Surely A Large Human
Date registered: Jun 2006
Vehicle: '08 C219
Location: Between Earth and Mars
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 538 Post(s)
^ ^ ^ Whatever.
The history behind the COTUS is fascinating, as are the stories of Thomas Jefferson's letters, speeches, etc. when people attempt to spin the yarns of their 'intent' into fabric of the law governing this nation.
There's only one thing that matters, and that's what it says in the constitution (as you're so apt to point out when it suits your anti-Bush tirades). Even more significant is what it does NOT say.
Any Supreme Court that read personal letters to ascertain what those few perfectly selected words meant was a supreme court full of dunderheaded self-important legal hacks. The bill of rights is singularly remarkable in it's clarity and efficiency of language. I've yet to see anything other than personal beliefs by the "faux intelligentsia" render any part of it's meaning up for debate.
The simple fact is this - the COTUS is the law of the land. We don't live under a collection of individual state laws, or everyone would have the death penalty and gay marriage. The COTUS - rather on purpose I'd argue - says precious little on the matter of 'church and state', and says nothing about the erecetion of a "wall" between the two.
It may also be worthwhile to keep in mind that more than one or two guys had a hand in drafting, debating, and ultimately ratifying our Constitution. This wasn't the "Thomas Jefferson" show, as you may have us believe.
See my post above, which appears to not be in dispute, for a careful breakdown of what the law does and does not say.
If it weren't for the first amendment, I'm fairly certain that churches would be taxed - a lot. Taxes are established by laws - if the government makes money from taxing a church, it's fair to say it has implicitly "establish[ed a] religion", even if it taxes them all equally, because it certainly wouldn't have "[made] no law respecting an establishment of religion".
The Constitution and Bill of Rights are not terse documents except where it suits the framers. Compare the First Amendment to the Fifth.
Amendment I - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
In those few words, you're guaranteed freedom of religion, speech, press, peaceful assembly, and petition.
Amendment V - No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
All that to establish details like grand juries, "double-jeopardy", due process, and protect from self-incrimination.
The real idiots here are those who would have the rest of us believe that ANY religious element on ANY state ground is unacceptable on the grounds that it is an affront to athiests and people of every other religion. This is a non-issue for 99.99% of Americans, because they don't have their heads in their asses about what the First Amendment does and does not mean. Only an idiot would insinuate from the presence of the 10 Commandments on a courthouse property that the government is suddenly in the church business.
Last edited by Qubes; 07-05-2007 at 07:29 AM.