help us…all
“Where in the constitution is ‘Separation of Church and State?’” A question by Delaware Senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell to her opponent, Chris Coons, during a recent debate at Widener Law School. The context: The subject on display was “creationism” or “Intelligent Design” being taught in public school when the local populace desires it. Mr Coons stated his opposition, citing the Constitutional bedrock of… “Separation of Church and State.” Ms O’Donnell’s subsequent question (above) immediately produced gasps, snickers, and outright laughter from the learned audience of students and professors. And, in the media--liberal and non--the consensus is that the lady is…oh so ignorant.
Well, a little research was necessary, so I went to Fox, C-Span, and finally got an un-editorialized viewing (except for the caption) of that portion of the debate on…youtube. Hearing a little more than the headline, my suspicions were confirmed. You see, Mr Coons' view is, in my opinion, that the “Constitution” as interpreted by Justices in recent years…is how it is. Ms O’Donnell’s view--again, my opinion--seems to mirror the thought that the founders may have had something else in mind. Thus, her question, “Where in the Constitution is ‘Separation of Church and State?’” is valid, because, frankly…the phrase is NOT IN THERE!
Here’s some thoughts:
On the subject of government and religion, consider: The following is taken from the Northwest Ordinance, a document drafted by the Second Continental Congress to establish government and steps leading to statehood for the recently acquired Western territories.
Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.
Question: Would the congress that drafted this document, and signed the U.S. Constitution two months later, and then added the Bill of Rights (including the first amendment) in 1789 (ratified by the states in 1791), would these have changed their minds concerning Art 3 of the Northwest Ordinance? That is: “Religion…morality…knowledge…schools” ?
Consider: The following is taken from the Massachusetts constitution, 1780:
And all moneys paid by the subject to the support of public worship and of public teachers aforesaid shall, if he require it, be uniformly applied to the support of the public teacher or teachers of his own religious sect or denomination, provided there be any on whose instructions he attends; otherwise it may be paid toward the support of the teacher or teachers of the parish or precinct in which the said moneys are raised.
Question: Would the representatives of Massachusetts, who endorsed not only “religion” in school, but the funding thereof; would these agree to a first amendment that would eventually be used to expel God and religion from said institutions?
Here’s an excerpt from “The New England Primer,” used widely at the time of the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution to teach the young their letters.
A In ADAM's Fall We sinned all. B Thy Life to mend This Book attend. C The Cat doth play, And after stay. D The Deluge Drown'd The Earth around. E ELIJAH hid By Ravens fed. F The Judgement made FELIX afraid.
Question: would the drafters of the first amendment imagine, in their wildest dreams, that this amendment, which was included in the founding document to protect us “from” an overreaching central government; could they possibly have imagined that it would be twisted to eliminate such teaching materials as The New England Primer from public school?
The following is a quote from Justice Rehnquist’s dissent in Wallace v Jaffree, a case involving a minute of prayer/meditation in Alabama Public schools, 1985.
It would come as much of a shock to those who drafted the Bill of Rights as it will to a large number of thoughtful Americans today to learn that the Constitution, as construed by the majority, prohibits the Alabama Legislature from "endorsing" prayer. George Washington himself, at the request of the very Congress which passed the Bill of Rights, proclaimed a day of "public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God." History must judge whether it was the Father of his Country in 1789, or a majority of the Court today, which has strayed from the meaning of the Establishment Clause.
Here's my first point: Ms O’Donnell was criticized because she challenged the very bedrock of secular academia. And, since she is, apparently, unschooled in the “obvious,” she must be somehow…less of brain. However, methinks it displays the opposite. Yes, rather than following in mindless submission to the redefiners; she is a part of the new-breed that will question the legitimacy of “their” conclusions and not settle for the parental admonition, “Because we said so!”
Second: My revulsion in regards to the hotbeds of liberalism (Secular Universities) …grows. They take our children, mold them in their own godless image, and then loose them into positions of prominence. If I had my way I would drastically defund these institutions. Teach what you will...but not on my dime!
Finally: The wisdom of the founders as expressed in the Northwest Ordinance…“Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged,” was the recipe for our early success and rise to a place of prominence. But, since modern “minds” reject the key ingredients of “religion” and “morality” …are we then surprised that our current conditions tend towards “bad” government...and “unhappiness?”
Following are some links you might be interested in. Rehnquist's dissent (well worth a look!)
A portion of the O'Donnell, Coon debate