Sunday, September 20, 2009

Group Continues to Fight Against 10 Commandments Display

Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) just commented in their blog about a Tennessee resident who fought to have a display of the 10 Commandments restored to his county courthouse. This is a common theme for AU and is becoming more commonplace in our country these days. The very title of AU's organization implies that they base their actions on "separation of church and state," which is a poor guide to the meaning of the First Amendment.

But our Founders intended to Constitution as a guide to what the Federal Government could do and to limit the central authority to only those areas. Some feel that the 14th Amendment would make the First Amendment apply to state as well as federal action. So consider the words of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." The obvious intent was to keep Congress from establishing an official national religion.

If we apply that to the states, then there can not be a state law that establishes a state religion. Nothing about that prohibition would prevent a county or city from erecting a monument with the 10 Commandments. That is not the sub-level of government where the Constitution is to have authority.

The AU blog post is here.

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