Establishment And Free Exercise
Courts Decide What’s “Confessional”? That’s right, this is where we are headed, thanks to transforming America. Time for a lesson in the Constitution, the Establishment Clause and the Bill of Rights.
A priest is legally fighting to keep sacred the seal of confession, which is clearly given as binding in the Bible, is as equally binding as what is told to a psychiatrist. What does this have to do with the Bill of Rights? Plenty. Let’s start with the Establishment Clause. The framers were coming at this from a very clear mindset of what they meant by no establishment religion and separation of church and state and it was very narrow corridor. They had been under a system of government that had one official Government Established Church, Church of England, and in Virginia, you either belonged to that Church, paid taxes to that Church, went faithfully to all church services etc.. or you would be fined, and life would be made miserable for you. If you disagreed, left the church, heretic, and death. It was not fun, downright signing your death warrant. If you had slight doctrinal deviations, you could perhaps get permission to set up your own chapel or meeting hall, not a church, but still had to pay tax to the official church. You were not free to follow your own religious conscience. As for marriage, the only lawful marriage was one performed in the official church of course you silly man and woman, so be a member of that other meeting hall or chapel, but when it came time to marry, baptize and all that, haul yourself over to the official church if you wanted that to be “valid and official”. Oye! After the revolution and when this nation was founded, the Constitution created, the Framers put in the establishment clause and then we got the Bill of Rights, which included Freedom of Religion. As a matter of fact, we almost didn’t have a Constitution because a number of framers were insistent that there had to be a Bill of Rights that included Freedom of Religion. Why did they feel this and what did this mean?
The Establishment Clause. Establishment is about how much the government can do to promote or establish any particular religion or faith.
They wanted to avoid the situation they had lived under of forced religion upon anyone by the state. They understood a few things, which I myself have come to understand in life regarding spirituality and God. What did they understand and believe? They understood you could not coerce faith and spirituality, it had to come organically, naturally, it was a very personal journey, that the Word of God was the only Truth you needed to know was God’s Truth, you could discern Truth from that, along with reason and contemplation, that Truth came from understanding the Soul of Man belongs to God, not Caesar, their love of freedom set them on a course to live this Truth. They were not looking to wipe God out of the public or government sphere, only to insure there was no coercion, that is all. Their generation created the Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty, Virginia Bill of Rights and ultimately the First Amendment of the Constitution, so faith expression in the Public and Government Sphere, not Coerced, not an Established Church as it was in England, is in England, is Constitutional. To understand also look at the Case of Wisconsin VS Pelican 1888, and Marsh VS Chambers 1983. Where SCOTUS went wonky is when it came up with the unconstitutional Lemon Test: Here is what they base their decisions on whether the decision law being proposed etc… Has A Religious, Not Secular Purpose, Advances or Inhibits Religion, Entangles the Government in Religion Problem with this is it has no Constitutional Base, not a Constitutional test based on Founders Interpretation of Establishment. They say prior cases “revealed these” When did the get a Holy Spirit, Upper Room Unconstitutional Revelation?
They make no detailed Constitutional or historical backing for any of this, it’s just haphazard guessing from this air that they come up with this “test”. They fail, as do many atheists, to acknowledge that our laws based on British Common Law, are based on the Old Testament Laws and The Ten Commandments and influenced by writings of John Locke who was influenced in his reasoning by the Bible.
The Exercise Clause. Free Exercise clause is about the government’s ability to interfere and control the individual’s right as regards their expression of faith. The disagreement is usually between the talking heads in the media, the Ivy Tower Academics and Politicos, the average person living their life would agree, let me believe and practice not believe, keep government out of my business, you also fellow citizen keep out of my business in terms of what I believe, or not believe. Respect my right to believe or not, don’t mock it, leave it be.
It is understood that within the Free Exercise aspect, for safety and public order, such as in Free Speech and Assembly, there have to boundaries and they have to be enforced. Human and animal sacrifice, no, threatening to kill people, mutilate, no. Freedom, but within reason. There was a case where the Amish were brought to court for not using lights at night on their buggies, but they argued it violated their faith due to the lights having to be electrical, so a compromise was reached and they use reflective tape instead. Yes religious Freedom must be honored, but it can be done often within a spirit of compromise. There are areas where it gets tricky and the Substantial Burden and Government Interest aspects is where it gets tricky, when you mix that with the very erroneous interpretation the SCOTUS and Government now has taken on Since FDR of the Commerce and General Welfare Clause, that’s another blog, you end up with a bit of problem. Who decided what the extent of burden is when you are talking about souls and salvation, theological Cannon law etc…? Courts? Cannon Church lawyers? Who? Remember if a choice between laws of God and Man, even the Bill of Rights in a way says God’s over man by giving us Freedom of Religion and saying the government can’t impose religion on us, so who decides what the burden is, and how that is measured? What about home schooling? Why does a parent have to be licensed? If all the tools are available to the child online and she has access to top notch tutors who are licensed teachers, why must the parents be licensed, the goal can still be met? Why are vouchers, which include faith based schools endorsing religion if they include schools of all faith denominations? As for moments of silence and prayer, including God in the Pledge, Congress from the very beginning had prayer before every session, so why is it any different to include it in Public education at the start of each class? God is generic, that name is generic for creator of all things, and if a particular child does not wish to say it, she can not say it.
This notion that the Framers wanted to eliminate faith from every corner of the nation, of government etc… is beyond stupidity. They simply wanted to insure there would be no Church of America, but to assume they wanted faith and God wiped out is a show of pure ignorance on anyone’s part. Please get out of ignorance and learn.http://teachingamericanhistory.org/convention/