Saturday, March 12, 2005

What does the First Amendment really say?

Michelle Malkin linked to an AP story detailing an atheist's now-successful efforts to force San Diego to remove a historic cross from public lands. There had been good faith efforts to transfer the land to federal control, which the city council rejected.

Where did Congress pass a law that respected this establishment of religion? Where did the state government pass such a law? No law at all was passed in the construction of the three crosses that have stood there, nor were any public funds appropriated. Government at any level had nothing to do with this "establishment of religion"; only private people did. Nothing ever prevented people of other religions, or people of no religion, from constructing their own monuments.

The First Amendment has never included the phrase "separation of church and state":
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 am perenially incredulous at leftists' demand of "tolerance" while they are simultaneously intolerant of others' rights to exercise their own religious beliefs in public. I'm not calling for Christianity to be declared our national religion, or that compulsory prayer be reinstated, but part of our individual liberty is to be able to practice our religions peaceably and uninhibited.

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