Friday, October 15, 2010

Do the Courts Understand the First Amendment?

That's a provocative headline, and probably is not fair. But I fear that the courts, even the Supreme Court of the United States, still have ideologues among them. We all have opinions, and it would be super-human for a judge or justice to be totally objective. In some cases, there ARE some human judgments that have to be made; the laws don't give complete guidance in all cases.

But the Founders were prolific writers, and the words and deeds are well preserved in various libraries and compilations. The original introduction of the metaphor "separation of church and state" was in 1947, I believe. In any case, I'm quite sure that was the first time the phrase was used without further justification from actual quotes of the Constitution. The metaphor is from a letter of Thomas Jefferson and certainly gives a small piece of insight into his views on the First Amendment. But if one searches his writings, one finds almost no other use of that phrase, but rather a repeated use of "freedom of religion" or "religious freedom" to describe the need for a Bill of Rights.

There is a good article on the Examiner's site discussing this. Follow the link below to learn more:

The truth about "separation of church and state"

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