Saturday, March 28, 2015

What Freedom Of Religion? Two Daily Kos Posts That Make Me Glad I Just Renewed My ACLU Membership

The part of America's Constitution that we today call the First Amendment begins by getting right to the point:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ...
This should be a
very small intersection indeed!
This isn't conceptually difficult: you (Congress, and through the Fourteenth Amendment, state legislatures) can't enact laws that require a government at any level to prescribe a specific body of religious belief which everyone must affirm, nor enact laws that use taxpayers' money to support such a belief, or support the activities of a religious institution or denomination.

But more and more members of Congress, state legislators, state governors, etc., all of them Republican, appear to be incapable of comprehending this simple prohibition: if it's religious, you can't use the government to compel it, prohibit it, fund it, etc.

A couple of examples turned up on Kos in the span of the past week alone. Please read them for a better idea of what these dominionists seem determined to do:
You can say of these people that they are simply unclear on the concept expressed in the "free expression" clause of the First Amendment. I do not believe that. They understand it just fine; they simply don't like it... and they intend to try to violate it (or pretend to try to violate it), as a song-and-dance for their fundamentalist Christian constituents. In other words, they are un‑American.

Got that? Good! Now do what you can to put a stop to it. For example, I keep my ACLU membership up to date. When the great State of Texas tried a few years ago to prohibit my denomination from using its state tax exemption, which to comply with the First Amendment must be available to every religion, the ACLU set them straight. In court!

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