Originally posted by: lupi
He's wrong in that he's taking the modern revisionist view of those clauses instead of the classical academic views. You want the revisionist version to become the foundation for the interpretation, then there is a simple solution. Have it changed. The process for that already exist.
In their ruling in 1947 of Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Twp", the U.S. Supreme Court ruled:
"The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever from they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State'."
1947 is modern revisionist? If so then can I assume you'd like every decision of the court since 1947 overturned as 'modern revisionist'? Tell you what, let's go one better.
"AN ACT FOR ESTABLISHING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM", VIRGINIA, 1786
"II. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.?"
So, shall we now overturn every decision of the courts and government since 1786 as 'modern revisionist'? Exactly how far back shall we go before you consider a stance valid? Let's not forget that the founders were mostly VERY religious men...yet they met and agreed that incorporation of the tenants of the Act was vital to the founding of the new nation. So if such devout men were comfortable limiting governments ability to endorse religion, why exactly am I supposed to have a problem with it now.
Moreover, the pledge, written by a preacher, included NO religious intent or overtones. It was ONLY during the height of McCarthyism that a church group (the KoC) managed to get 'under god' insinuated into the pledge. Remember also that religion didn't use to be on our money, or any number of other places that it has crept up as fundamentalist zealots have attempted to undue what the founders bled and toiled to create. If you want to talk about 'modern revisionist' why don't you point out the revisionism inherent in the KoC changing the pledge?
It's important to realize that I'm not an atheist...I just understand the vital concept of separation. It's not 'modern revisionism', it's historic fact, and logically infallible to the formation and continuation of a democracy (or democratic republic in our case).