From the same mindset that brought you the Inquisition and the Crusades, welcome to America. While claiming with all their power that all they are doing is “preserving the original intent of the Constitution,” the rulings have a powerfully Christian fundamentalist undercurrent.
Today it’s okay to pray — to force youngsters to pray, like it or not or for that matter, Christian or not — on the 50-yard line. Can forced school prayer be far behind? Is it already on the table? The thing is, a division between religion and citizens is absolutely part of the original Constitution and subsequent updates. These new rulings are based not merely on religion in a generalized way, but specifically on Christian fundamentalism. There’s no question that this goes against our Constitution and certainly the intent of those who wrote it.
This is the first amendment direct from the Constitution:
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.
I can’t see how requiring prayer of any kind is not a direct violation of the constitution. Forget about subsequent court cases that reestablished this principle. It’s so clearly stated in the original first amendment, I don’t see how anyone can find a crack in that statement that would allow anyone to force a child in a public school to pray unless he or she was so inclined.
TO PETITION THE GOVERNMENT FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES
If this isn’t a time to petition our government for a redress of grievances, I don’t know when such a time might be. The freedoms we have had have been demolished by a small group of people who think having been appointed to the Supreme Court by a supreme being who has given them unlimited power.
Article III of the Constitution establishes the federal judiciary
Article III, Section I states: “The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” Although the Constitution establishes the Supreme Court, it permits Congress to decide how to organize it. Congress first exercised this power in the Judiciary Act of 1789. This Act created a Supreme Court with six justices. It also established the lower federal court system.
Article III, Section II of the Constitution establishes the jurisdiction (legal ability to hear a case) of the Supreme Court. The Court has original jurisdiction (a case is tried before the Court) over certain cases, for example suits between two or more states and/or cases involving ambassadors and other public ministers. The Court has appellate jurisdiction (the Court can hear the case on appeal) on almost any other case involving a point of constitutional and/or federal law. Some examples include cases to which the United States is a party, cases involving Treaties, and cases involving ships on the high seas and navigable waterways (admiralty cases).
How does any of this give the Supreme Court or any other court, the right to enable prayer in schools which is directly antagonistic to the first amendment? Or deny medical care based on what they think their Bible says? Make no mistake: these rulings are not law. They are religious.
The law prohibiting abortion is based on a very limited, fundamentalist Christian interpretation of the Gospels, a book that is not accepted by any non-Christian group — or even so interpreted by other Christians.
Thomas Jefferson introduced the bill for establishing religious freedom which passed in 1779 and was strongly supported by James Madison who stated:
…the duty which we owe our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of everyman; And it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.
Evidently those founders strongly believed in free will. That’s why they wanted to make sure that religion is not made mandatory but is able to arise out of personal conviction. They wanted to assure that people have the right to choose and were not required to be religious.
This means that Jews, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists and other non-Christian groups are not required to be part of Christian prayers or be singled out because of their unwillingness to participate in a religion not their own — for, for that matter, in any religion at all.
It’s time for a huge redress of grievances!
Categories: Anecdote, Religion, U.S. Constitution
Excellent article, Marilyn. Is there a way within our government structure to actually file grievances? The Supreme Court is a joke.
If I would have read this post BEFORE I wrote mine, I would have reblogged this instead. Great post, Marilyn. You nailed it.
I think we need to impeach at least a couple and maybe a few of the Supreme Court people. And there wouldn’t be anything wrong with adding a couple seats.
No, there wouldn’t be. There’s actually no set number of judges set anywhere except by current tradition. There have been as many as 10, as few as 6. I don’t know if you can impeach them. I think they may be (pardon the pun) unimpeachable.
You’re right. Seems like it should be a little easier to impeach a justice than a president, but it’s not. (I just now looked it up although I’m sure I should’ve remembered).
I think the judges were presumed to be neutral and were thus protected. Back when they actually taught “civics” in school, I think they taught that. Who knew they could actually create a supreme court full of politicos? We didn’t believe it was possible.
I feel as if I can hear my mother whispering in my ear that you can’t ever relax because someone really IS out to get you. I guess she wasn’t overly cynical after all.
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It seems that the the southern “Bible Belt” and other groups, believe this nation was founded as a Christian country. Religious freedom is far from this as It gives the right to practice religion of choice, which may, or may not, have anything to do with Christ.
Yeah, well, just think how the Muslims feel right now, not to mention all the rest of us non-Christians.