Rick Santorum is at it again….His lack of understanding of the Constitution and the history of this nation is proving to reach the realm of Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin. ThStating in an interview with George Stephanopoulos (in reference to a speech by President Kennedy),
The Idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country…to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up”
I hate to break it to Rick, but just like corporations aren’t (no matter what conservatives or the Roberts Court wants to say) neither is the church…No one is saying “that people of faith have no role in the public square”. What President Kennedy was saying is the church as an entity whether the Catholic Church, Protestant denominations, Synagogues, Mosques, Buddhist temples etc… are not supposed to be merged with state interests. I think the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is quite clear when it states.
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.
If you notice it clearly states “no law respecting…or prohibiting the free exercise” The founders decided that freedom of religion was so important, they place it before speech. Rick Santorum wants us to respect his church, his theology (which I believe is quite warped) his biblical world view while ignore others. That is antithetical of the Constitution and views like his are what forced the colonists onto those ships in the early to mid 17th century. The church of America, the defining faith of the great experiment in self government is the Constitution of the United States, not the Catholic Church. I know I could shout this from the mountain till I am blue in the face. So lets see what our founders felt. Now I know the devil can quote scripture to serve his own purpose as well, and we see the far right do that quite often with the bible and American history. However, that should never force us to shy away from the truth and reminding them of it everyday.
The following are a few quotes by founding fathers, and excerpts from our Constitution that should shed light on Santorum’s ignorance.
- “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Article 6 of the Constitution of the United States
- “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, 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 and State.” Thomas Jefferson
- “it is contrary to the principles of reason and justice that any should be compelled to contribute to the maintenance of a church with which their consciences will not permit them to join, and from which they can derive no benefit; for remedy whereof, and that equal liberty as well religious as civil, may be universally extended to all the good people of this commonwealth” George Mason
- ” An alliance or coalition between Government and religion cannot be too carefully guarded against……Every new and successful example therefore of a PERFECT SEPARATION between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance……..religion and government will exist in greater purity, without (rather) than with the aid of government.” James Madison
- “We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition … In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man’s religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States.” George Washington