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Austin Cline

Godless Constitution: Constitutional Law without Gods or Religion

By February 5, 2013

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The Christian Right regularly claims that America is a 'Christian Nation' and was founded on Christian principles. If this is the case, then those principles should be identifiable in America's founding legal document, the Constitution. If the Constitution explicitly reflects Christian principles and doctrines, then the Christian Right is correct that America was founded on Christianity; otherwise, their claims are wishful thinking at best. So where are God and religion in the Constitution?

 

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Comments
March 26, 2010 at 3:20 am
(1) hatemail says:

I think you missed something essential in the first Amendment argument.
The 1st Amendment does not merely forbid Congress from an establishment of religion, it says “Congress shall make no law RESPECTING an establishment…
That is, no matter WHO establishes a religion, be it city, town, state, nation, post office box, Congress may not RESPECT with law any such thing, that is, it may not give power or credence of law to such thing.
Congress is REQUIRED, therefore, to be entirely neutral on the subject of WHICH religion, ANY religion, is to be practiced.
And, through the 14th Amendment equal rights, privileges and immunities clause, every lesser legislature, civil servant, governor, peace officer, jailer and broom sweep ALSO may not give such respect of law.

March 26, 2010 at 5:04 pm
(2) Paul says:

The strongest point that I think can be made regarding separation of church and state is that those are religious are exactly those who have the most to lose when the state leans toward any religion. What Protestant would accept any kind of allegiance toward the pope? Would Baptists and Lutherans agree on a state mode of baptism? Would it be fine to pray to Allah before football games? Religions are highly fractious. None is a majority. And government has to stay out of religion to prevent hurting every religious person. As an atheist, I actually have far less to lose than someone whose religion might be threatened.

February 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm
(3) Bill says:

I believe 6,000 years of recorded history shows what happens when there isn’t a separation of Church (or churches and religion), wars and subjugation of individuality to those in power, who in turn have to answer to the authority of the Church etc. Also, originally it was the churches that wanted separation because they didn’t want the government involved in their beliefs and telling them what they could do, or not do.

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