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Punching Holes In The First Amendment

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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. First Amendment – The Bill of Rights

The So-called “Wall of Separation”

On Wednesday, June 26, 2002, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit shocked the nation with a 2-1 decision banning the Pledge of Allegiance on the grounds that it improperly endorses religion. Since that time, this decision has become the rallying cry for athiests across the country and made Michael Newdow, the plaintiff in the case, a subject of both jeers and cheers.

During his many interviews, Mr. Newdow has consistently used the cliche, “wall of separation,” first coined by Thomas Jefferson, as his reason for pushing for the ban, as well as a revision of all currency and other materials in the United States which endorses religion of any kind. But does the First Amendment truly require the government to actively sterilize all its institutions and render them faith free?

Where did the whole “wall of separation” debate begin in the first place, and why has this phrase become the mantra of athiests and secularists? I think it best to begin at the beginning.

The History Behind The Debate

We are not, as you might have thought, going to begin with Thomas Jefferson, the one who first used this expression in a letter to the Baptist Association in Danbury, Connecticut during the first year of his Presidency. Instead, it is necessary to start far earlier than that… about 165 years before. It was in the early 1600s that European settlers began –first as a trickle, then as a flood– to emigrate to the new world. Many of those who made the journey came seeking a very fundamental right; the freedom to worship as they saw fit.

In other words, the earliest settlers of what would one day become the United States of America came here to secure the freedom of worship. Christians were tired of state-sponsored religions, such as the Anglican Church in England, limiting their ability to worship in the manner of their choosing.

It was this philosophy, freedom of religion, which became one of the first and most enduring traditions of the early colonies and, later, the United States of America. It is this philosophy which continues to endure today.

It is a tradition that is so ingrained in our culture that, despite the loss of thousands of innocent American lives on 9/11 from an attack by radical Islamists, the citizens of this nation made every effort to prevent violence against American Muslims and the maligning of the religion of Islam. Our profound reverence for the freedom of religion and worship has endured in the hearts of Americans for close to 400 years! It is our oldest societal institution.

Which is why in 1787, when the Constitutional Convention began in Philadelphia, the framers had no intention of giving the new federal government control over religious expression. Unfortunately, this is exactly what some have come to believe, which plays perfectly into the hands of secularists.

Why would the framers of the Constitution, all of whom believed that religious freedom is a sacred, God-given right, create a government that had the ability to control when, where, and how they expressed their faith in God? On the face of it, this is an utterly ludicrous thing to believe; one which can only be held if you ignore all the facts of history, our culture, and the traditions of this nation.

So, again, where does the phrase, wall of separation enter into the picture, and in what context was this phrase used? It all started back in 1802 when the Baptist Association in Danbury Connecticut wrote a letter to a their newly-elected President, Thomas Jefferson, whom they knew to be an Anti-Federalist, as well as one who had championed the rights of Baptists in his home state of Virginia, expressing their concern over the First Amendment phrase regarding freedom of religion.

The members of the Baptist Association were worried that the First Amendment actually gave the Federal government jurisdiction over religion in the US. Why did they worry over this issue? Because the members of the association knew, even in that day, that the First Amendment clause on religion could be interpreted in two ways:
1) The federal government, by writing this clause, allows religious freedom to exist, the implication of which is that, what has been allowed can also be dis-allowed.
2) The federal government declared an official “hands-off” policy (sort of a non-interference or restraining order clause) regarding the ability of Congress to promote or limit religious expression in the United States.

The members of the Baptist Association were worried that the very problem we are seeing today, that of a full-scale assault against religious freedom, might occur based on the way this clause is interpreted. So they wisely wrote to President Jefferson, knowing that he was sympathetic to their cause, and asked for clarification. Jefferson, understanding fully their concern, sought to assuage their fears regarding this clause.

Here is a bit of the dialogue between the Baptist Association and Thomas Jefferson, starting with an excerpt from the letter written by the Baptist Association:

Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty. That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals. That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions. That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor… It is not to be wondered at therefore; if those, who seek after power & gain under the pretense of government and Religion should reproach their fellow men, should reproach their chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion Law and good order because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.

The argument from the Baptist Association was this: Freedom of religion is a natural right, given to us by God, and not subject to endorsement or regulation on the part of any person or government. The members were worried that the First Amendment was a way of gaining power over people by asserting its right to curtail the free expression of religion on the part of the populace. Unfortunately, their fear is being realized today.

Thomas Jefferson’s reply back to the Baptist Association was designed to calm their fears in relation to any desire on the part of the federal government to “make laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.” Here is a bit of his reply:

I contemplate with solemn reverence the act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make ‘no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state.

As an Anti-Federalist, as well as a contemporary American, Jefferson agreed wholeheartedly with the members of the Baptist Association. Nor was this Jefferson’s final statement regarding this issue. Jefferson made many statements regarding the role of the First Amendment. Here are a few examples, as summarized by David Barton in his article, The Separation of Church and State, with links to a few of the original documents available online with the Library of Congress:

[N]o power (emphasis mine) over the freedom of religion . . . [is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution. Kentucky Resolution, 1798.

In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government. Second Inaugural Address, 1805.

[O]ur excellent Constitution . . . has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary. Letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1808. Thomas Jefferson, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Ellery Bergh, editor (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. I, p. 379, March 4, 1805.

I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions . . . or exercises. (emphasis mine) Letter to Samuel Miller, 1808.

In light of these statements, made both before as well as after Jefferson’s use of the phrase wall of separation in 1802, to what conclusions should we come? In answering this question, I want to highlight the especially-telling quote, taken from Jefferson’s letter to Samuel Miller, where he asserts that the power of the federal government is “interdicted,” that is, “prohibited and/or placed under a legal sanction” (Webster’s defined), by the First Amendment.

When you examine the First Amendment clause in light of this comment, you must conclude that the First Amendment was meant to insure that the federal government would remain passive on the issue of religious freedoms. In other words, it prevents the government from taking action against the free exercise of religion. The federal government, then, has no ability to enforce a “no religion zone” on federal and state facilities, public areas, or on any institution which accepts government support. It is a total and permanent restraining order against the federal government, barring it from the creation of regulations that might interfere with the free expression of religion by any citizen of this country.

Just as a restraining order prevents one individual or group from taking action against another individual or group, the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause prevents legislators from taking action against individuals or groups seeking to express their religious beliefs. In addition, this clause is extremely broad in scope; it does not specify certain places or times in which we can or cannot exercise this freedom.

The First Amendment is a broad, ongoing prohibition and barrs congress from promoting and/or interfering with religious expression. This is exactly what Jefferson meant when he coined the phrase, “wall of separation between church and state,” an assertion which is borne out by the additional statements made by Jefferson. Based on the evidence, which is freely available to anyone who chooses to examine the issue, this assertion could be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt in a court of law.

Back To The Future

How ironic, then, that the very phrase meant by Jefferson to permanently settle this issue has been reinterpreted by secularists, determined to remove religious expression from public life, to mean its exact opposite. It is a reinterpretation whose meaning has been so effectively promulgated by the mainstream media that now, whenever the average person hears this phrase, they immediately identify its meaning as a mandate for the federal government to place limits on religious expression in order to protect others who do not hold to the same faith (or any faith at all, for that matter).

Now, while the thought of a more openly religious society might sound repugnant to some, they should look upon this as a necessary evil. After all, if secularists succeed in changing the meaning of the First Amendment to marginalize religious freedoms, then assaults on the other, equally important, parts of this Amendment (the freedom of the press and of assembly) can’t be far behind. This is a threat that we must take seriously.

The Danger of Interpreting the First Amendment

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.

Take a good look, not just at the content of this amendment, but also at the way it is written. Notice that the entire amendment is one sentence. What does this tell you about the intent of the authors? Hopefully you will see the inescapable link made by the framers between the freedom of religion, press, and assembly. The First Amendment is one sentence for two main reasons: 1) It was meant to be all-encompassing and generic and to serve as a broad prohibition against federal interference with these freedoms and, 2) The amendment was designed to prevent the federal government from regulating any kind of expression, be it religious, personal, or corporate. In other words, the First Amendment was designed to guarantee that individuals could express their religious beliefs freely, or assemble freely in support or protest, and express their thoughts, ideas, and opinions freely in the press.

So, when people such as Mr. Newdow work to remove the freedom of religious expression from public life, they are also, whether they know it or not, actively damaging our freedom of assembly and freedom of the press. Make no mistake; if you reinterpret one part of the First Amendment, you reinterpret it all. In the end, the First Amendment is all about, and only about, our right to express ourselves.

Take it from one who grew up on the water. If you punch one hole in a boat, at best, the boat will never sail properly again and, at worst, the whole boat will sink. Should we really sink the whole boat just because we don’t like one of its parts?

That is exactly what Mr. Newdow and many others are seeking to do. In their thoughtless, short-sighted desire to save us, and themselves, from our “ignorant superstitions,” they would structurally damage the First Amendment, and, with it, some of our nation’s most dearly held beliefs and traditions.

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About David

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    ah yes….judicial “activism”…also known as “they won’t let us do what we want”

    look, us secularistas do not want to squelch public expression of religion…we just don’t want it forced down anybody’s throat.

  • JR

    Did the founding fathers print “In God We Trust” on their money? Did they dictate that all children should recite the phrase “under God” every day in school?

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Mark,

    It is the secularists who are not getting what they want from legislators. So, rather than just deal with the fact that in a democracy you don’t always get what you want, secularists are going to these activist judges who are willing to circumvent the democratic process and force your secularism down our throats.

    The only reason that federal courts have the power to do this is because the 14th Amendment, ironically, allows the federal government to enforce the First Amendment and to make sure states follow First Amendment principles. That all by itself sounds okay, until you think it through and realize that its a case of the fox being put in charge of the hen house.

    How can the federal government enforce a restraining order on itself? So, all told, if you read what I’ve written, you’ll see that the greatest danger to us all is not the activist courts that are aggressively secularizing our society, its the fact that they are REINTERPRETING the First Amendment. If you can reinterpret the First Amendment on issues of religious freedom, you can do the same in regards to freedom of assembly and of the press too.

    And, lo and behold. That is already starting to happen.

    Thanks.

    David Flanagan

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    It is the secularists who are not getting what they want from legislators

    except for of course that judge (who i assume was not a secularist) who had the ten commandments monument removed by the ‘activist’ court.

    sorry, i’m not buying it.

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    [E]xcept for of course that judge (who i assume was not a secularist) who had the ten commandments monument removed by the ‘activist’ court.

    Actually, the situation with Judge Roy Moore has some similiarities and some differences. The judge placed the Ten Commandments monument in the hall himself from what I remember. I think that was the wrong thing to do.

    Judge Moore’s stand was that the federal government cannot mandate what the states do in regards to freedom of religious expression, but, because of the 14th Amendment, the federal government CAN mandate such expression. So, when the federal court ordered the monument removed, Judge Moore should have complied immediately.

    The fact that he refused to do so was the real controversy and one in which many Christians who had supported the Judge then opposed him in his decision. As a matter of fact, a friend of his, also a Christian, was the one who recommended his immediate removal from the bench, which is what was done.

    Does this example invalidate anything I’ve written? Not a chance!

    Thanks.

    David Flanagan

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    Does this example invalidate anything I’ve written? Not a chance!

    i have a sneakin’ feeling that nothing could invalidate what you’ve written…even words from ‘god’ himself.

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    i have a sneakin’ feeling that nothing could invalidate what you’ve written…even words from ‘god’ himself.

    I’m pretty sure that words from God would supercede my own… Yeah… Probably. ;-)

    David Flanagan

  • http://www.pickabar.com gerrard

    I’ve never understood why anyone would want their religious beliefs forced into anyone else’s consciousness. Why does any kid going to school really need to hear that you believe in god?

    Beyod that, I really doubt that many of the Christian’s promoting the practice of religion in schools, etc. would be standing up for the right to discuss Satanism, Islam or for that matter Atheism in public schools.

    Why don’t we just keep our religious beliefs in the home and churches?

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    I’ve never understood why anyone would want their religious beliefs forced into anyone else’s consciousness.

    I’m sorry, did I write an article promoting prayer in public schools? Read the last section of my article and you’ll see the main points I’m trying to drive home.

    Personally, I think the courts have the public school prayer issue exactly right. Public schools cannot initiate prayers, but neither can they interfere with those students who are exercising their right to pray. Also, the Supreme Court has upheld the rights of students to initiate group prayers in certain circumstances.

    For example, if several players on the high school football team wanted to pray before the game, they could do so. Its voluntary and student-iniated, therefore, there is no worry of forcing religion on anyone.

    Other than that, this article has nothing to do with forcing anything down anyone’s throat. Instead, its about protecting our free press, our right to assemble peacefully to protest (a freedom that anti-war protesters having been exercising quite a bit lately), and the right to worship in the manner of our choosing.

    Thanks. :-)

    David Flanagan

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    “Other than that, this article has nothing to do with forcing anything down anyone’s throat.”

    That’s not how I see it. If I walk into a government building — say a “justice” building — and see some religious monument, I will know that justice for all does not exist there. That’s forcing it down people’s throats. The Pledge, which I refuse to say, forces it down people’s throats. The money, which we are forced to use, indeed forces it down people’s throats. Invocations at governmental events forces it down people’s throats.

    Yes, people should be free to exercise their religions and worship as they please. But it shouldn’t be done on governmental property supposed to represent and serve ALL Americans. And it sure as hell shouldn’t be done with taxpayer dollars.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    (Yawning.) More Right Wing tripe from longterm Free Republic participant David Flanagan. Here’s hoping he will at least learn to spell ‘separation.’ Just underlining it and putting it in bold aren’t good enough.

    If you guys think Flanagan is pathetically misinformed here, you should check him out in cahoots with his buddies at Free Republic. One gets the feeling of having entered an alternative universe where stupidity rules. I became aware of Flanagan some time ago while tracking the nut who calls himself ‘True Blackman’ at Free Republic. They are often on the same threads spouting piffle that would embarass John Birch himself. When Flanagan turned up here, I knew what to expect.

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Yes, people should be free to exercise their religions and worship as they please. But it shouldn’t be done on governmental property supposed to represent and serve ALL Americans. And it sure as hell shouldn’t be done with taxpayer dollars.

    Well, I think perhaps what needs to happen is that all people should be allowed to express themselves. In the Supreme Court building there are various religious monuments that honor the establishment of law and order in our society, which is appropriate to both the nation and the role that the Supreme Court plays.

    Overall, we are a society that has always had an expressed faith in God. People believe in God in different ways and follow different faiths, but the overwhelming majority of people in this country do believe that we are one nation “under God,” and expressing that in our currency and pledge in no way constitutes the “establishment of religion.” Establishment of religion would be the government funding or endorsing ONE religion over all other, and perhaps even restricting other religious organizations, which is what the framers were intent on preventing. They did not want another state-sponsored church like the Anglican Church with religious leaders who had the power of state and could jail anyone who did not follow the government-sanctioned faith.

    In the end, our government is a reflection of ALL Americans. If they are not, then they are not a government “by the people, for the people, and of the people,” are they?

    Thanks.

    David Flanagan

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    I became aware of Flanagan some time ago while tracking the nut who calls himself ‘True Blackman’ at Free Republic.

    Mac,

    As usual, I’m very honored that you should stoop to comment on any one of my particular posts. Much appreciated. ;-)

    Secondly, I love posting to Free Republic, and any other place where they’ll let me. As I’ve said before, I’m easy that way.

    Finally, would you like to make any particular comment regarding the topic itself or are you just here for a short stay? I realize that some people, when ignorant of the subject, often attack the person, but usually you will at least take a passing swipe at the content before attacking the person, just to give the impression that you care about the topic no doubt.

    Thanks. :-)

    David Flanagan

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    One other quick comment for those who keep insisting that its not appropriate to “force religion down another person’s throat,” or something to that effect. What would you suggest?

    Are you saying that the First Amendment is really a mandate for the government to go out and make sure that no one in our society ever gets offended by another person? If that is the case, then I guess we can expect to see this website, as well as every other site, newspaper, radio program, tv show, etc., shut down in the near future.

    If the First Amendment is about preventing people from expressing offensive ideas, then as a free society we are in BIG trouble. But we all know that the First Amendment was created to do exactly the opposite of that, right? Its not meant to prevent offense, it was created to INSURE that such offenses would take place by making sure that government in this country could not do what totalitarian governments do every day to people who “offend the state.”

    I dare say, a society where no one is offended by another is never a society I would choose to live in. Just nod your head and agree with me here. ;-)

    Thanks.

    David Flanagan

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Right. (Laughing so hard I’m gonna have to mop up the coffee I’m spilling.) I’m the one ignorant of First Amendment law. So, the folks who hire me to teach it are pretty dim, I guess. I told y’all this guy is a riot.

    Kudos to the rest of the posters on this thread. You’ve done such an excellent job of setting Flanagan straight (though he doesn’t realize it) I haven’t had to go into my usual establishment of religion spiel.

  • debbie

    Mac,

    “Kudos to the rest of the posters on this thread. You’ve done such an excellent job of setting Flanagan straight (though he doesn’t realize it) I haven’t had to go into my usual establishment of religion spiel.”

    In your opinion what does ‘establishment of religion’ mean?

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Mark, you’re getting it. Nothing can come between a know-it-all far Right Christian like Flanagan and his beliefs. Not even common sense.

    Newcomers, I know you are reluctant to read Flanagan’s overlong exegesis of Thomas Jefferson’s alleged thoughts about separation of church and state. Well, you don’t have to. It is irrelevant. Since they did not occur in a situation that can produce legislative history, his thoughts don’t matter. What he said to someone in private correspondence, between bouts of illicit lust with women he enslaved, might be of personal interest, but is not of consequence legally.

    Mark, particularly, has focused on what does matter: The practices Flanagan is defending are from the 20th century. You would never know it from reading Flanagan’s entry, but they arose during the Cold War, when some in the American government were eager to distance the U.S. from ‘godless Communism.’ So, what is actually occurring if the pledge of allegiance or the religious message on money is outlawed is a return to the government not establishing religion. Mistakes were made and are being corrected.

    I must say that some people’s God moves them in strange ways.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Debbie, I believe it means not doing anything to favor religion. That can mean favoring one religion over another or favoring religion over absence of religion. Poor Michael Newdow, who is being demonized, objects to the latter kind of government sanction of religious practices.

    For the life of me, I can’t figure out what the Flanagans of the world think they lose when state imposed religious practices are outlawed.

    The pledge? It can be recited as often as they like at home or in other venues, just not imposed on kids at school.

    ‘In God we trust’? The money can still be spent, which is its purpose, not spreading propaganda of one kind or another. People who like the phrase are free to scribble it as much as they like. Watch out for graffiti laws, though.

    The Ten Commandments in government buildings? Again, Christians are free to post them anywhere else and to commit the commandments to memory if they mean so much to them.

    What I see is people who want their way for very ill-defined reasons. We all comply with time and place regulations every day. For example, we don’t urinate on sidewalks. Nor do we run naked through supermarkets. I’m sure there are people who like to do both. But, we’ve decided, in the interest of comity, not to disturb our fellow citizens by giving in to such urges. I believe that not imposing religious practices on other people is quite similar.

    Drat! You guys made me give part of the spiel anyway.

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    On the whole I have enjoyed this discussion. I claim no expertise on this subject and dialogue is of great value but I would appreciate adherence to the facts and less of the disparaging comments. For those who would make claim to being experts I recommend holding a seat on the supreme court bench. :-)

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    …as long as you restrain your ‘activist’ tendencies.

    ;-)

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Hmmm. Under BB’s perspective, Laurence Tribe is not an expert in constitutional law. I suspect he would be shocked (yes, shocked!) to hear that. Personally, I would be willing to wager on Tribe’s grasp of the consitution, compared to say, Clarence Thomas,’ any day.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Typo. Constitution.

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    I suppose what is even more shocking is I had better get my spectacles prescription renewed because I don’t see any comments from “Laurence Tribe” :-)

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Nope. But, by claiming only people on the Supreme Court can be experts in con law, you make yourself look pretty foolish.

    Not that one even needs to be an expert in con law to shoot down what Flanagan has posted. It is just Right Wing tripe, not based in legal interpretation at all.

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    Hmmm.. so now I’m blind as well as foolish. Oh well who am I to argue with madame justice ;-)

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    MD- I’ve always been intrigued by the sources of your expertise in so many areas, would you care to share your credentials with the rest of us?

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Joe, would you care to write a blog item that is longer than three sentences?

    For the record, I worked as a print journalist for several years. Then I went to law school, mainly because of interest in communications law. There, I developed a strong interest in constitutional law in general. I did the billable hours shuffle at law firms for a time, then returned to journalism as a legal correspondent. I now write and teach full-time.

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    Hey, I really don’t want to get into any size issues you may have, I was just asking a question. Good answer, though, believable, yet not provable.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Oh, so you’re small. According to the emails I’m bombarded with, there are . . . remedies.

    Actually, I wanted to add a comment after watching tonight’s news. It reminded me that the David Flanagans of the world are not the only people who do sloppy research. There was an episode about home owners who have dogs deemed dangerous being charged more for insurance. The reporter and anchor went out of their way to tout the alleged unfairness of the practice, calling it canine racism. They pointed out that all dogs are capable of biting people. That is true. But, half of fatal dogbites each year are by Rottweilers or pit bulls, a proportion that may be mirrored in serious, non-fatal bites. So, it makes sense to charge more to insure families that own them. I actually find poor reasoning in a news story more aggravating than nonsense blathered in the blogosphere because it reaches more people. The notion I am just critical of Right Wing zealots who try to blog is inaccurate.

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    And the notion that I am foolish and blind is also inaccurate (at least to a point according to my wife). Sorry for the short exegesis but I am also a man of few (but poignant) words.

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    MD- I’ve always been intrigued by the sources of your expertise in so many areas, would you care to share your credentials with the rest of us?

    i’ll let you all in on a little secret…shhhhh…

    MD is actually GOD.

    that should clear things up.

    ;-)

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Flanagan straight (though he doesn’t realize it) I haven’t had to go into my usual establishment of religion spiel.

    I’m sorry Mac, did I say something that bothered you? I’m asking you to please go ahead and go into your usual establishment speal. I’d love to hear it. That was my point before and I’ll ask again; if you have something to add, please do so. Ad hominem attacks do nothing to show your knowledge of a topic so, if you have some knowledge, share it.

    Thanks.

    David Flanagan

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Mac,

    You are priceless. :-) And the love you show me makes me feel very special. :-) I teach at the college level as well, though my primary job is in the corporate world.

    The fact is, everyone in this country should be debating the constitution. I respect anyone who is willing to come back at me and show me where I’m wrong, because, in the end, if I am wrong, then I learn from it.

    I’m sorry that you haven’t really taken any time to try and educate me, you are too busy trying to desperately elevate yourself above me for some reason that I have yet to fathom. If that is your need, then more power to you.

    As for my points above, you haven’t answered a single one, though, you have disparaged most everyone who has posted comments… Oh, and Thomas Jefferson as well. Quite a record.

    What can I say… Another friend made. ;-)

    David Flanagan

  • http://www.14thamendmentsummary.com 14th Amendment Summary

    Freedom of speech is a universal right of each and every human being protected by United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each nation formally recognizes this law although the degree of its implementation varies.

  • http://www.14thamendmentsummary.com 14th Amendment Summary

    Freedom of speech is a basic human right and its value could never be underestimated.