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Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Establishment Clause - what is it really, what does it really mean?

This post is essentially a duplicate of a post I made on Jordan's LiveJournal blog. The context is my objection to misunderstanding of and/or misrepresentaion of the Establishment Clause in particular, and the US Constitution in general (starting here)

Mind you, the issue Jordan raises is very important. But, the reason this is even happening is because we -- we all as a society -- do not understand the US Constitution ... and most of us don't even care to understand it.

Our Republic is dying because government at all levels are violating their proper bounds. Government at all levels are violating their proper bounds because far too many of us *want* them to do so, thinking to gain some advantage over our fellows. Government at all levels are violating their proper bounds because far too many of us who think ourselves 'conservative' just don't give a damn to understand what those proper bounds are -- we're content to believe the falsehoods (and active lies) we were taught in leftist-controled public-indoctrination centers, rather than to do the hard work of thinking and understanding, much less resisting statism.

Our Republic is dying of suicide.

Yesterday, I had asked Jordan:
What does "an establishment of religion" actually mean? What does "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" actually mean?

These words do not mean what leftism and secularism have told you they mean.

The US Constitution does not establish a secular unitary State -- that was Revolutionary France (and that turned out so well, didn't it?) Rather, the US Constitution establishes a non-sectarian federal state. Surely you understand the distinction I have drawn?

What does "an establishment of religion" actually mean?

Someone suggested: "An establishment of religion" is like saying, "an establishment of drinking". ie: a bar. "An establishment of religion" is, well, a religion. ie: Methodist.

Not even close.

To establish a religion is make some particular sect an organ of the state. Theoretically, a state might have multiple established religions, but in practice they tend to have but one. In Great Britain, the established religion is the Church of England/Wales/Scotland; in the Soviet Union, the established religion was atheism (as is still true in N.Korea, China, Cuba, etc).

The specifics that follow from any particular establishment of a religion depend upon the state, and the society it rules, and the socially-accepted theory of statecraft within that society … and nature of the religion itself.

At a general minimum, establishment almost always will involves using the violent power of the state to compel the state’s subjects to financially support the sect, generally whether or not those subjects are members of the favored sect. Often, the officials/bureaucrats of the sect are directly on the state payroll.

At the more expansive extreme, establishment of a religion may involve active suppression of, or persecution of, and/or mass-murder of, the state’s subjects who do not at least pretend to subscribe to the sect. So, for instance, in Tudor England, Protestants and Catholics alternately suppressed and persecuted one another via state violence, and later the established Church of England suppressed all other sects via state violence. And so, for example, in *all* secularist/atheistic states, from Revolutionary France through existing Communist states, state atheism suppresses, persecutes, and mass-murders all other sects via state violence (with a special focus of Judeo-Christianity, for those sects are the only real opposition to The State As God) - for the nature of State Atheism demands this persecution and mass-murder. And so, for example, in *all* Islamic states, non-Moslems will be, and ultimately must be, actively persecuted - for the nature of Islam demands it.

What does "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" actually mean?

1) Within the federal government as defined by the US Constitution, only Congress has the power and authority to make laws - the supreme court does not have, nor does any other court have, this authority; and, in fact, all federal courts, including the supreme court, are creatures of Congress (*).

2) At the time the US Constitution was written and ratified, several of the States had established religions (for example, Congregationalism in Massachusetts).

So, what "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" actually means is that Congress - the US federal government - shall make no laws whatsoever touching upon *any* ‘establishment of religion’. Thus, Congress shall neither:
a) establish a religion;
b) disestablish a religion.

(*) That bit in high-school civics class about the federal government being composed of “three co-equal branches of government” is bunk, deliberate bunk at that, and on multiple levels.

Edit 2014/08/24:
Starting here is an example of something I'm always talking about; namely that most people who think themselves conservative aren't, for they implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) accept the false premises of the leftists. And thus, they cannot really stand up to the leftists when they start demanding yat another pinch of incense.

In this case, 'Jordan' would rather maintain the leftist-and-atheist misinterpretation of the First Amendment -- for that misinterpretation and misapplication empowers atheists to use the federal government to harrass and silence Christians and/or compel them to violate their consciences -- than he wants to work to perserve his own liberty .... and his own life.