I’m always astonished by the number of people who misunderstand what the First Amendment really means about religion (and how the courts have subsequently interpreted it) and are ignorant about the history of how that amendment came about. It’s as if that Jefferson, Madison, et al. (granted, many of them deists) didn’t really mean to keep religion out of government, but rather to put it in. Those same people always mention that our country was founded on Christian principles (false: it was on Enlightenment principles), and that the First Amendment wasn’t in the least intended to erect a wall between churches and the U.S. government.
In a post on Santa Monica banning nativity scenes, I replied to a commenter who said something along the lines above, and I responded:
Yeah, so should we put up nativity scenes on public land? Is it okay to put Christian slogans in schools?
Yes, we can mention those religious traditions, but NOT IN PUBLIC VENUES, or if they’re part of a comparative religion class.
This stuff about us being a “Christian nation” is not only untrue (the founding fathers wanted to deliberately un-Christianize it), but makes me ill.
Well, happy Thanksgiving to me, for a commenter (who names himself) tried yesterday to publish the following. Needless to say, his name-calling has prevented him from ever commenting here again, but I put this up to show the abysmal ignorance of Americans about their own Constitution—and their own history:
raymond mollica commented on Victory for first amendment: judge rules that Santa Monica can ban nativity scenes
Sorry to hear you are ill. Maybe its because you are stupid. The founding fathers did not want to un-christianize this country. They didn’t want one religious denomination to be the official religion of the land because the church of england was the official religion of england and others couldn’t worship the way they wanted to. If you read about the writing of the constitution and the founding fathers you will see there is alot about religion in it and why the first amendment is about religion. Someone with so little knowledge of this country should not be commenting on it’s founding.
The comment discredits itself. If you don’t know why, read this.
Mollica tried two other posts, both equally insuting and neither worthy of mention, but one makes this statement:
There are alot of dumb people on these posts. First of all there is nothing in the constitution that says you cannot make a religious statement on government property
Mollica apparently doesn’t know that it’s the job of the Supreme Court to determine which laws violate the Constitution, and the Court has deemed that, with very few exceptions, placing religious statements on government property is unconstitutional.
Finally, I can’t resist something that seems endemic in every benighted person like Mollica (whoever he is): they can’t make the distinction between “its” and “it’s”. The population of creationists, for instance, is highly enriched with people who make this error.