Oh boy. I just couldn’t let this go. Lawrence O’Donnell says that in fact Michele Bachmann and her crazy band of Tea Partiers are correct that the phrase ‘separation of Church and State’ is not in the Constitution. He even quotes the first amendment and then asks how do we know that the founders intended a separation of Church and State and then quotes this:
“…I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
From this he asserts that yes, this is how we know that there is supposed to be a wall, or a separation of Church and State. But he says it as if it’s some arbitrary separation that ‘Church and State’ can’t commingle. In fact, if you keep it in the context of what he read on the screen, you’ll see that Jefferson said that the separation is in fact that the federal government shall “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” That’s it – that’s the separation. It’s what the first amendment says! Jefferson didn’t say something different, like saying that the individuals couldn’t practice their faith in the government. He didn’t say that you had to keep religion out of public schools. He didn’t say that you couldn’t say ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance. He didn’t say that you couldn’t have prayer groups that say “in the name of Jesus” in government buildings. He said that the separation of Church and State is simply that the federal government won’t create a government religion and won’t stop you from practicing yours. Nothing else. And it was right there on the screen and he still missed it!!! What a moron!
It’s funny, they put that in the Constitution to protect our freedoms to worship as we please, and not as the government says we must, like in China. It’s really not that hard to understand.