Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken
gozz@gozz.com

Monday, May 02, 2005

Debate of the centuries: James Madison vs. right-wingers 

Ground rules:

  1. Familiarize yourself with writings on the separation of church and state by the author of the First Amendment, James Madison, or another suitable founder (more).
  2. Start a thread on a web board or email discussion list where right-wingers dwell by posting a Madison quote or two. Don't attribute the quote to Madison.
  3. Read right-wingers tell you the Founders would roll over in their graves if they heard the communist kind of crap you spew.
  4. Respond with more Madison quotes. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until the wingnuttery is firmly established.
  5. Explain the ruse.

Here is a sampling of such a debate, Madison is in blue, his modern-day opponents in red,

The Constitution of the U.S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. Religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

Wrong
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
Thats [sic] it plain and simple.

The First Amendment says nothing except CONGRESS CAN NOT MAKE LAWS TELLING YOU WHICH RELIGIONS YOU CAN OR CANNOT PRACTICE.
THAT IS ALL.
It's so obvious; you've got to be out of your mind to say otherwise.

You seem to suggest that our founders were a bunch of idiots. If they really wanted all religion out of all government, THEY WOULD HAVE SAID SO. Otherwise they'd have to be idiots to want all religion out of all government and yet only specify laws passed by Congress.

The Anarchist Commie Liberal Utiopians have twisted the meaning of the 1st amendment for their personal use as a bludgeon against anyone and anything releated to the allmighty. I want to see them put up their own personal property and fortunes up as the ante for all of their legal manuvers. Let's see them put their money where their mouth(pieces) are and I'll bet that the frequency and stupidity of their filings decreases exponentially.

It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties!
Congress shall make "no law respecting" an establishment of religion.
"shall make no law respecting."
"forbids everything like."

Again, everything you're talking about that the 1st Amendment supposedly bans is not a law passed by Congress.
Also, yes, it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. Sure. Whatever. But there's a proper process to handle these issues--it's called the Amendment process. Liberals know there's no way in bloody hell they'd pass this through the amendment process, so, like Abortion and the gay agenda, they alter the meaning of the Constitution itself.
It's a crock of horsedung and you know it. But be careful what you wish for--the judiciary will not always be filled with extremist anti-Constructionist liberal whackjobs.

Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is cheifly to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents.

Show me exactly where CONGRESS has made a law ESTABLISHING a religion.

Excuse me, but wasn't the chaplain created with the founding fathers? And, if so, doesn't that go to show the veracity of our argument?

The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles: The tenets of the chaplains elected by the majority shut the door of worship against the members whose creeds and consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority.

So they go have their own pray whoopee. Again has congress said that congressman must pray, or that they must be a particular religion to be a congressman? No they have not.

Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment?
If religion consist in voluntary acts of individuals, singly, or voluntarily associated, and it be proper that public functionaries, as well as their constituents should discharge their religious duties, let them like their constituents, do so at their own expence.

Are you stating there is religious oppression because the Government has a chaplain?
Or are you saying that without an extreme Separation of Church and State that there would be an oppression?

The idea of a union of all to form one nation under one government in acts of devotion to the God of all is an imposing idea. But reason and the principles of the Christian religion require that if all the individuals composing a nation were of the same precise creed and wished to unite in a universal act of religion at the same time, the union ought to be effected through their religious not of their political representatives.

I would remind you that there was no extreme Separation of Church and State prior to the "ruling" about the wall between church and state and there was no religious oppression.

Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, and the full establishment of it, in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government and Religion neither can be duly supported.

It still does not say anything about "separation of church and state" in the Constitution...

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