Perversion of First Amendment's Freedom of Religion

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I’ve had it with the Left’s perversion of the U. S. Constitution’s First Amendment into a freedom from religion instead of what the Founding Fathers meant it to be — the freedom to believe in God.
In the United States, our religious civil liberties are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting the 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.”

Under the Constitution, therefore, the treatment of religion by the government is broken into two clauses: the establishment clause and the free exercise clause.
The “Establishment Clause,” stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” is generally read to prohibit the Federal government from establishing a national church (“religion”) or excessively involving itself in religion, particularly to the benefit of one religion over another. [Source]
But increasingly, the establishment clause is interpreted to mean the absolute “separation of church and state” — a phrase that is not in the Constitution but instead derived from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to Danbury Baptists. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Jefferson writes:

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.

Jefferson’s “separation of church and state” in turn is perverted by atheists/leftists to mean the government should discourage and be downright hostile toward the American people’s free exercise and free expression of our religious beliefs.
That is exactly what happened to a group of senior citizens in the small Georgia town of Port Wentworth near Savannah.
The Associated Press reports on May 11, 2010, that the organization Senior Citizens, Inc., which provides meals at a senior citizens center in Port Wentworth told the elderly citizens who visit the center that it would violate federal rules for them to pray out loud before meals. They are asked instead to observe a moment of silence. 
The organization’s rationale? — The meals are partially paid for with federal funds.
The mayor of Port Wentworth, Glenn Jones, said he’s outraged that people would be told they “can’t thank God for their food.”
These senior citizens should make a federal case out of this on the grounds that their being told they couldn’t pray out loud violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Whereas the First Amendment secures the free exercise of religion, section one of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits discrimination, including on the basis of religion, by securing “the equal protection of the laws” for every person:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the Unites States, nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” 

By telling the elderly they must refrain from praying out loud, Senior Citizens Inc. is abridging their First Amendment right to their free exercise of religion.
As for the senior citizens, there’s a lesson here for you — and for all of us:
When we allow government to intrude increasingly into our lives by bribing us with free taxpayer-subsidized meals and other “free” stuff, we are also surrendering our freedom, piece by piece. Government starts telling us what we can or cannot do. Is a free meal at the seniors’ center worth the price of your soul?

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0 responses to “Perversion of First Amendment's Freedom of Religion

  1. I am an elderly person by establishment rules and I guarantee if someone gets in my face about anything I do I tell them where to go and how to get there. I do not mince words and I do not back down. No government or any individual will remove my rights from me unless they kill me—I suggest they be careful when they try.
    By the way—I do not give my right away, away to merging drivers–I run the idiots off the road.
    Christ displayed anger when he ran the money changers out of the temple—I call it righteous indignation—Stupid Liberals don’t want to run into my righteous indignation. I will pull the trigger–Then I will apologize to the Lord for being so impulsive.
    Then I will yell–‘Will someone please take out the garbage.’

  2. I agree Ron,they are over stepping again,need to catch them at it like this and then let’em have it. Eowyn,I sent this to Nathan Deal whom is running for Governor,he has also asked to see the “Punk’s” personal papers! as you so nicely call him,I call him anything but “POTUS”

    • That’s great, tina! — sending this info to Nathan Deal. You’re such a wonderful valiant soldier in our war! God bless you. 🙂

  3. I’m sure you all have heard about the new faith based initiative wanting to merge the EPA with churches. Just in case you haven’t:
    Where is the ACLU? Where are all the leftists screaming bloody murder? Separation of Church and State isn’t in the Constitution for this particular agenda, but it’s in the Constitution if we want to say a prayer in school. Double standard? You Betcha!
    In Deus nos fides – In God we trust

  4. It’s all bullshit! There is no other word for it that would dignify it! I’m with all of you and am like Ron-nobody tells me whether or not I can pray. They’ll just have to try to kill me, but they’re going to have a hard time with Joan!!!!

  5. The phrase “separation of church and state” is but a metaphor to describe the underlying principle of the First Amendment and the no-religious-test clause of the Constitution. That the phrase does not appear in the text of the Constitution assumes much importance, it seems, only to those who may have once labored under the misimpression it was there and later learned they were mistaken. To those familiar with the Constitution, the absence of the metaphor commonly used to describe one of its principles is no more consequential than the absence of other phrases (e.g., Bill of Rights, separation of powers, checks and balances, fair trial, religious liberty) used to describe other undoubted Constitutional principles.
    Some try to pass off the Supreme Court’s decision in Everson v. Board of Education as simply a misreading of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists–as if that is the only basis of the Court’s decision. Instructive as that letter is, it played but a small part in the Court’s decision. Perhaps even more than Jefferson, James Madison influenced the Court’s view. Madison, who had a central role in drafting the Constitution and the First Amendment, confirmed that he understood them to “[s]trongly guard[] . . . the separation between Religion and Government.” Madison, Detached Memoranda (~1820). He made plain, too, that they guarded against more than just laws creating state sponsored churches or imposing a state religion. Mindful that even as new principles are proclaimed, old habits die hard and citizens and politicians could tend to entangle government and religion (e.g., “the appointment of chaplains to the two houses of Congress” and “for the army and navy” and “[r]eligious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts”), he considered the question whether these actions were “consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom” and responded: “In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.”
    The First Amendment embodies the simple, just idea that each of us should be free to exercise his or her religious views without expecting that the government will endorse or promote those views and without fearing that the government will endorse or promote the religious views of others. By keeping government and religion separate, the establishment clause serves to protect the freedom of all to exercise their religion. Reasonable people may differ, of course, on how these principles should be applied in particular situations, but the principles are hardly to be doubted. Moreover, they are good, sound principles that should be nurtured and defended, not attacked. Efforts to undercut our secular government by somehow merging or infusing it with religion should be resisted by every patriot.
    Wake Forest University recently published a short, objective Q&A primer on the current law of separation of church and state. I commend it to you.
    I have not looked into the circumstances of the senior citizen center, so can’t venture any firm opinions. That said, I agree with you that it sounds like someone has interfered with individuals’ freedoms to exercise their religions and express themselves and has done so based on some misunderstanding or misapplication of the principle of separation of church and state. The First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause assures that each individual is free to exercise and express his or her religious views–publicly as well as privately. The Amendment constrains only the government not to promote or otherwise take steps toward establishment of religion. As government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, when those individuals are performing their official duties (e.g., public school teachers instructing students in class), they effectively are the government and thus should conduct themselves in accordance with the First Amendment’s constraints on government. When acting in their individual capacities, they are free to exercise their religions as they please. If their right to free exercise of religion extended even to their discharge of their official responsibilities, however, the First Amendment constraints on government establishment of religion would be eviscerated. While figuring out whether someone is speaking for the government may sometimes be difficult, making the distinction is critical. How one might suppose that a senior citizen living in a center speaks for the government when praying before a meal escapes me.

    • Doug: I was being sarcastic with my comment about separation being in the Constitution. I know it’s not there. I was just trying to show the bias. Sorry if I misled you.
      EGO sum per sarcastic interdum – I am quite sarcastic sometimes

  6. Using complete simplicity and clarity, no one will tell me whether or not I can thank Our Lord in the way of a blessing before I eat. If I desire to recite the Catholic blessing prayer of, “Bless us Oh Lord, for these they gifts which we are about to receive from the bounty, through Christ, Our Lord, Amen,” in any place in the United States of America, I will say it! Senior citizens are being told that to recite such a grace is a violation of “federal rules,” and thus, they are to be precluded from saying it. All of the intellectual discussion you wish to deploy does not subvert the basic issue of being able to speak to Our Lord freely through a simple prayer of grace that has only thankfulness as its communication. It is unequivocally incredible.


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