- D0056B3133DDD94191D4AE5BE740D63C
top of page
  • Writer's picturelisaannettestanley

Separation of Church & State. Checks & Balances on US Government and Paid Political Advertis

UPDATE: Russian Interference in our Electoral Process has nothing on the Election tampering on TBN. If Christian TV INSISTS ON PLAYING POLITICS, we should DEMAND that they PAY TAXES.

While it seems that the words "Separation of Church & State" don't appear anywhere in the Constitution, there are Legal Precedents that have been interpreted by the Supreme Court to that effect.

There are, however, laws governing Paid Political Advertising.

It seems to me that Christian TV is one great big giant Paid Political Ad, Donald Trump being interviewed on Christian TV by Mike Huckabee IS NOT Separation of Church & State.

Trump's Bully Pulpit is poised to reach out from Church Pews ACROSS THE COUNTRY in the form of Christian TV. How can the Church justify turning a blind eye toward a BULLY???

So furiously LIVID about organized religion tampering with our Elections & FAILING TO PAY TAXES. This is an OUTRAGE. MAKE THEM PAY.

It seems that to some people, if the words don’t explicitly appear in the constitution then the idea they refer to isn’t constitutionally guaranteed. Viewing it in these simplistic terms is meant to dismiss the entire argument; as if every decision based on the separation of church and state is somehow invalid because the term separation of church and state doesn’t appear in the constitution.

Of course the problems with this assertion are many. First and most basic is the fact that the Supreme Court is the ultimate interpreter of federal constitutional law. This means that while the term “separation of Church and State” may never appear in the constitution itself, the Court ruling in the case of Everson v. Board of Education stated “the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between Church and State.’”

A quarter century later, the case of Lemon v. Kurtzman further defined this separation when it established the Lemon Test to determine if a law violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment. Every ruling since has confirmed that, in the view of the highest court in the land the Constitution created a separation of church and state.

Then there's this on US History.com

Finally in 1786, the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, based on Jefferson`s 1779 draft, was passed by the General Assembly. It took the final step of forbidding the use of taxes to support any church, a position which was accepted for the entire United States by the adoption of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights a few years later.

During the debate over ratification of the constitution, Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut wrote an article that was printed in December 1787, in which he defended the decision to forbid religious tests for public office:

Some very worthy persons, who have not had great advantages for information, have objected against that clause in the constitution which provides, that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States. They have been afraid that this clause is unfavorable to religion. But my countrymen, the sole purpose and effect of it is to exclude persecution, and to secure to you the important right of religious liberty. We are almost the only people in the world, who have a full enjoyment of this important right of human nature. In our country every man has a right to worship God in that way which is most agreeable to his conscience.

John Leland was a largely self-educated clergyman, born in Massachusetts in 1754. He ministered in Virginia as a young man before returning to Massachusetts in 1791. He was in Virginia during the ratification debate, which he opposed without the inclusion of a Bill of Rights. During a long career, he consistently argued against established churches, and lived to see the Congregational Church disestablished in Massachusetts in 1823.

In 1791, Leland wrote a piece on why the government should not be involved in religion:

Every man must give an account of himself to God, and therefore every man ought to be at liberty to serve God in that way that he can best reconcile it to his conscience. If government can answer for individuals at the day of judgment, let men be controlled by it in religious matters; otherwise let men be free.

In 1809, Jacob Henry was elected to the North Carolina House of Commons in 1808. Being Jewish, he was unable to take the oath prescribed by law to take office when the house met in 1809. Despite the First Amendment, the North Carolina constitution at that time required that elected officials accept the truth of the Protestant religion. Another representative moved that he be refused his seat. Henry gave a stirring defense of his rights, which persuaded the North Carolina house to seat him.

The intent when the Bill of Rights was ratified was to interpret protection for freedom of speech according to the common law inherited from Britain. That body of law held that speech was not protected if it caused harm to the public welfare. In the early nineteenth century, an example of such harm would be a book that called into question the precepts of religion.

One such book, in the eyes of censors, was a book in French entitled, Sur la Creation du monde, un system d`organisation primitive, which concerned the origin of the world. In Philadelphia in 1814, the book was banned and criminal proceedings brought.

When Thomas Jefferson^ learned of this, he wrote a letter to N.G. Dufief, the bookseller in Philadelphia, in which he asked:

Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens ...

Christian religious denominations became better organized and used their collective strength to lobby for the idea that the United States was both historically and constitutionally Christian. In support of that position, they demanded that all government services be suspended on the Sunday, the Christian sabbath. At the request of the Senate, Richard M. Johnson of Kentucky delivered a report in which, in support of the separation of church and state, he voiced the opinion that the Constitution did not give Congress the power to determine "what part of time, or whether any, has been set apart by the Almighty for religious exercises."

A more strident defense of the separation of church and state was given by Zelotes Fuller in a "Washington`s Birthday" address in 1830, actually delivered on February 28.

Remember that the civil and religious liberty which ye enjoy, and which ye hold to be the birthright of every man, was purchased with toil, and blood, and suffering. Dear was the price which it cost - precious the lives that were sacrificed. Never, O never, suffer yourselves to be robbed of such an invaluable heritage, nor quietly submit to any infringement of the rights and privileges which it confers.

In 1829, New York revised its statutes to permit the employment of chaplains for the legislature. A public outcry arose and the matter was considered by a special committee. In 1832, it recommended against the use of chaplains and prayers in public assemblies. Legislation in the next session banned payment for chaplains without determining whether the institution itself was constitutional.

When New York State first decided to fund public education, it did not require that the schools themselves be publicly controlled. For many years, state tax money went into religiously based schools in New York City. Catholics felt they were being discriminated against in the distribution and protested. Not until 1842 was the nonsectarian public school system founded in the city.

Sunday closing laws represented another area of conflict. That Sunday is the Christian sabbath and not a holy day to any other religion suggests that regulations specific to Sunday verge on preference for a particular religion. A case came before the California Supreme Court in 1858, regarding a Jewish merchant who had sold clothes on Sunday. The court ruled in favor of the merchant.

Chief Justice David Smith Terry wrote in his opinion that it was difficult not to see the religious intent of the law, since it it was entitled, "An act for the better observance of the Sabbath." He pointed out that a law must be interpreted according to the intent of those who formed it, and the intent in this case was clear.

In dissent, Justice Stephen J. Field argued that the choice of words was for convenience, and that Sunday could have been designated by an equivalent non-religious term. He also asserted that the universally accepted belief that men should take one day a week off from work gave the legislature the power to choose one.

It IS FOR A FACT time for Churches to PAY TAXES.

Checks & Balances on US Government

Emotional Intelligence IS De-Escalation

Emotional Intelligence is toning down the rhetoric.

Emotional Intelligence is diffusing volatile situations.

With respect to our elected leaders we EXPECT them to be skilled DIPLOMATS.

Can someone in the Judicial Branch under whose jurisdiction the Pentagon & Intelligence Community of our government fall under PLEASE teach the Apprentice President how to de-escalate volatile situations?

To think the man who can be baited by a Twitter Tweet has his itchy trigger-finger on the Nuclear Button is a terrifying thought.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
bottom of page