Christine O’Donnell: ‘Separation of church and state’ not in First Amendment

By Elizabeth Tenety Delaware Senate candidates Chris Coons (D) and Christine O’Donnell (R) met again Tuesday at Widener University’s School … Continued

By Elizabeth Tenety

Delaware Senate candidates Chris Coons (D) and Christine O’Donnell (R) met again Tuesday at Widener University’s School of Law for a debate over, among other contentious topics, the separation of church and state.

After a squabble over whether or not schools should be permitted to teach creationism as a competing theory to evolution, Coons said that the First Amendment has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to imply the case for the separation of church and state.

O’Donnell interrupted:

O’DONNELL: “So you’re telling me . . . that the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ is found in the First Amendment?”

Coons didn’t take the bait and went on, citing the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment as confirmation of the First Amendment’s intention.

The debate soon after returned to the subject:

O’DONNELL: “Let me just clarify, you’re telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?”

COONS: “‘Government shall make no establishment of religion’”

O’DONNELL: “That’s in the First Amendment”

It is not clear if O’Donnell last line is a question, a rumination or a confirmation. Listen to the clip and decide. (Around the 19 minute mark).

Amendment I:
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.

This point –that the First Amendment does not call for the separation of church and state –is a favorite among some conservative religious activists who say that proponents of secularism have gone too far in removing religion from the public square. For one such perspective, read David Barton, conservative Christian activist and Wallbuilders founder.

The phrase itself –’separation of church and state’ –originated from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to a persecuted Baptist minority group in 1802, well after the Constitution was written and ratified. Jefferson wrote:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & 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 & State.”

Government may not ‘establish’ a religion, nor may it ‘prohibit the free exercise thereof.’ This tension -between the freedom of citizens to express their faith and the duty of government to stay out of the religion business -has haunted America throughout her history. But given the competing opinions on where to draw that line on issues like abortion, gay marriage, public prayer and yes, teaching creationism, could it be that open debate is a sign of a healthy and functioning democracy?

What did you think of the back and forth between O’Donnell and Coons over the ‘separation of church and state’? Do you think the country has gone too far –or not far enough –in keeping religion out of the public square?

More On Faith:
Cal Thomas: “Separation” claim meant to keep religious people out of political life

About

Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • Lefty_

    She is truly scary.

  • dbw1

    Why do liberals so frequently find themselves forced to wrestle against common-sense? Liberals/progressives are habitually left to find awkward, twisting rationales in trying to explain why their un-constitutional beliefs are really constitutional.When the Founders established the 1st Amendment, they were NOT afraid of religious people being involved in government, nor were they afraid of religious values holding a place in the public square. What they wanted to prevent was what had happened in Europe, where certain religions/denominations became the ‘official’ state religion, and certian benefits/rights accrued to those who belonged to the official denomination, and were denied to those who didn’t. The Founders simply wanted a society where people of any (or no) religious stripe were free to live and work, but that did not mean that they envisioned a society where God, prayer, and moral values were banned to the sidelines. But that’s exactly what liberals have twisted the 1st Amendment into meaning, that the fictitious ‘wall’ found in a letter of Thomas Jefferson somehow implied a desire for a godless society. If you doubt me, consider George Wasshington’s farewell address:”Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness – these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”Liberals, I dare you…nay, defy you….to argue that the intent of founders would line up in any way with the efforts by yourselves to create a society where religion is forbidden from the public arena.

  • crisp11

    One of the most fascinating and eye-opening documents I have ever come across is found at That page details the religious affiliations of ALL those who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Articles of Confederation. As you will see, they were a very religious group of men with very, very few who could NOT be considered adherents to Christianity. Among them are three Deists (who nonetheless DO believe in a supreme being) and absolutely no atheists. Two ended up converting to Unitarianism, essentially renouncing their Christianity, but that very small handful of non-devout, non-Christians represents just that — a very small handful.

  • mpt1123

    Let the church’s preach what they want, but tax them like everyone else. They’re getting away with murder !!!

  • nikki1362

    When did it become so fashionable to be so ignorant? From Glen Beck’s distortion of American history and Sarah Palin’s lack of knowledge about foreign policy, to now O’Donnell’s inability to name a recent supreme court ruling and her utter ignorance of the constitution….This is scary, Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Franklin are rolling in their graves that these morons now represent a segment of American politics

  • JAH3

    Appears that O’Donnell’s may not agree with Coons’and her belief may be different than a whole lot of other’s. But, opinions are still allowed, aren’t they?

  • dbw1

    dldbug:Let me get this straight, left-wingers. The words “God” or “Creator” do not appear in the Constitution, so that is proof for your point that the founders wanted a godless society where people of faith were pushed to the perimeter.On the other hand, the words “wall of separation” don’t appear in the Constitution, but you hold this belief as an undeniable tenet? It’s always fun exposing the flaws of logic (if not outright hypocrisy) of progressives…..By the way, dldbug, read the Declaration of Independence and tell me how many times “God” or “Creator” appears as the source they appeal to for the right to rebel against England. Funny how liberals only like their swiss-cheese version of history.

  • practica1

    Her campaign theme song is “Abracadabra”This woman has joined Sarah Palin in Babbittry of the most facile and dangerous sort.

  • scooper1976

    @dldbug:Sorry friend, but the fight to keep Jesus out of the government goes all the way back to the founding of our country.Our founding documents refer to a nondescript “Creator” or the generic “God”.”God” appears in the Declaration of Independence just once, there is also just one reference to a “Creator”.The words “God” and “Creator” appear not at all in the US Constitution.Jefferson himself described a fight in the Virginia Legislature to prevent “Jesus” being referred to in legislation instead of the more ambiguous term “holy author”.”Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it would read ‘A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;’ the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”

  • lcarter0311

    Are all Tea Party folks this ignorant, or is it just the ones that they want in Congress and the WH?Just asking…

  • snowyphile

    The tax-free status of religious groups hinges on their not meddling with politics and legislatures. But everyone looks the other way when they do. For example, the Bishops of the New Mexico Catholic Church let the State legislators know they oppose domestic partnerships because they are sinful, effectively blocking laws legitimizing them. The Church plays, and somebody needs to make it pay.

  • mibrooks27

    O’Donnell isn’t saying anything new. In fact she and people like her are using the traditional (read: what the Founding Fathers intended) interpretation. The Founding Fathers, with their claus separating chruch and state, said very clearly that what they intended was that the goverrnment would not sponsor any state or official church. Radical leftists, back in the 1960′s twisted this to mean that there could be no prayers or teaching of religious values in public life. When I was growing up, we had a school assembly every week and we said the Lord’s Prayer at the end of that assembly. That took place in virtually every school in the country and had been the case in every school in the country since the founding of this country! The radical leftists did away with that. They literally perverted and twisted the First Amendment to mean something other than that intended by the writers of the Contitution. That the Post would participate in this con job is pretty outrageous.

  • crisp11

    “When did it become so fashionable to be so ignorant? From Glen Beck’s distortion of American history and Sarah Palin’s lack of knowledge about foreign policy, to now O’Donnell’s inability to name a recent supreme court ruling and her utter ignorance of the constitution….”So how are those 57 states working out for you, Nikki1362?I have yet to find any FACT offered by Glenn Beck as being false. Sometimes his interpretations or opinions regarding those facts are off-base, but the underlying facts are dead on. Palin did not have a firm grasp on foreign policy, but neither does Obama. And O’Donnell’s “failure” to reel off Scotus decisions seemed nothing more than being caught up in exhaustion by the campaign whirlwind. Kinda like the 57 states thing…I’m in North Carolina and have no particular dog in this fight, but one thing I do know. I would rather be represented by a politician who has a philosophy grounded in absolute morals, able to apply that ethos to individual circumstances as they arise than to have one who lives in a cesspool of relativism, wavering with the wind only in an effort to gain financial enrichment, re-election, additional power, or other personal gain.Facts can be learned; honor can not.

  • rappahanock

    Give Caesar’s what is Caesar’s and God’s what is God’s. This is Jesus separating government from religion.

  • BigDaddy7

    Meghan McCain was right, McConnell is a “nutjob”. But this is the Republican mantra; just lie, lie, lie in face of the facts until the lie becomes something that people believe. The shame is that McConnell will actually have Americans who vote for her. These people are actually channeling blind hatred and anger at the president, but don’t offer the first lucid idea on what to do about the challenges that we face. But no one should be surprised that for decades the Republicans have been like roaches who steal and pollute in the dark, but scatter wrecklessly and in fear when the lights come on.

  • joshlct

    She sounds like someone generally suprised to find out that separation of church and state is real because she’s spent too long listening to Glenn Beck types who swear up and down that it isn’t, without questioning them.

  • Secular

    Amendment I: 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.To me the phrase “establishment of religion” says it clearly that the framers were talking about religion itself, not of one form of religion over another. If that were the case the verbiage would have been something like below:”establishment of a religion”That single article “a” or lack of it, actually, is crucial in so far as banning any truck between any religion and the state.

  • pathfinder12

    Citi__Street, While I get what you’re saying about not having debates, these debates are actually proving very useful. Almost all of the Tea Bag candidates are refusing to talk to reporters, or will only talk to Fox. Constituents have no idea what their backgrounds are or what they will actually try to implement, if elected. These debates put them under the eye of the public. It’s a disgrace that someone like Miller can actually tell his potential voters that he won’t answer any more questions about his background. The notion that the media attacks Republican candidates isn’t new. Palin and her supporters were angry with Katie for asking tough questions like “What do you read?”

  • Nymous

    O’Donnell is an idiot.

  • Observer691

    Mibrooks27 claims to be a liberal, but he takes the rightwingnut wackadoo position on every issue.Defending nutbag COD on this makes his claim to be a liberal a laughable joke.

  • RGee1

    crisp11 wrote….—————————–

  • rsl903

    Christine O’Donnell also made a comment about the “theory of evolution” as if it is some unproven hypothesis and at the same time implying that creationism should be a viable alternative explanation for the diversity of life. Poor Christine seems to be the result of too much religious indoctination and not enough common sense. The facts remain and they are unaltered by religious fluff:

  • Freethotlib

    A short history lesson. Our country was settled by people (Puritans) who came here for “freedom of religion”. The right frequently harks back to those glorious days whenever they start on the “religion bus”.What is amusing is the fact that those very same people were really not in favor of FREEDOM of RELIGION. What they wanted was the freedom to worship as THEY CHOSE – with no government controls (other than the controls they imposed). Fact is, they often banished or otherwise punished people that disagreed with them.So, our real Founding Fathers were very wise in establishing Freedom of Religion as they did. The sad thing is that the folk that preach the loudest (the right) are the first to start screaming AGAINST folks that do not meet the right’s definition. Proof – Catholics and Jews and now Moslems have at various times been persecuted by those that preach the loudest. We MUST) keep religion out of our government and out of our public institutions. Otherwise, we’ll end up like Iran.

  • theduck6

    actually the concept of seperation of church and state was the creation of an activist USSC. The 1st amendment prohibits the establishment of any religion. That is all. Where is the OpEd on Obama’s quote regarding the Constitution being a “flawed document”? He decried there only being negative rights and not what the government “had to do for you”. I’m fairly certain that was the point of the founders and framers. They didn’t trust big govt and they were oh so correct.Where are the OpEds on the democratic senatorial candidate from South Carolina? Nevermind.

  • Lawrencer1

    CD must have deliberately brought this up. She maybe dumb herself but people who put her up for the election are quite sinister geniuses. By bringing up the “religion vs state” someone must be trying to stir the pot even more and divert people’s attention from real issues of big corporations, wall street and banks undermining the whole progressive movement to petty candidates and their silly statements. Sounds very “rovian” tactic.

  • crisp11

    Then Secular, explain this to us.The 1st Amendment clearly states that Congress can not do those things enumerated. Where does it state that a local high school is forbidden to hold prayer at the beginning of the school day? Or that a city can not display a creche or Christmas tree in the lobby of the municipal building? Or that state can not fund an organization such as the YMCA or Salvation Army?That mis-application was not instituted until recent court decisions based on a very twisted interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

  • dbw1

    scooper1976:Not to quibble, but I would argue that the words “Supreme Judge” and “Divine Providence” in the Declaration of Independence further cement the concept of “God” being the one the Founders looked to as the Authority to which they appealed against England. So I think the Founders leaned on the concept of “God” more than liberals want to allow.I don’t think any conservatives would argue with your quote from Thomas Jefferson. We believe America was set up to allow people of all and any faith’s to live and work here in freedom. But to extend the implication to the point that says any reference to God is somehow ‘unconstitutional’ is laughable.For heaven’s sake…take a trip to D.C., and observe all the references to God, Moses, etc, that are baked into the architecture from the earliest days of our country’s existence.And take…yet another…quote for George Washington himself:”The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles.”Tell me again, liberals…how does your view that America’s government was intended to be a godless place square with Washington’s quotes to the contrary?

  • rmorris391

    Historically, some European nations made the claim that the KING was ordained by God, and the had some political control over the church of england. Our constitution makes no such claim. We don’t have a KING, and we don’t have a state controlled religion. In deed, folks get nervous when a president is associated with the Catholic church. Some folks believe the POPE will call the shots in policy.I think this debate over the meaning of the FIRST amendment, and the separation of church and state has no traction. There is no political movement to build a national church. And there is no single church denomination that carries “holy” water for the government.The debate over “creationism” vs. “evolution” is over blown. Neither side has any special powers. While I believe in “creationism”, I see it as a theory. Evolution is also a theory. Who knows, maybe both theories can be combined. If folks want to make this a debate over “faith” vs. “reason”, then we are denying our spiritual nature, wholeness. “You were taught to put away your former way of life…and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds” Ephesians 4:22-23

  • Buddydog

    DBW1 – Liberals have never advocated a godless society. You’re making that up out of nothing. Every Democrat in office that I know of, save for a couple, have professed a Christian belief. Liberals voted them in, so they obviously have no problem with religious people in government. It’s interesting in the Jefferson quote you cited he said that “religion AND morality” were indispensable supports to society. I agree with that, but I keep hearing religious types argue that without religion, morality is impossible. If that were true, there would be no need for the AND in his quote; religion would imply morality, and be thereby redundant. But he didn’t say that, which tells me that he regarded morality outside of religion; that one could be religious without being moral, and one could be moral without being religious. I agree with that as well.The only thing liberals are trying to prevent is for some crackpot like O’Donnell, who is obviously very shallow in her understanding of the constitution, to start passing laws which mandate things like teaching creationism in schools. Creationism is a completely faith-based theory that requires belief in a god (religious faith) to be valid. That falls outside the enumerated powers of government in the constitution, and the Supreme Court has consistently agreed. That doesn’t mean you aren’t free to worship in your church, profess your faith in public, teach your children creationism, or send them to schools where creationism is taught. It just can’t be via government institutions. You’re not hearing any Democrats calling for the abolition of Constitutional amendments; that is purely right-wing territory right now. So don’t accuse liberals of not trying to uphold the constitution; we’re very happy with the way it was created, because we know it protects us from people like you.

  • crisp11

    To Rgee1:”So, it sounds like you won’t be voting for Democrats or Republicans in the upcoming electing, right?”That would be correct, sir or madam. I never fail to enter a voting booth. I often do not elect to cast ballots for many offices because I am never willing to compromise my enfranchisement on those who have no principles. My only regret is that there is not an official entry for “None of the Above” rather than forcing me to write it in so many times.

  • dbw1

    RSL903:A fact is something that can be proven. And yet, evolution cannot answer how life STARTED. Therefore, evolution remains a philosophy, not a provable fact.It was hilarious to watch world-renowned atheist and evolution apologist Richard Dawkins sweat and trip over Ben Stein’s simple question to explain how life started. When evolutionists have to resort to space alien theories, it proves their ‘facts’ are no more provable and legitimate than those of creationists.

  • snsb18

    Regardless of whether or not the phrase separation of church and state is in the First Amendment, O’Donnell is flatly wrong in saying that the constitution supports the teaching of creationism or intelligent design. The Supreme Court has ruled that creationism is a religious doctrine and cannot be taught in schools, no matter what local school boards wish. Likewise the lower courts have held that intelligent design is a religious doctrine and is banned from the schools. So she just has it wrong! It isnt the Obama administration that made those rulings. It has been the settled law for two decades now.

  • nonsensical2001

    Hey Christine – We already have an example of government based on fundamentalist religion; its called Iran.

  • RGee1

    rmorris391 wrote….———————————–

  • dbw1

    Kreuz_Missle:Like most leftists, you miss the point. Conservatives are not arguing that the State should support a sole religion. That was the intent of the 1st Amendment.What conservatives will argue with you about is your interpretation of what the phrase “Separation of Church and State” means. Separation meant no official designation of one denomination as the State Religion. What it did NOT mean, as many leftists imply, is that religion and religious values were to have no place in the public arena.Again, read the quotes of Washington and others in the late 1700′s (I pasted a couple above in previous comments)….leftists hate them, because what was written at the time flies in the face of what leftists would have us believe….so they are left to resort to quotes a hundred years later from the likes of James Garfield.

  • kreuz_missile

    “A fact is something that can be proven. And yet, evolution cannot answer how life STARTED. Therefore, evolution remains a philosophy, not a provable fact.”You just failed science 101. Nothing can be proven. Even the “laws” of science are not proven. Laws exist only within the context of a theory, which in scientific terms define the framework under which the laws apply (kind of like the laws of a nation only apply within that nation). Newton’s laws of motion, for instance, only apply when you assume the Newtonian theory/model of the universe. When you approach the speed of light or sub-atomic particles, Newtonian physics don’t work and Newton’s laws get replaced by Einstein’s laws of relativity.A Scientific Law describes a mathematical relationship that has been DEMONSTRATED (not proven) to exist under a given theory/model.A Scientific Theory/Model is a broad construct describing the relationship of constructs to explan relationships in a consistant framework.A Scientific Hypothesis is an idea relating to a theory that is to be tested under the scientific method, used to develop/modify both theories and models.Creationism is not science because it is not testable, has no predictive value, and thus does not follow the scientific method. Evolution, on the other hand, is a demonstrated and tested theory with numerous predictive values that has led to innnovations in gene theory, medication, and numerous fields outside biology to include psychology and geology.

  • dmk196

    Keep religion out of government completely. Religion is simply a separate matter–I go to church, not a government building, where my religious needs are met. My neighbors go where they go. Government is for ALL the people, not religion A, B or C*********************************************

  • crisp11

    And I have something to say about the differences between liberals and conservatives.Liberals tend to believe in relativism, that decisions are predicated on circumstantial whims, changing with volatile opinion. Religiously, they tend to emphasize the nature of Christian peace and love, applying those attributes even if they are not warranted.Conservatives tend to believe in absolutism, that there are fundamental principles that demand adherence to and are judiciously applied to individual circumstances. Religiously, they tend to emphasize the Christian aspect of justice and a vengeful God, willing to enact draconian punishment for the least of transgressions.Both groups will take Biblical passages completely out of context for their own purposes.They are opposite sides of the same coin in that they are both doctrinally in error.Liberals need to be a whole lot less relativistic and conservatives need to be a whole lot less dogmatic, especially involving the minutia. And they both need to realize that their God is both loving and vengeful such that anyone who professes Christ as Savior needs to balance their willingness to help the helpless with the need to punish those who violate the precepts of Godly behavior.

  • Freethotlib

    DBW1 wrote “Tell me again, liberals…how does your view that America’s government was intended to be a godless place square with Washington’s quotes to the contrary?”———————————-America’s Constitution provided a safe haven for all religions!! Safe from the establishment of a NATIONAL religion run by the annointed religious aristocracy and open only to those that followed the State Religion.Tell me — would you prefer that America be a nation where the people are forced to accept RULE by the religious. You know, like Iran. If so, that would mean the Catholics, Jews, Moslems and the softer Christian sects would not be allowed because Christianity – as defined by the Puritans -would be in control.

  • nan_lynn

    Christine O’Donnell shall make no statement respecting an establishment of a functioning, rational brain in her head.She makes Sarah Palin look knowledgeable. On second thought, maybe that’s her purpose.

  • RGee1

    DBW1,

  • kreuz_missile

    “Like most leftists, you miss the point. Conservatives are not arguing that the State should support a sole religion. That was the intent of the 1st Amendment.And you, like most conservatives, are playing games, in one case for confusing “public arena” and “government” (for instance, I have no less than four religious channels on my TV, not to mention numerous church programs on Sunday Morning, that is somewhat in the public sphere, wouldn’t you say? Or how about nonprofit organizations, somewhat public arena as well, is it not?) and in another hand for confusing a general religious impact on society in turn impacting the government. Again, I’ll yield to de Toqueville who said it best:”Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must be regarded as the first of their political institutions; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief. I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion–for who can search the human heart?–but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or to a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society…..As long as a religion rests only upon those sentiments which are the consolation of all affliction, it may attract the affections of all mankind. But if it be mixed up with the bitter passions of the world, it may be constrained to defend allies whom its interests, and not the principle of love, have given to it; or to repel as antagonists men who are still attached to it, however opposed they may be to the powers with which it is allied. The church cannot share the temporal power of the state without being the object of a portion of that animosity which the latter excites.”In short: religion is an important pillar of government and society as the founding fathers saw it; but it would only remain so if it divorced itself from the laws and day-to-day governing. It influences the people who in turn elect legislators who will reflect their general values, but not denominationally (or, necessarily, Christian specific as Jefferson or Washington said severla times). As we are seeing today; when religions get specifically involved in day-to-day fights over governmental matters, they don’t elevate politics, they lower religion and in the process make it another corrupt political tool ties to all the evils of the petty politics they get involved in.

  • EAHarrison

    My God, how embarrassing. This is what the teabaggers consider a qualified person to be a United States Senator. She is a living demonstrative exhibit as to why CANDIDATES need to pass a civics test before being allowed to file (89% grade would be a failing grade). If you can’t answer the five rights enumerated in the First Amendment (religion, speech, press, assembly, redress of grievances), you should not be allowed to serve as an elected representative of a state.

  • graydon_stephenson

    As usual, anti-religion posts are over-represented in Post comments.The first amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof … .”This does not prohibit Congress from:- Encouraging religion, in generalCongress cannot make a _particular_ religion the _official_ religion.Congress cannot prefer one religion over another.Some turn the establishment and free exercise clauses on their head. They want the so-called “wall of separation between church and state” to limit the free expression of religion.This turns the intent of the Constitution on its head.No matter. Religion is part of everyday life in America, inside and outside of government. And it will be in the future, too.

  • Freethotlib

    DBW1 wrote “What conservatives will argue with you about is your interpretation of what the phrase “Separation of Church and State” means. Separation meant no official designation of one denomination as the State Religion. What it did NOT mean, as many leftists imply, is that religion and religious values were to have no place in the public arena.”—————————————I want religion to have no place in the publi8c arena. Once you allow religion into having a voice in government we’ll lose our liberty and our freedom.After all, how can one argue with someone who tells you that they talk directly with GOD?How can you argue with someone that says 9/11 was GOD’s punishment because the US allows certain behaviors?

  • whyyesbrain

    To answer the underlying question, yes, it is very healthy for a democracy to be constantly having this debate. The more recent development is public education. No one is arguing against private or home school teaching of religious doctrine. However, when a public school has an officially sanctioned prayer, how is that not a government establishement of religion? While this would be permitted under the first amendment since a school is not Congress, it becomes prohibited under the 14th amendment that holds state and local governments to the same restrictions.It is disappointing that Ms. O’Donnell cannot frame a coherent argument. If she was trying to argue the first amendment does not impose a strict seperation, then lets debate. However, from her body language, inflection, and words, I interpreted her comments to indicate that she did not believe that the first amendment stated that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

  • shhhhh

    Don’t you liberals get it yet? The Bible trumps the Constitution! It’s the renaissance of the Crusades.

  • kreuz_missile

    Separation of Chruch and State, thus, is not about protecting the government from the religion, or from preventing one religion from becoming too powerful, it is about protecting all of them. What business does a Christian Right organization have asking about a politician’s stand on trade with SE Asia to secure an endorsement? How many times have we heard the Christian Right these days bad mouth “Social Justice” within Christianinty as a socialist plot? How many values sacred to Christianity must be abandoned because it politically aligns with the party on the other side of the abortion debate? And how many times are “leftists” reluctant to even look at Christianity or call themselves Christians without having to add the caveat “but not one of those people” not because of Jesus or Christianity, but because of the corrupting alliance with the political Right in America? That is exactly what the founding fathers wanted to avoind. Entangling the two corrupts and destroys both, as it did in France during the time the Constitution was written. Catholicism was no longer a great religion in France, be a corrupt wing of a government that got thrown out with them when the people revolted. That’s exactly what they wanted to avoid. That is why whenever the government is involved, be it the expendature of public funds or the use of public employees in a public school with a captive audience of impressionable students, religion should stay out and be left to the parents, the ministers, family and friends.

  • rsl903

    DBW1 wrote: “A fact is something that can be proven. And yet, evolution cannot answer how life STARTED. Therefore, evolution remains a philosophy, not a provable fact.

  • pathfinder12

    The discussion between O’Donnell and Coons revolved around teaching Creationism in science class as an alternative to the theory of Evolution. The discussion is not about whether or not any prayer or reference to religion is acceptable in public places. Obviously, the many democratic congress people who pray every morning on the floor of congress have no problem with it. But there are many levels of how the First Amendment can be interpreted and implemented. For either side to say it’s black and white is false. The only thing that is black and white is that it states the Government can not promote or force a religion. Questions arise on the interpretation of that. In O’Donnell’s situation, teaching Creationism in public school, the argument is quite simple. Creationism is not a science. Creationism is associated with some, but not all Christian teaching. Forcing a public school to teach it in science class next to evolution is against the First Amendment. Can it be taught elsewhere in a public school? Sure. O’Donnell has two problems with her answer. First, that she didn’t know the First Amendment does forbid the establishment of a government accepted religion. Second, that she doesn’t see the difference between scientific theory and religious theory.

  • gladerunner

    DBW1:Banned to the sidelines? ROFL!You are free to worship as you please, when you please, no one could stop you even if they wanted to or tried. “Liberals, I dare you…nay, defy you….to argue that the intent of founders would line up in any way with the efforts by yourselves to create a society where religion is forbidden from the public arena.”

  • cprferry

    Those that seek to deny the rights of the religious-inspired individuals to freely exercise their faith camp themselves in a false reality in which they see any infiltration of religion inspiring governmental functions is inherently fascist and theocratic. What they ignore is that their adamant opposition to religiously-inspired ideas and icons is inherently fascist.There is no line between church and state. And if there is, then it’s not an arbitrary line drawn by the state further and further on what was once the church’s property, or vice-versa. It’s a respectful acknowledgment that they both exist and both serve a roles in society, for and from the electorate. The separation is a call to neither formalize religion by the state, and the state by religion. The person the concept protects is not the state or the faith or the religious minority, but each and every person and their inherent right to act within their own conscious.

  • fairness3

    What is soooo problematic…why are we and the media even paying attention to an ignoramous like C O’D…she is entirely ignorant…just like her “mentor” Ms. Tea Partier, Palin.

  • RGee1

    Freehotlib wrote…After all, how can one argue with someone who tells you that they talk directly with GOD?How can you argue with someone that says 9/11 was GOD’s punishment because the US allows certain behaviors?Do you actually believe the RELIGIOUS would stop short of total control IF YOU GAVE THEM AN ENTRY? I don’t!———————————Well, we have examples every day in the U.S. of people trying to force their religious beliefs on everyone else. Would they be satisfied if they won those battles, or would they demand more? I don’t know.

  • angie12106

    O’Donnell: “THAT’s in the First Amendment??”

  • kreuz_missile

    “Congress cannot prefer one religion over another.”So, if your view which you affirm here is correct, how can congress encourage religion generally without preferring one religion over another. As Madison said:”Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?”If Congress can encourages religion, does that not inherently show establishment of a theistic system to the detriment of atheists and agnostics? If so, don’t they also have an obligation to show equal reverence to all faiths, as Jefferson pointed out:”[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom… was finally passed,… a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it should read ‘a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.’ The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination.” –Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821This isn’t just a slippery slope argument; this is why they didn’t go with the original draft of the 1st Amendment, which did specifically just bar establishing a national religion, to the more broader “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” – thus making it more broad to say not just that it couldn’t establish a religion, it can’t do anything even remotely resembling that, which include giving one religion preferential treatment that naturally results in de facto establishment.

  • RGee1

    fairness3 wrote….——————————Most likely because the media is entranced with the idea of tracking how low the voting public is willing to place the bar in regards to who makes a worthwhile candidate. Remember that all of the elected officials we love to hate, no matter which party they are from, they all have one thing in common. Somewhere, a group of people got together and voted them into office. Somewhere, a group of people believe that Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner etc etc are the best we can do.

  • bigbrother1

    There is no line between church and state. And if there is, then it’s not an arbitrary line drawn by the state further and further on what was once the church’s property, or vice-versa. It’s a respectful acknowledgment that they both exist and both serve a roles in society, for and from the electorate. The separation is a call to neither formalize religion by the state, and the state by religion. The person the concept protects is not the state or the faith or the religious minority, but each and every person and their inherent right to act within their own conscious.Posted by: cprferry | October 19, 2010 2:09 PM How can a single person be this stupid? It seems like too much, like he’s getting help or something.Hey cpr, put down the crack pipe for a sec and, I don’t know, read something, maybe? The text of the Constitution is online. And you could probably find a quick-and-easy guide to the meaning of the 1st Amendment if you spent two minutes searching google. Or you could live in your dream world where the Constitution says what you want it to say. I’m sure you’ll be happier there.

  • philogical

    Coons said “private and parochial schools are free to teach creationism, but that religious doctrine doesn’t belong in our public schools.” O’Donnell asked him, “Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?” Coons responded that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, What the First Amendment to the Constitution really says is, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” For anyone who has studied real American history and understood the historical facts behind the First Amendment, it has always been clear that our founding fathers did not want the Federal government to be able to honor one church over another, like was done in England. They found nothing wrong with religion per say, but we Americans would not be forced to have only one religious view forced on us by our leaders. O’Donnell was in essence correct in her assertion that “separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. And now I shall rain on some of your parades, by telling you that Ms. O’Donnell is wrong to believe that study of Creationism is a valid answer to anything. It is an easy answer for children and that is all. It is every bit the same as having the Reverend Ike say, “The Devil made me do it”. If you wish to teach science then teach science and if you wish to teach comparative religion then teach comparative religion, but don’t try to mix the two, because it will make no sense to the students. If Creationism were really valid then I could pass every science test by writing “God only knows”, and get a hundred on every test.

  • teamohall

    If religous groups want to be involved so much in government operation, let them pay taxes. That would put a dent in the deficit.

  • neec13

    It is fruitless to imagine O’Donnell would realize she is unfit to hold national public office.Conservatives are not necessarily stupid,

  • snsb18

    The Supreme Court has already held that public schools can’t teach creationism along side of evolution because creationism is a religious doctrine. O’Donnell’s claim that she wants to defend public schools right to teach it shows her ignorance.

  • buddy2105

    They should just ask the Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Wright, Rev. Louis Farrakan.

  • JBaustian

    O’Donnell is, of course, absolutely correct — there is no such phrase as “separation of church and state” in the US Constitution. And it is very telling that the audience, made up of law school students, laughed at her answer instead of nodding and saying, “she’s right, you know.”Eventually Coons came around and admitted that she was right. Not included in the video segment linked in the article: Coons could not name all of the five prohibitions imposed on Congress in the First Amendment. Besides the establishment of a state religion, Congress can make no law abridging the freedom of speech, the press, the right to assemble, or the right to petition the government. Coons got stuck on that question — an unfortunate lapse for a lawyer running for the Senate.

  • hitpoints

    A fact is something that can be proven. And yet, evolution cannot answer how life STARTED. Therefore, evolution remains a philosophy, not a provable fact.****Before criticizing something, it is preferable to know the subject material.An analogy:dbw1 states that this fact is in dispute because we haven’t answered the question, how are cars made?It should be noted that Darwin’s landmark work was titled “On the Origin of Species,” not “On the Origin of Life.” Natural evolution is not the same line of study as abiogenesis.An important aspect in science is to know what the question or problem is first. The rantings of people like dbw1 will not be credible criticisms of science until they take that to heart, and get some education before shouting at the sky about things they do not know.

  • kreuz_missile

    philogical, where the heck did you study “real American history?” You clearly missed a few classes. They weren’t just looking at England as an example. They were looking at France. They were looking at their own experiences in Massachusetts, where the Anglican aligning with the British governemnt led to it’s almost complete distruction in New England following the war as loyalist Anglicans were chased out; in Virginia where the Baptists were being beaten in the streets (which is what prompted Jefferson’s letter that clearly explained the effect of the 1st Amendment, and why he had it widely circulated to be readily accepted as the authoritative interpretation, which it was from that point on), and yes, Jefferson even learned from the Middle East when he studied Islam in the run up to the Barbary Coast wars. A religion’s involvement in day-to-day governing over the affairs of man destroys both religion and government, and as Madison said both will exist in greater purity the more they are separated. This was the lesson de Toqueville took with him observing American society a generation later, and the real lesson we apparently still need to learn.

  • mil1

    If there is a constitutional “right” of separation of church and state then someone must run and inform the Congressional Chaplains—oh, and all those military Chaplains and the ones at the Veterans hospital…The first amendment isn’t about separation of religion from daily federal life–it’s about not establishing a federal religion:It doesn’t mean that you can’t teach about religion (even if public schools–check out most humanities courses they teach about religion). It means there is no state recognized and sanctioned religion–as Lutheranism is in Scandinavia or Anglicanism in Great Britain or Roman Catholicism is in Italy or Islam in Indonesia.So all that laughter by law students only show that universities aren’t teaching the constitution perhaps because they assume “educated” people already know it…ask Mr. Coons if he knows the 22nd amendment….and that Presidents Jimmy Carter and George HW Bush could run for their second term any time they might want….LOL. He was wrong about the 1st amendment, no matter how popular the idea of separation might be…the 1st amendment does not support it.

  • areyousaying

    Republicans have really jumped the shark with this “Christian” loon.They hate the Constitution and want to overthrow it with their twisted Leviticus cherry-picked version of “God’s Standards”Do not vote for these people. They are as dangerous to our freedoms no less than the Taliban.

  • kreuz_missile

    JBaustian, here are some more things that you won’t find in the Constitution:- Freedom of ReligionWell, technically, you won’t find those words there. You WILL find those principles there, eminating both from the structure of the document and the effects of what it creates. Which, of course, means that all three of those things can be found in the Constitution, even if not stated verbatim. It takes a child-like simplistic line of reasoning to believe otherwise.

  • cprferry

    “Don’t you liberals get it yet? The Bible trumps the Constitution!Actually, you’re not far from the truth.The claims made by our founding documents do not stand on the might of the military or the consensus opinion of the time, but on self-evident truths. These truths form part of the Natural Law that the Abrahamitic teachings are grounded in and sent to be revealed to all the nations.If these truths are not self-evident, if they are not inherent to Nature and the understanding and rights of humankind, then they become nothing. Then they are able to be taken away or extended in any way the powerful wish. Without “Nature’s God” we have no rights, just privileges we exchange for our freedom.The rights we have are from God and they are written within Nature and, as the Judeo-Christian teaching the founding fathers were very familiar with, the Bible. Some atheists suggest there is no God, no Natural Law, no Nature, no universal truth, no design, no meaning. Thus we have no permanent rights. You don’t have to believe the Bible to believe in Natural Law – it is written into nature and knowable to conscious.

  • snsb18

    O’Donnell wants to leave it to the individual school boards to decide what to teach the kids — until the school board decides that its also OK to let kid’s visit a mosque and learn about Islam. Or giving the kids a day off for a Muslim holiday. Then it would be wrong wrong wrong! The only religion she wants taught or observed in the public schools is HER religion, not any other.

  • mbrumble

    Sarah Palin endorsed O’Donnell. Need any more be said about O’Donnell’s credentials? Birds of a feather; peas in a pod; etc.

  • nwaeen

    As I compare the lofty writings of Thomas Jefferson to the statements of O’Donnell, I am equally amazed by the enlightenment of our founding fathers as well as dismayed by the quality of some of the current candidates. The founding fathers wrote the First Amendment in a rural, frontier society, long before the rise of the modern public school system. Yet, they had in their minds the types of societies they saw in Europe of the 18th century where Protestants and Catholics were are war with each other and churches were intertwined with government. The phrase “separation of church and state” is not explicitly in the First Amendment but it doesn’t need to be. The principle the phrase embodies is there as evidenced by the writings of Jefferson and Madison as well as 200 years of American jurisprudence. It is a bedrock principle of constitutional law. A more thoughtful question by O’Donnell might have been whether the First Amendment restricts local school boards since it says “Congress shall make no law. . .” This is separate analysis that runs through the 14th Amendment and the bloodshed of the Civil War. If a minority bhuddist or hindu child ever has to listen to Christian idealogy sanctioned by local government in a public school science class, then we will have failed to live up the lofty ideals of our founding fathers.

  • MidwaySailor76

    O’Donnell makes Sarah Palin look like a member of Mensa.

  • areyousaying

    A new name for teabaggers: Dan Quyale Republicans

  • kreuz_missile

    “If these truths are not self-evident, if they are not inherent to Nature and the understanding and rights of humankind, then they become nothing.”The problem for you is that most of what the Bible teaches are not “self-evident truths.” Three of the Ten commandments, sure, but what about ‘I am the lord thy God, thou shalt have no other Gods before me?” What about all the laws about food that is and isn’t clean? How about the wearing of specific cloths? How about the keeping of sabbath day as holy? Democracy isn’t a self-evident truth eminating from the Bible, nor is the self-evident truth that governments are ordained by the people (not Kings ordained by God) for the purpose of protecting the rights of the people. Nor that “all men are created equal,” as clearly the Bible differentiates among peoples (do you believe the Jews to be God’s chosen people? How does that square with all men being created equal?).

  • pathfinder12

    mencik, You’re not getting it. Our forefathers and other scholars before them, who our forefathers used to help write the Constitution, believed that certain rights and laws are human, regardless of religious affiliation.

  • JMGinPDX

    If there is no separation of church and state in our country, that would mean that Congress (against the original text of the 1st Amendment) can write law establishing biblical law.Given carte blanche, the fundamentalists would implement their own Christian version of “sharia law” and either run roughshod over the rights of non-Christians, or would so purposefully relegate them to 2nd-class status that any rights they had on paper would be fairly useless in reality.Christian extremists, Muslim extremists – doesn’t matter what God you pray to, an extremist is only interested in forcing his faith on those who don’t believe. Where evangelism and teaching don’t work, they would resort to legal wrangling and violence to push their agenda, despite the fact that doing so infringes the civil liberties of millions of people.

  • Observer691

    For people who claim to want to protect the Constitution above all else, COD, JBaustian, Janet8, and others of their ilk certainly make it seem very very small and insignificant.

  • cprferry

    There seems to be a misunderstanding proposed by the phrase “separation of church and state.” It supposes correctly they are separate entities. They are and should be. That’s the classical, strict definition. However, as a result we’ve taken an approach to draw lines onto what only the state can influence and/or what only faith can influence.But this is an impossible task. We are influenced regardless. There is no pledge to uphold the state’s religion when one enters public service as some other countries do and some atheists desire. And if we seek to address our influences consciously overcompensate in one direction or another, and are never truly at peace with our decisions.The separation does not point to the actions of the state and church, but their existence. You don’t separate their influences and actions. We’ve seen countless state-church programs in social services where they both act freely and toward the benefit of the service population. The programs suffer when one or both parties no longer acts to benefit the population, but to extract power from the other entity.The First Amendment makes this point. The state can not engage in that battle. Furthermore by limiting state’s ability to award/penalize church it encourages an atmosphere in which neither should operate for power. It’s similar to a armistice pact. Each entity has a right to exist separate from each other.

  • mcrebel19

    The 1st ten amendments were put in the Constitution to limit the power of government.It cannot take our free speech away or our religion.It made sure we could practice any religion anywhere.If the government could separate religion from state,then that would give the government a power it cannot have.

  • JMGinPDX

    Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 19, 2010 1:18 PM “When I was growing up, we had a school assembly every week and we said the Lord’s Prayer at the end of that assembly.2) Just because something is “tradition” doesn’t mean it is right. Society learns from its history and changes in response to enlightenment and heightened awareness of civil liberties, albeit rather slowly at times. The only people who want to hold on to certain ‘traditions’ are those who don’t like the tide of progress because they’re afraid of it, or their narrow ideology prevents them from acknowledging it.3) You have no more claim to knowing the “real intent” of our Founding Fathers than I do, unless you can communicate with the dead.

  • Dadrick

    She was just trying that silly rightwing “that’s not the exact wording in the Constitution” thing, which backfired. As if the actual words mean anything different. Thomas Jefferson coined “wall of separation” as shorthand for the more precise legal language in the Constitution, and it works fine.What’s really scary is that O’Donnell didn’t know the 14th amendment.

  • mcrebel19

    TEACHING A RELIGOUS BELIEF IN SCHOOL DOES NOT ESTABLISH A RELIGION.IT IS ALSO FREE SPEECH.

  • GoldenEagles

    The WORDS are NOT in the Constitution – Part 1Christine O’Donnell was trying to make the standard conservative argument for the fact that the WORDS “separation of church and state” are NOT in the U.S. Constitution. She could have done a better job. So let’s try to remedy that here.The WORDS “separation of church and state” are NOT in the U.S. Constitution. Who is going to argue that those WORDS are in the constitution? No one can make that argument, because the words are not in there.And people say, ok, those words are not in there. But so what?The point is, that the words that are in the First Amendment, were narrowly crafted by the framers to make sure that the new federal government would not use its power to interfere with the ESTABLISHED STATE CHURCHES which were then in existence in several of the original states. If anyone will take the time to read the history of church-state relations at that time, you will see that this was correct, that several states had established churches, and this was since the inception of their existence as colonies, and they were very FEARFUL that the power of the federal government would be used to dismantle those traditional church-state ties. And so, they lobbied for the wording in the First Amendment that would safeguard their church-state establishments from inference by the federal government.Observe, that the First Amendment uses the words “RESPECTING an establishment of religion.” This word “respecting” encompasses two goals. First, the people intended to enforce a hand’s off policy upon the federal government, in relationship to the established state sponsored churches that were then in operation in some of the states at that time. Second, the people intended to make sure the federal government was not to use its power to establish a church, in competition with the established churches of these states, or to force an establishment on a state which had no previous establishment. The question as to whether a STATE GOVERNMENT was to adopt an official religion, or de-establish an existing official religion, was left to the states to decide. This matter was to be kept out of the hands of the federal government. Therefore, the contention that the “principle” of separation of church and state is embodied in the First Amendment, has NO validity in reference to the STATE GOVERNMENTS for the reasons just described.

  • mason08

    “Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.” (VA SoRF, 1777)While the Founding Fathers were diverse in their views, the preceeding paragraph is what Thomas Jefferson meant when he spoke of religious freedom. Namely, that it has no place in civil life. He went so far as to form a state-supported university free of the confines of religious strictures. Thus, his epitath reads: “HERE WAS BURIED THOMAS JEFFERSON AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE OF THE STATUTE OF VIRGINIA FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND FATHER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA.”

  • GoldenEagles

    The WORDS are NOT in the Constitution – Part 2At the same time, given the historical circumstances, we see that the contention, that the “principle” of separation of church and state is reflected in the First Amendment, has some tenuous validity in reference to the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (only).However, even if the “principle” of separation of church and state is reflected in the First Amendment to some degree in reference to the federal government, allowing this appearance to have any interpretative value is problematic, because the principle of separation of church and state speaks to a much more broad and complete “wall” of separation, than the history of America, and the words of the First Amendment actually allow for.This is problematic, because people are tempted, because they don’t think the issue through, to interpret the First Amendment in a way that assumes these words, “separation of church and state” are actually in there. To do so, is to give the federal government, in this case the federal judiciary, broader powers than what the framers intended. This tendency towards broader and broader interpretation, allowing the First Amendment to exhibit elastic properties that fit the ideology of various activist judges has resulted in this peculiar situation where the original intent of the First Amendment has actually been turned upside down.The First Amendment was conceived of, and born into the world, as a constitutional safeguard designed to block the exercise of federal power in the area of religion. And look where we have come today, where federal (judicial) power is now used, as a matter of course, to block the people’s desire to have prayer in their own public schools, state to state. The U.S. Supreme Court has become sort of a theocratic counsel of elders with the power to decide what the states can do, and cannot do, in the area of religion. And this is exactly what the framers desired to avoid by placing the First Amendment into the constitution in the first place.

  • Braticuspunk

    I think it’s quite clear who won that debate. Chris has a firm grasp on American politics, what it means to be a U.S. Senator, history, and can also think on his feet. O’Donnell…..yikes…bush league! (pun intended)

  • kreuz_missile

    “TEACHING A RELIGOUS BELIEF IN SCHOOL DOES NOT ESTABLISH A RELIGION.IT IS ALSO FREE SPEECH.”A public teacher is not acting solely as an individual free to voice opinion. Just as it would be wrong for a teacher to espouse political views to a captive audience of children, it is also wrong for them to instruct on matters of religion (teachign the religion itself, as opposed to actuall lessons about religion, which is ok when done right). Teachers are public figures with a captive audience given a tremendous public trust, to do so they do not inherently get to enjoy a free pulpit to say wjhatever they want, they have very fixed rules on what is and is not appropriate. Chaplains run into a similar issue in the military. Washington actually opposed chaplains at first because he didn’t want the potential for religious strife to enter the army. The balance is struck by the understanding Chaplains have that, although they are sponsored by a particular denomination, their job is service, they serve the members of the military regardless of affiliation, and according to the needs of the member as opposed to what the Chaplain sees as important from a ministry standpoint. Chaplains have a firm code of conduct in this regard, and also get into trouble when they cross it (of course, this is going with the assumption that they are Constitutional, which a number of founders also disagreed with; Jefferson most notably).

  • GrantMacDonald1

    The Right Honourable Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chretien told the Vatican that there was to be no cross erected over the Canadian Parliament buildings figuratively speaking; when the Pope demanded the Prime Minister go against gay rights. An Alberta bishop had the audacity to say that The Canadian Prime Minister would go to hell for going against the church. Such outrageous evil threats. The Right Honourable Prime Minister in return; basically told the Pope to go to Hell! The Honourable Irwin Cotler, Canadian Minister of Justice, stood for equal rights for the gay community. With reference to protecting the children: The Honourable Hedy Fry, member of the Canadian Liberal Parliament, who happens to be a doctor who delivered many babies; spoke eloquently to defend the rights of babies being born and stated that she was in fact defending their rights by speaking on behalf of equal rights for the children and youth of the future — defending their integrity and dignity. Minority rights should be decided by a dignified judicial system and/or a compassionate government.United States is supposedly fighting for democracy but within the U.S. they treat gays like secondary citizens. Being black or being gay is just as natural. If blacks or women’s rights were cast to the masses to decide … then the majority or lunatic religious fringe in this case — has the advantage to decide minority rights.

  • GrantMacDonald1

    There is no scientific evidence to prove any of the cross related bogus elements of christianity. Civilization goes back 2,000,000 years — descending from apes; 1,996,000 years before the Greeks, Romans and the Jews and 1,998,000 years pre-dating the myth of christianity which is a mere 2010 years old. In the year 300 AD when Emperor Constantine, who to some was the first pope; went on to market Christianity – a fantasy – which turned out to be one of the most hateful & evil concoctions ever perpetrated on the world. I am the son of a catholic father who never went to church and a protestant mother who took us to church and Sunday school. Onward christian soldiers; I think not. Such absolute drivel. To be manipulated by a santa claus; an easter bunny and worst of all a bogus cross.

  • GoldenEagles

    Thomas Jefferson was certainly a leader in the cause of Religious Freedom in the State of Virginia. And he was also President of the United States. Given his strong support for the principle of separation of church and state, if there was anything right about using federal power to twist the arms of the states to modify or eliminate any religious practice whatsoever, he certainly would have tried. If there is the will, there is a way. And he certainly had the will. But he also had something else. He knew full well, that the federal government was blocked, by the first amendment, from having any influence on how the people of the States chose to express their religious beliefs. Certainly, if he were alive today, and could see the U.S. Supreme Court acting as the national council of religious elders, he would be horrified. Absolutely horrified. Of course it is true, that Jefferson never trusted the U.S. Supreme court.

  • GrantMacDonald1

    The pope represents a bigger fraud than Madoff’s $50 billion ripoff.

  • kreuz_missile

    “The question as to whether a STATE GOVERNMENT was to adopt an official religion, or de-establish an existing official religion, was left to the states to decide. This matter was to be kept out of the hands of the federal government.”Again, enter that pesky 14th Amendment. If a state grants preferential treatment to religion as a whole, or to specific denominations, it infringes on the rights of minority religions who are outcast. “It is… proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe, a day of fasting and prayer. That is, that I should indirectly assume to the United States an authority over religious exercises which the Constitution has directly precluded them from. It must be meant, too, that this recommendation is to carry some authority and to be sanctioned by some penalty on those who disregard it; not indeed of fine and imprisonment, but of some degree of proscription, perhaps in public opinion. And does the change in the nature of the penalty make the recommendation less a law of conduct for those to whom it is directed?… Civil powers alone have been given to the President of the United States, and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents.” –Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Miller, 1808Substitute “Governor”, “Mayor”, or even “Teacher” for “President”, the concept holds. We do not establish public schools to indoctrinate children in religion or direct them in religious worship. We do not allocate funds from either the states or the federal government to secure that end. If people believe there should be a prayer before the school day, they can do it as a family at home, at the church, or even as a club independent of the school in such venues as “See You At The Pole.”

  • GrantMacDonald1

    Einstein stated in a letter recently auctioned that the bible was a collection of primitive legends. He said believing in God was childish and he as a Jew is no different than another person and are not chosen by God.

  • GrantMacDonald1

    To think of Matthew Shepard choking on his own blood after being savagely beaten; virtually sanctioned by the church is evil beyond comprehension; yet is the same as boys being bullied into suicide; most likely being supported by the bullies parents’ religious cults. Bigotry and hatemongering against gays should be banned.

  • blert

    O’Donnell was just repeating a well worn talking point that the phrase “wall of separation between church and state” exists nowhere in the Constitution, and she is right. The phrase is from a Jefferson letter.How to interpret the “no law respecting the establishment of religion” is a bit dicier. Some want to argue that this only prohibits establishing an official state religion. Some argue that this does set up a wall of separation. Some argue for various shades in between.Of course, we do have many laws treating religious groups as special cases. We grant them tax exemption. We give clergy exceptions in withholding taxes. We make special zoning regulations for churches. We have all manner of laws respecting religion…we just don’t single out any one religion in these laws. In other words, the “wall of separation” doesn’t really exist in practice, at least no in its most strict sense, and as much as this article tries to cast O’Donnell as a loon (which seems to be a regular obsession among the media), to question what exactly is meant by “separation of church and state” is entirely sensible.

  • drjcarlucci

    In 2 weeks the Left will be relegated to the irrelevant corners of the blogosphere where they can bray and whine to eachother like little petting zoo animals.

  • kreuz_missile

    Yup, and Bill Clinton was irrelevent after 1994, right? A narrow house majority (the Republicna best case) surely trumps the White House and the Senate! If you believe that, you may also believe that the 1st Amendment doesn’t create a wall of separation between church and state!

  • daweeni

    drjcarlucciBut the Left won’t be as jackass stupid as the Teabagging fools who vote for O’Donnell, and all the rest of the Republitards, so there is still hope that this country can be saved from such imbeciles, after they screw things up even worse than St. Ronald and the Shrubs did.

  • cffdvdlb

    “Separation of Church and State” does NOT show up in the first amendment of our Constitution. Read it, and I defy anyone to find it there. If you do, then you are manufacturing what truly isn’t there. Our greatest enemy today is the fear of doing the right thing. Instead of doing the right thing, we try to emaciate the first amendment which is so precious to our Freedom and Liberty. Why cannot we accept the amendment as it is written instead of invent a false delusion which destroys a most precious right to all of us, whether we are religious or not? Congress is not to establish a national religion by law. But this has nothing to do with people meeting on the public square or under the Capital Dome for a prayer meeting. It has nothing to do with the posting of the ten commandments on or in a courthouse or in the public square.

  • wrw01011

    Voters of Delaware, it is too late. You are the laughing stock of the nation. Unfriggin beleivable that you would nominate this clown. God! What were you going to do if she actually won!!!!!!!

  • MidwaySailor76

    I don’t know what’s worse – that O’Donnell seems absolutely ignorant of the Constitution; or that she doesn’t have the good sense to be even slightly embarrassed about it.

  • Navy88101

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but to be fair to O’Donnell I think she was trying to repeat the age-old rant of bloggers that the phrase “separation of church and state” is not found in the Constitution. Or she might have truly been unaware that the First Amendment included anything other than just “free speech”. If that is indeed true, so much for the term “Constitional Conservative”.

  • Navy88101

    Obviously I meant to say “Constitutional Conservative” there; context everybody, context!

  • BBear1

    Like all good corporate MSM journalists, Ms. Tenety omitted Mr. Coons additional explanation that the “decisional holdings of the U.S. Supreme Court” have established the separation. It’s also quite clear from the tape that O’Donnell didn’t know the “no establishment clause” even existed. Stop making excuses for her ignorance.

  • Bob22003

    O’DONNELL: “That’s in the First Amendment”It is not clear if O’Donnell last line is a question, a rumination or a confirmation.

  • pgibson1

    I only chime in here to point out that it is my firm belief that this witch is still in the running because she’s entertainingly naive, as well as she’s a good looker.After that, maybe the best place for her isn’t in government.No, I’m firm on this, also: She should be removed by reason of insanity.Nobody would continue their candidacy based on being the butt of jokes, and just merely being born with “good looks”.Amiriteoramirite? I am.

  • Trout1

    This nut case’s five minutes of fame is almost up.

  • jimhill1

    While Thomas Jefferson can be relied on as an expert on the Declaration of Independence (he wrote most of it) and founding father philosophy in general, it so happens that he was in Paris enjoying the reign of terror while the Constitution was being put together. Thomas Jefferson was not there when the First Amendment was written or adopted. He is no expert on that subject. His phrase “separation of church and state” carries no weight. The First Amendment says what it says what it says: a citizen’s religion or lack thereof if no business of the Federal Government. Just so much and no more.Separation of church and state is a fiction foisted on the Constitution by ill advised latter day commentators.

  • Aerowaz

    Great call BBEAR. Listen to the entire debate, Coons does talk about more than just the First Amendment when talking about the separation of church and state.

  • amelia45

    Religion ebbs and flows as an overt influence in political debate. Right now we are at high tide. Teaching creationism is not teaching science. If we are to teach it, we should also teach other creation myths of other religions. To teach Biblical creationism as the only mythology explaining man on earth would be an “establishment of religion.” Placing the ten commandments in public buildings is “establishment of religion” because it depicts a Christian and Jewish ethical code, or moral code, as the code of the public institution in which it is displayed. If writings of other faiths are also displayed, then no one religion is being “established.” If those of another faith ask to have their creation story taught in schools, are we willing? If they want writings from their sacred books to grace our public buildings, are we willing?I have no problem with government institutions, or schools, offering prayer to begin the day or a meeting, as long as prayers from various faiths are offered. Even, a moment of silence offered instead of a prayer to recognize that there are those who don’t pray. The “various faiths” does not mean just different Christian faiths or just Christian and Jewish. It means prayers from the other religions, a Muslim prayer or a Hindu prayer. If you have only Christian or Jewish prayers, you are “establishing” a religion. If prayers from various religions are offered, maybe rotating through different religions each day or each meeting, no one religion is being “established.”Of course, this gets awkward. Are you willing to offer a Wican prayer if asked?Maybe the better course is to keep religion in the privacy of our homes and to practice it publically in our churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples.

  • skinfreak

    There are a lot of comments here about McDonnell. She’s like Sarah Palin after McCain asked her to run on the ticket with him…she actually believed in herself. Someone needs to throw a glass of cold water in her face to WAKE HER UP!!!

  • bpai_99

    Conservatives are adept at using fear to undermine the Constitutional separation between Church and state. Their first major success came in 1952, when they piggybacked on the McCarthyism bandwagon and equated communism with atheism. This enabled them to get the words “under God” inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance. There were other ridiculous reactions during that era, such as the Cincinnati Reds changing their name to “Redlegs” to avoid associations with communism. That eventually was undone, but the legacy of McCarthyism lives on in the Pledge of Allegiance.

  • MidwaySailor76

    What really makes this a sad case is that O’Donnell seems to use virtually every forum to bring up the Constitution. Is it too much to ask that she know something about it?

  • MPatalinjug

    Yonkers, New YorkIs there any question over the long- and well-established fact that the United States is a SECULAR state, as ordained by the Constitution, and as that “Establishment Clause” has been interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court time and time again?The reason behind the “Firewall” created by the Founding Fathers effectively separating Religion [Church] from State is for America to avoid the serious evils which European governments experienced during the Middle Ages when Church and State were One.Mariano Patalinjug

  • MidwaySailor76

    It’s almost gotten to the point that making fun of O’Donnell is like ridiculing someone with Down Syndrome. Except that people with Downs tend to be much more self-aware.

  • kishorgala

    So what about Separation of Pagoda and State or Temple and State or Mosque and State or Synagouge and State?

  • LitSup999

    I always find it ironic that so many people want us to go back to the founding fathers or the constitution, or back to way things were at the “beginning”. (One person indicated that Jefferson did not count, please)The founding fathers a) did not agree amongst themselves on all points and b)actually had different view points on issues that have been changed, read views on slavery and voting rights. But with compromise they came up with a system of government/laws that are flexible and created to cover the best protection of this republic. Please try to remember this while pushing your your pet projects, personal wishes or even popular opionion.Take a cold, hard look at what you are asking for. The protections that keep government from making legislation about religion are there to protect both the religious and the atheists.If you can legislate that what happens in a public school then they can also legislate taxation of religious property, who can be elected to a religous post, who a religion can/cannot marry, to name a few.A very wise Christian conservative (no, sorry cannot remember his name) in my church (First Alliance) was all for separation of church and state for these and other reasons.He urged his readers to consider why the protection was there and not think of the immediate emotional opinion of the moment. I urge you to consider the same.The founding fathers put the protection in to place because in their time governments did make laws about religion, even to laws that could exile you to another country to order your death.

  • demtse

    If Christine O’Donnell were blond, her comments about the 1st Amendment would be understandable…

  • jdubyaa

    I take offense to the suggestion by many of the comments here that ALL Christians just want a christian religious dictatorship.1) I am a Christian who FIRMLY believes in the separation of church as state. Why? because I look at the Islamic regimes in the world and see how they treat Christian minorities! (i.e. imprisonment and execution) I NEVER want to see that done in this country to other religions!2)#1 Automatically disproves the inclusive statements above suggesting that ALL CHRISTIANS which to subjigate all US Citizens under Christianity.3)The point where the separation of church and state is right now is sufficent. THINK about it… How much further can you take it? Remove all religious symbols from public view on private land? Disqualify ANYONE who has ANY ties to ANY religious organization? Wow, that sounds EXACTLY like one of the worse regimes in world history! USSR anyone?All this hatred is so unbecoming of people who want to separate themselves from religious ideology because of that religion committing the same acts that they themselves are committing. It’s wrong for everyone else to act that way, but when YOU people do it, by God, that’s completely unacceptable.All end with one final thought… It was a CHRISTIAN IDEOLOGY that led to the establishment of this free country. Disagree with religious premises all you want, but in the end ONE thing remains. This IDEA, this United States, this freedom from oppression was made possible by a group of Christians.Remeber it’s religion that shapes morality, not man.

  • kishorgala

    I’d like the medical schools to be teaching the VooDoo medicine and the business schools to be teaching the theory of VooDoo Economics. Then there is always the One-plus-one-equals-three math theory.

  • Ruby4

    Breathtaking stuff to read and hear.The multi-decade long Manhattan project sponsored by the GOP has finally paid dividends – de-educate and make pliable American brains.It is as if a missile packed with a “stupidity” payload dropped on us and delivered us the tea party as the aftermath. Congrats, Karl and co.Moral of the story? Stupid people deserve stupid government… but this movement will unfortunately have fallout on all of us.

  • wts1574

    Airhead O`Donnell has done it again!My god O`Donnell- what are you doing running for a senate seat???? You are a true Moron!

  • kishorgala

    …This IDEA, this United States, this freedom from oppression was made possible by a group of Christians.And how was owning another human shpaed by religion?

  • BurtReynolds

    So we are seeing a sneak preview of the Palin 2012 campaign?

  • jdubyaa

    @Ruby4I guess that belief in “de-education” brought you to the conclusion that the hard earned rewards of labor belong not to the individual who worked for them but to the group as a whole… Right?Elimination of Hunger, poverty etc does not lie in the redistribution of wealth. Afterall give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a life time. That simple little quote says it all. Education is the cornerstone to building a poverty and hunger free society. Not taking from the ones who earned their money and giving it to the ones who dont do anything for their money.Seriously, why is it so many people want something for nothing in this society?! It’s disgusting!Maybe public colleges and universities should be made FREE to attend just like elementary and secondary schools?! I guaruntee that would have a substantial effect on poverty and hunger nationwide!

  • kishorgala

    Airhead O`Donnell has done it again!My god O`Donnell- what are you doing running for a senate seat???? You are a true Moron!

  • madstork123

    Why not give these idiot conservatives what they want?President Obama should issue an Executive order nationalizing all churches, mosques,synagogs, etc. He can then order all religious leaders to constantly issue statements supporting him and his ideas.You think this is stupid or insane, you are right. But, it these idiots get control of the government you’ll see a theocracy like you can’t imagine.

  • jdubyaa

    @kishorgalaThe point of what you had to say was… That you dont like your freedom of speech, free exercise of religion?If you knew your history, you’d know it was Christians who pushed for an end to slavery in the United States. You’d know that the Civil Rights movement was pushed by Christians. If you actually did your reseach into Christianity, you’d know that it does not condone the ownership of another human being. Abhorant human acts are not the result of religion acting upon the actions of man. It is man acting alone in their own capacity to commit evil acts.So, I’ll say it again. What was the point of your comment?

  • kishorgala

    I would rather be represented by a politician who has a philosophy grounded in absolute morals, able to apply that ethos to individual circumstances as they arise ……Facts can be learned; honor can not.

  • kishorgala

    JDUBYAA,The point of the comments is that they happenned to be of the Christian religion, just like they happened to be many other things. The Bible and Christianity had very little to do with what they achieved.As far as basic tenets of Christianity, they are no different or nobler than any other religion.

  • kreuz_missile

    “If you knew your history, you’d know it was Christians who pushed for an end to slavery in the United States.”And who pushed for its preserverence. There’s a reason we have a Southern Baptist Church and a United Methodist Church today (once the Southern Methodists rejoined, they were “United”…).

  • Secular

    Then Secular, explain this to us.The 1st Amendment clearly states that Congress can not do those things enumerated. Where does it state that a local high school is forbidden to hold prayer at the beginning of the school day? Or that a city can not display a creche or Christmas tree in the lobby of the municipal building? Or that state can not fund an organization such as the YMCA or Salvation Army?That mis-application was not instituted until recent court decisions based on a very twisted interpretation of the 14th Amendment.Posted by: crisp11 You asked so here is the explanation for the issues you raised. As the local high school is funded by the state so it follows from the 1st amendment that prayer of any kind is instituting “religion” not a religion but “religion” itself. Just because the prayer was allowed until recently, does not mean it was ever constitutional, since the passage of the first amendment. The same proscription is not there for private schools. Heck the dumb southern baptist run Baylor University requires classes in bible in college – I wouldn’t want any child of mine to be schooled on that vile book. No state agency of Texas is crying wolf nor any of my ilk complaining in the courts to seek redress. That is because there is no redress to be sought.The rest of them also follow from the same principle. In case of the creche or a X’mas tree in any state owned or state use building would run a foul. Of course YMCA, & Salvation Army are religious institutions so state cannot fund those institutions.

  • mibrooks27

    The headline for this partisan piece of trash is so misleading that you ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Likewise, O’Donnell’s views about religion and “separation of church and state” are right in line with what the Founding Fathers intended. Left wing fanatics, and quite recently, too, changed this from “the goverenment shall not sponsor any particular church as official” to “the government shall rid itself of any religious expression”. In my youth, in fact throught the enire history of this country, my public school in Tacoma, Washington had a weekly assembly that ended with all of us saying the Lord’s Prayer. You are welcome to check any history, just about anywhere in the country, and you will that this was the case right up until around 1960. Then, radical leftists got installed on the Supreme Court and they outlawed this. It was, and still is, outrageous that a small group of fanatics can so alter tradition, can so distort historical fact, can ignore the intentions of the Founding Fathers. We are reaping the rwards of that — Wall Street executives and political leaders with no faith, no sense of genuine morality or right and wrong, the lack of community, broken families, job outsourcing, free trade, multinational corporations and their executives corrupting the country and gasbags like the Democratic leadership ruling over it all. God help us, but O’Donnell is right and you Post reporters are immoral vermin, cockroaches infesting society that need to be gotten rid of.

  • Secular

    If you knew your history, you’d know it was Christians who pushed for an end to slavery in the United States. You’d know that the Civil Rights movement was pushed by Christians. If you actually did your reseach into Christianity, you’d know that it does not condone the ownership of another human being.Posted by: jdubyaa | October 19, 2010 5:44 PM Yes indeed slavery was abolished in these United States by Christians. But then it is also true that the Christian tried to thwart the same. But that is neither here nor there. But the fact of the matter is it is your so called savior who endorsed slavery by advising the slaves to server their master well and being silent about slavery otherwise altogether. If it was abhorrent some 18.5 centuries later, it should have been abhorrent during your savior’s time. It only shows that your Savior mythical or otherwise was only as enlightened as the general population of his times, just may be a bit more. he never thought it was bad thing, or at least not to the same extent as he was agitated about the other ills of the day. Actually I am really not aware of what exactly it is he was trying to reform. Only thing I can gather was he was a reformer of what I am personally in the dark.

  • rickedelson

    A fact is something that can be proven. And yet, evolution cannot answer how life STARTED. Therefore, evolution remains a philosophy, not a provable fact.It was hilarious to watch world-renowned atheist and evolution apologist Richard Dawkins sweat and trip over Ben Stein’s simple question to explain how life started. When evolutionists have to resort to space alien theories, it proves their ‘facts’ are no more provable and legitimate than those of creationists.Posted by: dbw1 | October 19, 2010 1:38 PMSo by your argument, is Galileo’s Law of Conservation of Momentum a fact? Newton’s Law of Gravity a fact? Is Einstein’s Theory of Relativity a fact? I guess not, since no one can say where the matter they are referring to came from. Does that somehow invalidate their understanding of the physical universe, an understanding that allowed us to send men to the moon?No, of course it does not. Science cannot, and never did, claim to answer all possible questions. Only religion, and Satinism (which I suppose is a form or religion), make that claim. Today, Ms. O’Donnell is just as certain that God created these things as she was when she worshiped Satan a dozen or so years ago. Doesn’t this complete about-face concern her backers (so vocal on this page) as much as it does me?

  • Secular

    In my youth, in fact throught the enire history of this country, my public school in Tacoma, Washington had a weekly assembly that ended with all of us saying the Lord’s Prayer. You are welcome to check any history, just about anywhere in the country, and you will that this was the case right up until around 1960Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 19, 2010 6:09 PM

  • mason08

    Likewise, O’Donnell’s views about religion and “separation of church and state” are right in line with what the Founding Fathers intended.This is wrong. Read about the English Civil war, the Scottish Civil War, the siege of Drogheda, the Thirty Years war, and the numerous other Protestant-Catholic wars in France and the Holy Roman Empire in the 16th and 17th century. Then, read Jefferson and Madison. That was recent history to them, and was the driving force in their desire to restrict the influence of religion on civil life. They had seen what happened when the state adopts a religious aspect, and they wanted none of it.

  • JordanSekulow

    First, O’Donnell was right to ask Coons where the “separation of church and state” appears in the First Amendment. Many Americans believe church-state separation is written in the Constitution (b/c lack of education on Constitution and the frequent use of the term when referring to the 1st Amendment). Thomas Jefferson’s famous “wall” was adopted by the Supreme Court in 1879 (Reynolds v. US re: polygamy as criminal act). Since then, the phrase is invoked when the Supreme Court wants to declare something unconstitutional under the First Amendment (using the Lemon Test) and ignored when it wants to hold that an act is constitutional.Second, as an attorney, Coons should be ashamed of himself. There’s just no excuse for an attorney/politician who can’t briefly explain the First Amendment (in full – not merely the Religion Clause – freedom of speech, press, assembly, and right to petition are simple concepts most lawyers know well – especially those who are involved in public service). When a lawyer challenges a non-lawyer on constitutional law and then can’t answer a simple question on the Amendment they are citing, it damages the reputation of the legal community. Third, O’Donnell explained, after the debate, that she was pointing out that the phrase “separation of church and state” isn’t in the Constitution. She wasn’t explicitly questioning Supreme Court precedentFinally, I will expressly question Supreme Court precedent. Regardless of what side of the church-state debate you’re on, you can agree that when it comes to religion, the Supreme Court is unpredictable. The inconsistency of the Court “on faith” is evidence of how the “church-state” doctrine is unsettled (think about how many church-state cases still make their way to the Supreme Court).There is a prohibition of the “establishment” of religion, i.e. an official religion of the country – not a complete separation of government and religion. This is why “Under God”, “In God We Trust”, Thanksgiving, religious displays and the National Day of Prayer survive legal challenges when they make their way up to the Supreme Court.LESSON: When debating the Constitution, especially as an attorney, know the basic rights it encompasses.

  • valcol1

    Some people think that separation of church and state is “settled law” just because they say it is. The concept or principle however, is not settled. It is not what the first amendment says. The first amendment protects the practitioners of religion from the national government. It is not allowed to make any laws at all regarding religious institutions. — And then came along the “Supreme” Court which ruled otherwise. Original intent be …. Oops there goes another constitutional rubber tree plant.

  • mibrooks27

    Secular – How typical of you leftist cockroaches to associate religion with slavery. First, if you weren’t so ignorant, you might now that religious people opposed slavery and it was they who ended it in Europe and in this country. Dig a little deeper and you will find that the mass attrocities of the last century, everything from Stalin’s purges to Hitler to Mao, were all “securlaists”. Today, studies whow that the Wall Street executives who have destroyed our economy, supported outsourcing, perpetuated all manner of fraud, all all secularists. The soon we find a way of getting you vermin out of this country and out of our lives, the soon we can get back to rebuilding it. And, before the present revolt is over, you WILL be jettisoned like the garbage you are. You and people like you have done quite enough damage.

  • kimkimminni1

    I think the separation of church and state should be added to the constitution. And the American government should have oversight of religions involved in corporate monopolies.

  • jaynashvil

    This country will not function if religion and government intermingle. We have fought many countries where the two are one and, time and again, we’ve seen the horrors that those in power dish out in the name of their religion. It’s an awful idea; it always–ALWAYS–goes bad.

  • tkoho

    A classic teabagger, all bluster about Constitutional rights with absolutely no understanding about what she is saying.

  • alarico

    She’s a complete dunce!!!

  • kreuz_missile

    “Secular – How typical of you leftist cockroaches to associate religion with slavery. First, if you weren’t so ignorant, you might now that religious people opposed slavery and it was they who ended it in Europe and in this country.”I know reading isn’t a strong suit of yours, otherwise you would have noticed the point that both Secular and myself made that religion was on BOTH sides of the slavery argument, so it is disingenuous just to talk up the role of religion in abolition; The Southern Baptists and Southern Methodists both broke from the main bodies believing slavery to be a divine right justified by the Christian religion.Hitler, Neo-Pagan, not a Secularist (and also prone to use Christian-sounding writing in his works to sell his politics)

  • MNUSA

    What is disturbing is that the citizens of Delaware have one choice in this election in Coons. Anyone who cares simply cannot vote for a nutty, inexperienced, perennial candidate who is a few cards short of a deck. These tea bag people, who run around yelling about the “Constitution” and “freedom,” are so ignorant about both. Also, my son’s private Christian school taught evolution in science and creationism in religious studies. Intelligent people are capable of understanding the difference.

  • momof20yo

    Hasn’t she embarassed herself enough yet?

  • apspa1

    A poster child is a person who becomes a symbol of a cause.

  • katijean

    I keep reading these comments about a test of intelligence to be senator and “run for congress” . I guess you’re right! If we’d had one a couple of years ago, America wouldn’t be in the position it’s in because Obama would never have passed an intelligence test without a teleprompter present. Then the future of America wouldn’t be in question and socialism, marxism and progressivism wouldn’t be rapidly overtaking a free and democratic society. If this country could elect Obama, they certainly wouldn’t be doing any worse to get Christine Odonnel in the congress. She would probably be a refreshing “change” instead of the “change” that Obama is bringing and America doesn’t want.

  • tmonahan54

    I found it very amusing that the media kept playing the “gasps” of some ignoramuses in the debate audience. These ignoramuses obviously thought that the First Amendment addressed “separation of church and state” which it did not. The First Amendment concerned the establishment of a state religion as was done with the Church of England, a very different concept than the “separation of church and state”. In an attempt to make O’Donnell look bad they themselves look like fools. Separation of church and state is a phrase that liberals latched on to in an attempt to further their dream of having a completely 100% secular progressive, death to all religions, nation.

  • apspa1

    mibrooks27 would have us believe that public schools have outlawed any and all praying on school property. Not true.Nothing in any law prevents any student of group of students from praying in a public school.

  • kreuz_missile

    Those “ignoramuses” are Law students.I think AG Conway said it best at the debate the other day: As Attorney General of Kentucky, I don’t need lessons on the Constitution from a self-certified ophthalmologist.

  • cprferry

    I think O’Donnell was asking for Coons’ interpretation of widely debated concept. Yes, we know, she knows, Coons knows the phrase isn’t in the Constitution. Her question seems to be for Coons to point out and clarify where the concept lies and his interpretation of what it means.Technically the 1st Amendment supports O’Donnell’s claim of disallowing federal oversight over local school boards to teach creationist science. It is a 14th Amendment issue whether the municipality’s religious minorities are properly protected.This is the muddy picture of the concept of the separation of church and state. Its interpretation has changed and expanded. Coons sought to camp his expanded reading of the separation within the First Amendment to establish credibility. However, the First Amendment is a narrow separation and one limited to the federal government. Coons would have to point to other amendments and subsequent case law to prove his point.As a follow up O’Donnell challenged Coons to name the 5 freedoms of the First Amendment. He couldn’t.Coons is the real idiot. He, knowing O’Donnell is a social conservative, interrupts the moderator to attack O’Donnell. He then points to the wrong amendment and falls back on a widely-debated concept. He refuses to clarify his own interpretation. You think if you stopped the moderator to ask your opponent a question he’d be prepared to adequately address the issue. But he wasn’t. Then when O’Donnell brings the issue back up by asking him directly what the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment he is unable to answer. The blustering fool cries that they shouldn’t be allowed to ask questions directly to each other.

  • pgibson1

    this is just an example of dumb. Ambitious, but I’ve got hammers in a wet sack that are probably…not so much, and their ambitions for the time being is to be what they are – hammers.it seems best to keep things that way.Would she shake-up the status quo?Would bozo the clown shake up the Quakers?yes on both counts.I’d pass on this tool.

  • Secular

    There is a prohibition of the “establishment” of religion, i.e. an official religion of the country – not a complete separation of government and religion. This is why “Under God”, “In God We Trust”, Thanksgiving, religious displays and the National Day of Prayer survive legal challenges when they make their way up to the Supreme Court.Posted by: JordanSekulow |Mr. Seklow, it is indeed a complete separation of church and state is called for owing to the phrase “establishment of religion”. If as you claim it was only against “an official religion of the country” then the above phrase would have been worded as “establishment of a religion”. The framers of the 1st amendment meant not to endorse any religion by dropping the article “a” from the phrase.Coming to “under god”, “in god we trust”, and the rest, while we tolerate them rather be too litigious, I cannot wait to drop them altogether. What is you guys’ obsession with the religion, why don’t you practice it behind the four walls of your homes and them churches.

  • rickedelson

    It’s been interesting to read all of these nasty comments about “liberal cockroaches” and the like, but I think we can all agree on one thing: after this latest gaffe, Ms. O’Donnell’s 15 minutes of fame is over. Really, now that you’ve realized that, isn’t all the name-calling rather beside the point? Now just calm down and take your medications, and maybe tomorrow you’ll overcome your anger at the fact that a black man is your President.

  • CherieOK

    Mariano Patalinjug, you are so right with your comment posted at 5:03 pm October 19! Many of the colonies were founded by Christian groups that were in danger in European countries with an official State Church. (Examples: Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock; Roman Catholics in Maryland, at a time when Catholicism was illegal in England; Quakers in Pennsylvania) The Founders of the United States, especially those who held out for the first ten amendments before they supported the Constitution, saw the importance of protecting everyone and all religious practices from an urge to choose an “official” religion and persecute others.

  • jy151310

    Do you think Senator O’Donnell will return the Post’s calls?

  • free-donny

    O’Donnell = Crackpot

  • spidermean2

    Here’s a fact. Don’t you liberal morons know that Charles Darwin was a theologian and not a biologist? B.A in Theology. Now that’s your “scientist”. It only means that Darwinian Evolution is not a branch of science but a branch of Theology.It would be very laughable if you see an individual trained in Theology becoming a project engineer telling other engineers how to build structures. It would only happen in a cartoonish world.Hello liberal morons. Why don’t you guys gather all the evolutionist biologists you know and present them this fact below. Please stop being morons because you are destroying this world with your stupidity.Science follow a set of rules. Physics, Chemistry, Math, etc have their set of rules. Darwinian Evolution has no rules because it is not science but a science of fools.How did the eye, ear, brain, nose, lungs evolve? These idiots have no answer. Of course, because they have no set of rules. It’s all random stupidity to them. They just say what they want like stupid babblers.

  • spidermean2

    God created the universe sounds more scientific than chemicals created themselves to form brains. Hello liberal morons. Do you guys eat breakfast or you just smoke pot to fill your brains with psycho chemicals.

  • kmwray

    I cannot wait until the first teabagger elected this Fall watches professional staffers (educated professionals with a fundamental understanding of public policy, the isuses and the political process) jump ship on these yahoos. I’m just thankful none of these morons ran as Democrats…..some poor bastard in the GOP whip’s office is going to pull his/her hair out keeping them in line or trying to ensure 218 votes for bills and amendments. Passing rules should be quite a show as well. Prediction: the 2012 GOP primaries are going to be better than a vacation with in-laws

  • spidermean2

    I want a school which teaches that there is a God than a school which teaches the students that they have chimp grandpas and that cows need to kill or be killed as a rule of survival.Hello liberal morons. Is pot part of your breakfast so your brains will be filled with psycho chemicals?

  • spidermean2

    Hello liberal morons. What has evolution taught you to be of help to society? Eat or be eaten?Unlike real science like physics, chemistry, calculus, etc which have a set of rules and make productive contributions to society, Darwinian evolution only produced racial prejudice, Hitlers who believe in superior race and communists who believe that dusts formed themselves into brains.Morons.

  • spidermean2

    Here’s a fact. Don’t you liberal morons know that Charles Darwin was a theologian and not a biologist? B.A in Theology. Now that’s your “scientist”. It only means that Darwinian Evolution is not a branch of science but a branch of Theology.It would be very laughable if you see an individual trained in Theology becoming a project engineer telling other engineers how to build structures. It would only happen in a cartoonish world.Hello liberal morons. How does your brain work when it’s filled with pot smoke? Does gravity becomes a myth once you puff those weeds and so you think you can fly?

  • Secular

    spidermean2 what is the matter? Ran out of new diatribes that you are sopying and pasting the same nonsense time and time again.

  • droops63

    I will vote for any Republican who has the guts to stand up and call out these fruitcakes like O’Donnell, Angle, Palin, Miller, etc. These nuts will ruin this country faster than any Democrat.

  • rickedelson

    So Mr. Spidermean2, did you know that Sarah Palin has a BA in journalism? By your twisted logic, doesn’t this mean she’s a journalist? But all of her comments show that she hates journalists, especially that one named Katie. Does this mean she hates herself? Again, don’t you think folks might take you more seriously if you used reason instead of nasty names and abusive language?

  • spidermean2

    “These nuts will ruin this country faster than any Democrat.”That’s not what the prophecy says. Liberal democrat states are doomed according to the Bible which also taught creationism.Unbelievers for short and it is logical because liberal democrat states are the most vulnerable by virtue of their coastal location and their proximity to countries with nuke capabilities.

  • MidwaySailor76

    I used to think Palin was the biggest fool on the planet. I stand corrected.

  • rickedelson

    I really hate to get into a back and forth, but…So you say that Darwin “has no real background in science,” in spite of the fact that he is generally accepted to be one of the great scientific minds since Newton.You talk as if you are an authority, Mr. Spidermean2. What is your background in science?

  • spidermean2

    Iam an engineer. Engineers are trained in REAL science. They don’t make scientific conclusions unless it can be proven mathematically and demonstrated in the lab.Biology is not pure science but a combination of science and lots of speculations. The reason for this is because nobody understands how DNAs work. We can only speculate how it works.Here’s a fact. Darwin never even heard that there is such thing as DNA. Why am I not surprised?Most evolutionists are biologists because they are not REAL scientists BUT half scientist-half speculators.I love science but not the kind of science morons love.

  • rickedelson

    OK, I am a physicist, and you are the first engineer to refer to what you do as “REAL science,” as opposed to the presumably fake science done by people like Charles Darwin. I don’t mean to demean engineers in any way; I value their expertise whenever I cross a bridge or ride in an elevator. But what Darwin and other biologists (and chemists and physicists) do is generally considered pure science, or research, while what engineers do is applied science. They apply the scientific method and engage in reasoned debate with their colleagues (and occasionally the public at large). They design experiments to test hypotheses and then update their theories on the basis of observational evidence. There is not much question that Darwin’s accomplishments demonstrated not just that he was a true scientist, but indeed a genius.Another characteristic of scientists is civility. It is nearly impossible to conduct a reasoned scientific debate in the midst of a food fight. I have never heard one of my colleagues call another a “moron” or anything remotely so offensive. I have to admit that I am surprised to see an engineer write such a thing, but I guess that means that you learn something new every day.Would you be willing to tone down your offensive language and treat others with respect? Then perhaps others might take what you say more seriously. Of course, another perfectly valid reason for you to engage in such behavior is that you yourself realize the weakness of your arguments and instead are trying to distract attention away from them.

  • pjkiger1

    James Madison, who actually authored the First Amendment, said in an 1819 letter that the no establishment provision meant “total separation of the church from the state.” If you reject that, you also must reject the original intent principle, which is an article of faith to most conservatives.

  • muawiyah

    Wow, the number of Leftwingers here who’ve never actually read the First Amendment is staggering, but not at all unexpected.As any clerk at the USSC could tell you, the interpretation of the First is not exactly “settled law” else we wouldn’t have had the Democrats trying the other day to skirt around the First by passing more fascist inspired legislation regarding political campaign donations.I know that doesn’t have anything to do with the Pope becoming Speaker of the House (a well known and ancient Liberal fear eh) but it does have a lot to do with the First.BTW, PJKIGER, James Madison said something more like ““The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.”It’s exceedingly easy to take that as an argument against admitting into the American system intrusions of false morality based on aggrandizement of state authority ~ in such things as national health care systems, social security, etc.So I don’t think you want to go citing Madison’s quite prejudicial statements for any reason at all. People avoid him.

  • gconrads

    I CAN HAS FIRST AMENDMENTZ?

  • walker1

    Now the Crazies in GOP are attacking the constitution.The GOP nearly destroyed the US economy last time they were in power.Is the Real Republican agenda to destroy the USA?

  • erthdog

    One more gross display of her abject idiocy and disregard for our constitution

  • kenk3

    Its obvious that people’s idiotic, moronic religions have way too much influence in our government.

  • daweeni

    I hear that O’Donnell is going crazy over the existence of the United States Air Force, since that is not mentioned in the Constitution, and that she wants Delaware to use its space program to go to the Moon to remove the US flag, which was placed there with illegally spent Federal money.

  • allknowingguy

    We have not gone far enough. Keep religion out of government – totally.

  • carolo43

    What is scary is this women has campaigned now 3 times in 5 years and still doesn’t know anything. Obama’s entire time since he was first running for president had people questioning his religion but with O’Donnell they feel it is a non-issue?

  • rappahanock

    This nut is a closet Taliban.

  • Chagasman

    Keep religion out of government. Keep O’Donnell out of government. Creationism is not a theory, it is Christian faith turned into ideology. The “Christians” are determined to turn this country into a right-wing Christian dictatorship. O’Donnell is a celebrity seeking gold-digging ditzhead.

  • sarahabc

    If there is only one person who votes for her, that one person is not doing their job as an American here, which is to choose a serious, responsible, and well-informed candidate. It used to be the press barely even covered joke candidates like O’Donnell.

  • rappahanock

    Give Caesar’s what is Caesar’s and God’s what is God’s. This is Jesus separating government from religion.

  • rappahanock

    Give Caesar’s what is Caesar’s and God’s what is God’s. This is Jesus separating government from religion.

  • dcp26851

    If there is no separation of church and state in our country, that would mean that Congress (against the original text of the 1st Amendment) can write law establishing biblical law.That would make us no different than Middle Eastern countries who rule by sharia law.

  • vinhr1

    They require immigrants to take a test to be naturalized citizens… maybe they should do the same for numb-nutz like O’Donnell. She probably don’t even know who the members of the Supreme Court or the three branches of the Gov. Very Sad.

  • lddoyle2002

    I love it. Every time O’Donnell opens up her mouth, she sticks her foot into it. Is she, by any way, related to George W. Bush?

  • mickle1

    As I watch the likes of O’Donnell in Delaware and Angle in Nevada, I come very close to thinking we should have educational test for candidates. I don’t think O’Donnell or Angle are qualified to vote, much less hold office.

  • B2O2

    “This nut is a closet Taliban.”She’s hardly in the closet. She, Palin, Virginia Gov. McDonnell and the others are right out in the open with their millenia-old superstitious theocratic platform (although they do try to tone it down when they are amongst relatively educated voters). It’s as important to keep them out of our government as it is to support our troops who are fighting their Pashtun-speaking faction in Afghanistan.People, a polite reminder and encouragement: It is now the 21st century. You are free to replace your Bronze Age myths and superstitions with reason-based cognitions. It really is not as scary a process as the Taliban want to make you think. There is no anger-management-challenged Father Figure in the Sky who will beat you with a stick for using your brain. Go for it! You can DO it. I KNOW you can.

  • TheChampishere

    Keep religion out of government. Keep O’Donnell out of government. Creationism is not a theory, it is Christian faith turned into ideology. The “Christians” are determined to turn this country into a right-wing Christian dictatorship. O’Donnell is a celebrity seeking gold-digging ditzhead. *******************************************Well said!

  • bigbrother1

    It doesn’t surprise me that O’Donnell said this. She is the current darling of the teabaggers. They have made clear that they hate the Constitution and want to do away with it as the supreme law of the United States.Thankfully, O’Donnell has zero chance of winning in November. The only question is whether she will become a professional celebrity like Palin or fade away into deserved obscurity.

  • echoquill

    Keep religion out of government completely. Religion is simply a separate matter–I go to church, not a government building, where my religious needs are met. My neighbors go where they go. Government is for ALL the people, not religion A, B or C.

  • mtbunker

    Let me get this right: Pro Witchcraft, Anti Masturbation. Pro Change, Anti First Amendment. On top of that, she believes that there are real life Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIHM rodents with fully functional human brains. Ike must be turning over in his grave.

  • Citi__Street

    Why even bother to have any more debates? It’s absolutely useless!The lady is a complete nitwit. It’s both an insult and a testament to our democracy to have candidates like O’Donnell, Angle, Palin, Brewer, McMann and other Tea Party candidates running for anything other than dog catcher at the local pound. Pity the poor dogs if they do get elected…

  • dastubbs

    Christine O’Donnell has neither the education nor the common sense to be a U.S. Senator. Not understanding the constitution is one thing, but to sit there and repeatedly ask, “You’re telling me that’s in the Constitution?” while the audience laughs at her simply proves her ignorance.I laugh hysterically at the thought of what her senate floor debates might have sounded like.

  • motogp46

    She also apparently does not know what the 14th and 16th Amendments are.

  • dldbug

    Has anyone looked at the current Intrade.com futures prices for the Delaware Senate race? It doesn’t matter what Ms. O’Donnell says at this point. She is so going to crash and burn on November 2nd that we should all be wearing sun glasses for protection.

  • JAH3

    Opinions are scary things.

  • motogp46

    I think it is truly sad that she thinks they are laughing with her. They are laughing at her.

  • mickle1

    After some consideration, what I would like to see is a constitutional amendment that protects all who believe in deities from discrimination in the work place and any discrimination by government relating to their personal lives, but they would not be allowed to vote or hold public office.They have proven they can’t be trusted.

  • chucko2

    Christine is clearly qualified to be Sarah’s running mate. Glenn Beck will no doubt come to Christine’s defense and explain how she was clearly inspired by God communicating with her.

  • oldabandonedbeachhouse

    Don’t worry. When Christine loses, she’ll be welcomed with open arms on this blog to post pieces on religion.

  • ozpunk

    That was WAY better than any old clip Bill Maher could dig up. Hilarious!

  • kishorgala

    Nut! A T-Nut!Good Entertainer, though! Keep Chastine on the Tube or in the Media one way or the other.

  • dldbug

    “This tension -between the freedom of citizens to express their faith and the duty of government to stay out of the religion business -has haunted America throughout her history”I disagree with the above paragraph. It has only been in the past 30 years that the Republican Right has been successful in pandering to their religious wing and c making a stink about this. The Founding Fathers were Deists who believed in God but refused to enshrine faith and religion into Government because they had more then an inkling about how devisive religion could be to public discourse. Just try to find any mention of “God” or “Creator” in the U.S. Constitution.

  • haruko8

    Well, on that point I do not fully disagree with her. It is true that the constitution should not endorse a specific religion or church but lay the foundation for godly principles to be followed by those who govern us and be upheld by society as a whole. I believe the world would be a better place if we had done so. We have left God out –not religion or a church- and our society is paying the price today.

  • crisp11

    Actually, the 1st Amendment spoke to the interactions between the people and the FEDERAL government. At the time of its ratification, most of the states had not only official religions, but religious tests to hold public office. Not one of the signers seemed to have a single problem with state entanglement. Indeed, many of our founders felt that religion and morality were integral and necessary for the establishment and continuation of the republic. Without that base, we had no hope of survival.It wasn’t until the 14h Amendment was ratified that the 1st applied with equal force to the states. Even so, religion was an integral part of the daily and legislative lives of the citizens. Even the founders invoked their religious beliefs on a regular basis as found in the thousands of written references to God among their works.It wasn’t until most recently that the courts latched onto the Jeffersonian phrase “separation between church and state” found only in a single letter which detailed a specific circumstance. From that recent point onward, and with the gleeful urging of atheists who can only be described as obsessed, have the courts attempted to disallow any notion of religion in public policy — up to and including the personally-held beliefs of those who enact legislation.We are a religious — mostly Christian — nation founded by religious — mostly Christian — people. You can twist short snippets of text completely out of context all you want, but that does not alter reality one iota.

  • dldbug

    Is that a photo of the Three Tenors up top near the caption “Under God”?

  • shadowmagician

    Keeping in mind, Christine O’Donnell has TWO Constitution(s) – one for witches and one for the rest of us, I can understand her confusion…

  • treetopflyer

    To all the Tea Partiers who voted in the Republican primary for this Satan-worshipping, mindless ditz, from all of us Democrats:Thank you.

  • trenda

    She’ll be nothing more than a high class call girl when this election is over.Make that . . .just a call girl.

  • linguine33

    Is the rumor true that the Republican ticket in 2012 will be Dan Quayle for president with either Sarah Palin or Christine O’Donnell as his running mate?

  • bigbrother1

    It is true that the constitution should not endorse a specific religion or church but lay the foundation for godly principles to be followed by those who govern us and be upheld by society as a whole.Posted by: haruko8 | October 19, 2010 12:48 PM This is only true if by “true” you mean “false.”You are entitled to your own opinions. You are not entitled to your own facts. Please learn how to distinguish the two.

  • [email protected]

    Psfdx: you are confusing “hypothesis” with “theory.” A theory is a comrehensive explanation, which evolution is. Indeed, not only is it falsifiable, but it is observable in all species, including humans, particularly in that we share 95% of our genome, which has been mapped, with chimpanzees, suggesting a common ancestor–science doesn’t get any better than that. Creationism, however, cannot be falsified, so it is not science and can be taught in a comparative religion class but not in a science class–any more than we would teach poetry in a science class.

  • kreuz_missile

    PSDFX doesn’t understand 90% of the words he’s using there, keep it simple for him (not that he’ll even bother reading your post anyways…).

  • psdfx

    Good points SamKaplan. I should have been more clear… I know that evolution has been observable within a species, and absolutely within the human species. But I do not agree that there is any convincing proof that one species has ever evolved into another. I should, instead of “evolution,” use a better term to refer to the presuppostional bias against the supernatural that has caused people to use evolution as part of the naturalistic argument as to the origins of the universe. Point well taken.I actually don’t even care to debate whether or not the Darwinian theory of evolution is a reasonable explanation for how humans came to be humans.I’m more interested in ideas concerning the origin of the universe and even the origins of a planet that could allow life to evolve. It is THAT idea (that something could come from nothing, and that an intelligent mind didn’t set it all in motion) that I find to be one that demands a tremendously high level of faith. Especially since math and philosophy both teach us that it is impossible that the universe is infinitely old. Even Hawking says that everyone credible now agrees that the universe had a beginning. So what caused that beginning and what existed before that beginning? Where in science do we see ANYthing spontaneously appearing? For that matter, where in science do we see anything at all happening without a cause?I will still argue, strenuously, that to BAN the teaching of an incredibly widely held theory (even if you call it a theory born from in religion) that the earth was created is a ban born of fear and a lack of openness. Is it science? Not in that it is provable. Is it an important option when teaching options for how the universe came to be? Absolutely.

  • psdfx

    No Kruez, I’ll respond to Sam because he made a good point. You, on the other hand, resorted to the type of ad hominem attack that second graders often resort to: You don’t address the points I made, but rather to cast insults. Thanks for that important contribution.

  • MarcusOne

    Firstly, if the concept of Creationism were taught properly then why not teach creationism. In other words, what is a day to God the Almighty ? As science explores the rocks of earth, deep space and Quatum Physics, it seems 24 hours to God is somewhere in the range of infinity.Having qualified that deal, I cannot accept literal translations of the Holy Bible by ultra conservatives and the like who want our children to believe that the entire known universe was created in less than 168 hours our time. Remember that the Big Man rested on the 7th day so subtract 24 hours from 168. I would encourage certain entities to return to Bible school themselves. In fact, it may be a good idea for me to study the Holy Books of the Peoples of the Book on a Global level today. The first challenge is that of language barrier in addition to finding good Teachers. If I were in fact a know it all myself, then how comes I still have so much curiosity ?

  • densbtly

    PSDFX:I’d like to know the proposed lesson plan for the class on intelligent design. Enough with the ideology, the politics, the proselytizing, what is it that needs to be said in this class to satisfy you?

  • cassandra9

    Separation of church and state is the phrase used by the Supreme Court in Everson v. Board of Education (1947) to explain the meaning of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. In Everson the Supreme Court looked to the intent of the drafters and the legislative history of the First Amendment. They found these in the Virginia Declaration of Rights (George Mason), the US Bill of Rights (James Madison) and the interactions among Mason, Madison and Thomas Jefferson in formulating and articulating the rights of man. And, as this article points out, the Court quoted Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists with the phrase “separation of Church and State” as definitively explaining the meaning of the Establishment Clause. Since then separation of church and state is the wording used for this particular religious protection of the First Amendment. That the Supreme Court gets to say what the Constitution says and apply it was established in Marbury v. Madison (1803).To contest the validity of these constitutional fundamentals is not clever or a return to some chimerical original intent. It rends the fabric of America and attacks the social contract that binds the people to their constitutional government and to each other under the rule of law.

  • spidermean2

    Creation vs EvolutionCreation : God created man.Evolution : Magical dusts formed into brains all by themselves.Creation : Plants and animals form a cycle of give and take. Each one benefiting from each other.Evolution : Survival of the fittest. Kill or be killed. Cows killing grass to survive?Creation : Monkeys will remain monkeysEvolution : 1 million years from now, the monkey you see now can become civilized talking monkeys.Morons.

  • teejackson_93

    If you’re going to run for political office, you should have at least a passing knowledge of American government and political science. There are quite a few things that aren’t explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, which is why we take them to the Supreme Court for interpretation. In addition, our country faces a number of complex issues today that the Founders never envisioned. Remember, when the Constitution was ratified, America consisted of 13 newly independent States. Not only that, but the union of those States was still fairly tenuous. Given the complexity of today’s global community, America’s place in it, and the country’s domestic concerns, wouldn’t it stand to reason that a strict reading of the Constitution would be absolutely silly?! Americans should be really tired of politicians who give me a 30-second soundbite. You don’t need to have a beer with your elected official. You don’t need them to be like your neighbor next door. You want them to understand the issues of the community/nation as a whole, not just the issues and ideas of a select group. And, you want AND NEED them to be the smartest, geekiest kid in the class. Anything else ends up looking like today’s political soup—a hot mess!

  • teejackson_93

    If you’re going to run for political office, you should have at least a passing knowledge of American government and political science. There are quite a few things that aren’t explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, which is why we take them to the Supreme Court for interpretation. In addition, our country faces a number of complex issues today that the Founders never envisioned. Remember, when the Constitution was ratified, America consisted of 13 newly independent States. Not only that, but the union of those States was still fairly tenuous. Given the complexity of today’s global community, America’s place in it, and the country’s domestic concerns, wouldn’t it stand to reason that a strict reading of the Constitution would be absolutely silly?! Americans should be really tired of politicians whose platforms consist of 30-second soundbites. You don’t need to have a beer with your elected official. You don’t need them to be like your neighbor next door. You want them to understand the issues of the community/nation as a whole, not just the issues and ideas of a select group. And, you want AND NEED them to be the smartest, geekiest kid in the class. Anything else ends up looking like today’s political soup—a hot mess!

  • ljoe1

    O’DONNELL: “So you’re telling me . . . that the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ is found in the First Amendment?”It appears that most of the posts here did not hear the question. The phrase ‘separation of church and state’ is not found in the First Amendment. Courts have decided that the concept of ‘separation of church and state’ is implied by the First Amendment. She was asking a specific question. Everyone here is trying to re interpret her meaning, a ploy I see often in political discourse on all sides.

  • bkarpus

    Christine O’Donnell has been put out there to gage some type of reaction from the voters …… her finance source, the Kouch brothers, want something ……. but I am not sure what it might be. I believe they do not expect her to win, but want to shake up the political process. These two are the money behind “The Tea Party Express,” the organization that hijacked the name of the “Tea Party” and turned it into a right wing Republican tool for them to use. Who are these Kouch brothers??? What do they want??I know they appear numbers 9 & 10 on the Forbes List as the most wealthy people in the USA.Seems that this no longer, a Democracy but a Cashrarocy.

  • potaboc

    The fact that many states when the country started had established religions, at least to me, indicates that the founders did not look for a separation of church and state; they just did not want the federal government to have an established religion. Whether separation of church and state is a good idea now, and how it should be defined, is another issue

  • rogied25

    Until Ms. O’Donnell hit the scene, I didn’t know it was possible to have a negative I.Q.

  • Scratch3386

    If the term were changed to “separation of mosque and state” would make it slightly more palatable to the right wing crowd?

  • FranknErnest

    O’Donnell is an imbecile masquerading as a candidate for public office — she might be a step up from Alvin Green the neanderthal in South Carolina who is unable to speak in public — the GOP put his name on the ballot as a joke to show how dumb the electorate really is in the U.S. They really made their point.O’Donnell is a shim, she just takes up space. She never had a real job in her life. That’s why she lost her home, and for no other reason. She really needs a job. She knows that if she keeps on going the GOP and morons across America will donate to her campaign.It’s obvious in her mind, she intends to keep this windfall of cash to support herself. I just hope the IRS, FBI, and local law enforcement monitor every penny of the campaign donations — and put her away like any other common criminal if she violates any law.I watched her first debate with Coons. She knows he’s the better candidate and knows she is very poorly prepared for the office of the Senate. To keep her fraud going is almost criminal.

  • twohandset

    Dear Christine O’Donnell,

  • eezmamata

    hey spiderpigThe belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree…You freakin’ moron.

  • kreuz_missile

    Wow, Spidermean2 arguing for the long discredited “irreducable complexity” argument against evolution, claiming Darwin was a religious theologan, and claiming, absurdly, that evolution has no predictive valus and hasn’t had any benefit for society (while, of course, trotting out the nonsense that evolution leads to nazism).Never mind that evloution has led to gene theory, antibiotics, treatment of genetic disorders, advancements in psychology, sociology, and increased our undersanding of other sciences to include geology. Nevermind that evolution is premised on the notion of genetic diversification, not artificial genetic uniformity. Nevermind that an intelligent designer would never design an eye with the blind spot in the middle and scientists have already shown time and again how the eye evolved….Logic and reason means nothing to people like Spidermean and Christine O’Donnell. Just move along…

  • spidermean2

    Separation of church and state was established to root out the stupidity of false religions (there are false and true religions) in governance. But it was never meant to keep true religion out so pure stupidity can take over. Darwinian evolution is a good example of pure stupidity being embraced by the state.Ask these idiots how their brains evolve and no one can present its evolution process. The nearest they can say is it evolved from chimps.MORONS.

  • psdfx

    And Mason08, if the FF were interested in protecting the government from religion, they sure did a good job of fooling everyone with their pronouncements and actions. For every Roger Williams story (and I am very familiar with the PPs), I could provide you with 20 anecdotes about a FF appealing to the importance of religion as the backbone of our entire government.

  • gladerunner

    Spidermean2:Okay, exactly how did god create man? Did he blow his breath into a handful of clay?(where did the clay come from?) How did an eyeball, a lung, a brain happen from that? And if you call me(us) a moron one more time I’m telling my mommy!

  • spidermean2

    Evolutionists are good talkers. They should walk the talk. Now I want to see the algorithm of how the eye evolved. Show it in tha lab how it is possible. Which came first, the lens (eyes) or the processor (brain) which makes sense of the vision? Next stop. The nose, tongue, ears, lungs, veins, etc.MORONS.

  • spidermean2

    Science means investigating how DNAS work because that is the blueprint of life. Just saying that it evolved are work of idiots who don’t want to think.The Bible said that the first animals were from the sea (fishes) and birds. What do these animals have in common? They started from eggs.The Bible gave you a clue so you idiotic evolutionists should look at how eggs evolved to be eggs.MORONS.

  • observer110

    Nowhere in the constitution is God or jesus found

  • observer110

    PSDFX wrote: “… could provide you with 20 anecdotes about a FF appealing to the importance of religion as the backbone of our entire government.”Two questions:2) If they found religion so important why did they include this in the Constitution: Article VI, paragraph 3:Why did they go out of their way to specify no religious test? Why do they not mention the Bible as part of the oath of affirmation?

  • spidermean2

    The funny thing is that if Hugo Chavez runs for senator in America, he would run as a democrat and would probably win in Delaware against O’Donnel or any conservative candidate.

  • observer110

    PSDFX wrote: “…whose study of science has pushed them toward the conclusion that some sort of God must exist.”Can you show me any of those really really smart guys who believe in the things that religious activists believe in? Such as not some deity, but a deity who is a human being, named YHWH or Jehovah who sees to be an elderly white bearded man who has infinite power and a son named jesus who is also himself?Can you show me any of those really really smart guys who believe that the Constitution and English common law are based on the Ten Commandments? Can you show me any of those really really smart guys who believe that ID is a scientifically rigorous theory or that evolution is not even a theory but just a myth?

  • dbw1

    shred11:Unfortunately, I’m afraid you are wasting your time trying to convince these leftists of the truth behind the 1st Amendment. They have been successfully brainwashed by their left-wing professors into believing it says something that it clearly doesn’t. That’s why they fall off their chairs laughing at the likes of O’Donell when she says something that is correct. Left-wingers find one phrase in a Thomas Jefferson letter, and twist it into a sacrosanct tenet of liberalism far from what the Founders intended, and become convinced it’s actually part of the Constitution when it clearly is not. Meanwhile, leftists have to ignore dozens (or even hundreds) of examples in the opposite direction, established by letters and commentaries of other Founders. Take George Washington’s “farewell address”, which actually was a letter revised and reviewed with other founders like James Madison, to ensure it reflected the proper views of our country’s founders. One of my favorite quotes:”Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness – these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”How in the world do leftists, the very ‘subverters’ Washington refers to, handle the factuality of this clear argument against their ‘wall of separation’ interpretation?

  • clascoutx

    …if we can give dubya an education in

  • dbw1

    Buddydog:Technically it was a George Washington quote, not Jefferson, but that’s beside the point. Once again, leftists have to twist awkwardly in a vain attempt to presume their left-wing philosophy can be in concert with that of the founders. So once again, I’m left having to prove them wrong. You assume Washington assumed morality could be achieved without being religious? More from the same letter (actually, the very same paragraph):”And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” – George WashingtonI’m not asking left-wingers to walk the aisle and join a particular religious denomination. Our founders wanted to ensure that even non-religious people could live in freedom from religious persecution for not belonging to an ‘official’ state denomination/religion.What I am asking left-wingers to do is to read some freakin history books printed before liberals started revising them in the 1960′s, and realize they have been fed a bunch of lies about the religious foundations of the country they live in.

  • cornbread_r2

    psdfx:ID isn’t a scientific theory. Gaps in evolutionary theory do not render ID an equivalent explanation. Evolutionary theory is so well corroborated in so many scientific fields the fossil record is, at this juncture, almost superfluous.What caused God?See

  • kreuz_missile

    The thing is, DBW, he was talking about religion and SOCIETY; not religion anf GOVERNMENT. The founders recognized that religion (in a variety of forms) and government both constituted important, but SEPARATE pillars of society. This is much like the conservatives always wanting to conflate “government property” with “the public domain.” There is plenty of room for religion in the public sphere, outside the government domain. Again, from de Tocqueville, observing how it worked in early America (and what most even CONSERVATIVE scholars see as one of the best books on early American government):“As long as a religion rests only upon those sentiments which are the consolation of all affliction, it may attract the affections of all mankind. But if it be mixed up with the bitter passions of the world, it may be constrained to defend allies whom its interests, and not the principle of love, have given to it; or to repel as antagonists men who are still attached to it, however opposed they may be to the powers with which it is allied. The church cannot share the temporal power of the state without being the object of a portion of that animosity which the latter excites. The political powers which seem to be most firmly established have frequently no better guarantee for their duration than the opinions of a generation, the interests of the time, or the life of an individual. A law may modify the social condition which seems to be most fixed and determinate; and with the social condition everything else must change. The powers of society are more or less fugitive, like the years that we spend upon earth; they succeed each other with rapidity, like the fleeting cares of life; and no government has ever yet been founded upon an invariable disposition of the human heart or upon an imperishable interest. As long as a religion is sustained by those feelings, propensities, and passions which are found to occur under the same forms at all periods of history, it may defy the efforts of time; or at least it can be destroyed only by another religion. But when religion clings to the interests of the world, it becomes almost as fragile a thing as the powers of earth. It is the only one of them all which can hope for immortality; but if it be connected with their ephemeral power, it shares their fortunes and may fall with those transient passions which alone supported them. The alliance which religion contracts with political powers must needs be onerous to itself, since it does not require their assistance to live, and by giving them its assistance it may be exposed to decay.”

  • dbw1

    KREUZ_MISSLE:Actually, you are incorrect. I won’t keep posting it here, but if you look it up and read it GW begins the paragraph about religion by referring to religion and morality being important pillars to “political prosperity”. You would be hard-pressed to twist that into assuming he was only talking about society at whole, and exempting government.Where we differ is in the interpretation of what “religion” means. Keep in mind the Founders, and de’ Toqueville for that matter, were using Europe as a reference point. Countries had at various times been run by specific denominations (Catholic church, Church of England, etc), and in those countries citizens had certain rights that only members of official state churches could realize, etc. That’s what conservatives will continue to maintain the Founders and folks like de’ Tocqueville referred to as ‘religion’….specific denominations controlling a country, and that’s what they intended to prohibit….not religous values being part of government.If you truly believe that the Founders wanted no part of religious values stemming from Biblical doctrines baked into government operations, then liberals have painted themselves in a corner. Look up “New England Primer”. This was the most widely used textbook in schools across the fruited plain during the 1700′s, 1800′s, and was still being used in some schools in the early 1900′s.And here’s why I say liberals have painted themselves in a corner. The New England Primer, which they used to teach their kids, was littered with Biblical teachings and explicit Bible passages.So liberals have a problem: if the Founders embraced the left-wing fallacy of “wall of separation”, then that must mean they had no intention of the government being involved in their children’s education, because they never would have endorsed using Biblical literature in their schools!So which is it, liberals….are you wrong in your interpretation of the ‘wall of separation’, or are you wrong about the federal government being involved in education? You can’t possibly be right about both, and maintain intellectual integrity.

  • dbw1

    GLADERUNNER:Simple example….read some excerpts from the New England Primer, and then tell me that the Founders would have agreed with left-wing jurists deciding prayers can’t be said before high-school football games, and that the Ten Commandments can’t be posted anywhere on government property.I’m not endorsing legislation that would require everyone to join a particular denomination, read the Bible 3 times a week, or give 10% of their income to the nearest church.What I am fighting against is the notion that the Founders had any intention of the 1st Amendment being twisted into the bizarre meaning adopted by the likes of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State and other left-wing aligned groups that any even slight reference to anything of any religious nature must be banned from every corner of our government.Again, how can liberals be right about ‘wall of separation’, when you look at the evidence of how much of 1700 and 1800 public culture was aligned with religious values now considered “extreme”? Liberals lose either way….they are either wrong about what the Founders intended with the 1st Amendment, or they are wrong about how much involvement federal government should have in our every day lives (like education, health care, etc).

  • firstvarty1979

    The so-called Constitutional interpretation of a complete “separation of church and state” as it is now applied has resulted in the abolishment of prayers at schools lest a small minority be offended; the removal of crosses and the ten commandments from public lands; government facilties being closed to groups that have a religious element; and any recognition in schools of a religious holiday (i.e., we now have a “Winter Break” not a Christmas Break, unless that holiday is of non-Christian origin. All done in the name of “Religious Freedom” as stated in the First Amendment!

  • mason08

    psdfx:I find it curious that you call them stories. These are facts. They aren’t debatable or interpretable.

  • collegebound1

    I understand that most Americans are upset with the economy, I am one of that group, but I will not support some of these ignorant, mean spirited and racist candidates that are calling themselves Tea Partiers(TP). These people want me to believe that they are not Republicans, they know that most Americans remember the eight years of Bush. I know all the TP’s are backed by Republicans and if you can not come up with any better candidiates than this, you do not deserve my vote or respect. I will give it to the Republicans, you always come up with some game to play. This time I am praying the American people do not fall for your lies and games. I pray that most American will give the current administration a chance to turn the economy around.

  • usapdx

    THOMAS JEFFERSON IS STILL CORRECT. TO HAVE TOTAL FREE SPEECH, CONGRESS MUST REPEAL THE TAX EXAMPT LAW SO THERE IS NO RULES ON FREEDOM OF SPEEECH BY WHICH MANY WHO VIOLATE THEM IN TURN TO CLAIM TAX EXAMPT.TOTAL FREEDOM OF SPEECH HAS PRICE WHICH IS FILEING YOUR TOTAL INCOME OF THE GIVEN YEAR WITH THE I.R.S. AND PAY THE TAX IF YOU OR GROUP HAVE VIOLATED THE TAX EXAMPT LAW’S RULES.

  • kreuz_missile

    The problem you run into is that I am not a fundamentalist on constitutional interpretation, meaning I care less about what the founders thought than what the Constitution actually says. I do agree with earlier posts that the 1st Amendment was at first only binding on the national government, not the states, and that first disestablishment, and then later, strict separation, was an evolutionary process at the state level (the last state to disestablish being Massachusetts in 1833). With this I also recognize that their views on federal power were much less than ours are today. I also, however, recognize that both changes to the Constitution and the reults of our experience with 200 years of history behind us have expanded the role and changed the nation 9independent of that expansiong) in ways the founders could never have invisioned and were not speaking to. On the issue of the nature of separation, whether they just meant disestablisment or total separation, they were divided at the state level at first (which is why we can play the quote or example game all day long and not get definitive answers); but all came to the consensus on total separation at the government level. The increased push to re-mix them since the 1950s, when the churches have found their influences naturally waning, has only proved de Tocqueville’s observations: when you tie the churchesd to worldly arguments, you tie yoourself to all the divisions of the world that come with it. They should keep their role teaching basic values and morality, and then let their moral religious people go out and elect good peopole to create secular law grounded in strong values. Indirect religious influence, rather than direct intervention, is what made religion the most powerful political force in early America, and what is slowly killing it today.

  • gladerunner

    DBW1:

  • shred11

    “Government shall establish no religion”, huh? Actually, it says this: “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.” Therefore, as the Supreme Court interpreted, the U.S. gov’t cannot establish a state religion, and it cannot prohibit the free exercise thereof,” get it? Read that part very carefully, where it says the U.S. gov’t cannot “prohibit(ing) the free exercise thereof.” How does that translate into “a separation of church and state” just because Thomas Jefferson supported that view in a letter to John Adams? Actually, what Jefferson meant was not to prohibit any expression of religion by gov’t, he merely meant that the gov’t should not establish a state religion. That is all. O’Donnel may not be that smart, but she is right in this case. The spendthrift Coons will win this election, but most Demoblicans will not. The real revolution will happen after tea partiers take office in January when they will have to fight the elitist Republicrats like John McCain, etc. The elites in both parties will cause a false flag event in November and declare martial law. Goldman Sachs and the banksters will impose their will. Look to November sometime around Thanksgiving for economic collapse in the U.S.

  • mason08

    BTW, PJKIGER, James Madison said something more like ““The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.”It’s exceedingly easy to take that as an argument against admitting into the American system intrusions of false morality based on aggrandizement of state authority ~ in such things as national health care systems, social security, etc.

  • bwcolq

    First of all, when the Constitution was amended it changed and became an expanded document, that’s what amendment means and framers specifically made that legal in the original version. I read a book recently, “A Great and Godly Adventure” by Hodgson. It tells the story about the pilgrim’s experiences here and abroad. Under the new King James the VI several religious groups were courting his favor for power in the Church of England (pg 18,19). The Catholics had been in power (Romans brought that) and the Pope had been gaining power and was extorting leaders of countries (monarchs) if they didn’t take his orders, mainly to engage in wars of crusade. So James went with the Puritans to get away from that. They became a corrupt bunch as those that buy power managed to become elders and gained influence to make laws (early day republicans). In so doing, made quirky laws and applied them indiscriminately (depending on who to target), a thugocracy if you will, and Pilgrims of course hid out to practice their brand of religion (some killed or tortured for their religious difference) eventually leaving to hide in Holland for a year, then the New World. An oppressive time, one colonists didn’t want to revisit, if not from personal experience then from stories from their parents.

  • gladerunner

    DBW1: (cntd)I have no problem whatsoever with little Johnny, even among a group of friends uttering a prayer to whatever deity they choose. As I recall your Jesus doesn’t require public utterances of faith and praise anyhow. No one I know is trying to stop little Johnny from praying. As to whether the FF’s would agree with me rather than you is a fallacious and un-provable argument. Whether you accept the notion of ‘separation of church and state’ or a more literal ‘establishment’, the real question is: ‘What role should government institutions play in the realm of individual religious beliefs?’

  • mason08

    BWCOLQ-

  • dorsalmo

    To paraphrase an earlier message, its obvious that idiotic, moronic nonreligious people have way too much influence in our government.Sorry. Couldn’t resist turning that rude comment around.We have gone too far in the other direction, in my opinion. If you want to promote separation of church and state (and the actual intent of the first amendment by the way), focus on keeping government out of religion. A good start would be to stop trying to force people of faith to accept what we’ve always known to be immoral.Wow, just read some of the messages posted earlier. Can’t spend work time commenting on all that erroneous thinking. Hopefully someone else will. I’ll just say that you all have a narrow-minded view of what Christianity is – probably formed by paying too much attention to weirdo televangelists and the like. There are answers to all the (sarcastic I might add) questions raised.Blind faith is foolish. Real Christianity is rooted in evidence. Can’t elaborate now. Write me at dorsalmo at yahoo dot com if no one here explains a topic to your satisfaction.

  • tr1123

    Although unfortunately presented inarticulately, Ms. O’Donnell is correct that “separation of church and state” does not appear in the Constitution, nor is it a correct interpretation of the Establishment clause. The sole meaning of the Establishment clause was to prohibit the federal government from preferring one faith as a national religion. The 20th century Supreme Court rulings expanding that clause to incorporate the bigoted 19th century anti-Catholic concept of “separation of church and state” are an unconstitutional exercise of judicial overreach, as well as creating a jurisprudence which even pro-separationists acknowledge is incoherent. We need to amend the first amendment to restore the original meaning of its establishment clause, which is non-preference among denominations, not secular hostility to faith in general. See

  • Zeva1

    You people are scary stupid! You’re all bashing O’Donnell because she’s right – seperation of church and state is not in the constitution. That couldn’t be more clear. This is exactly what the Tea Parties and conservatives like O’Donnell stand for.

  • gladerunner

    PSDFX:Show me your god, anywhere, lab, gymnasium, mountain top, 3 BR apartment in the suburbs, anywhere.Your response doesn’t even begin to address the questions. Where did god come from? Nothing? “And neither ID nor Darwinian evolution (with all those troubling gaps in the darned fossil record) should be taught as true, but rather offered as (very) widely held theories worth consideration.”The trouble with fossil records for your religion is that there IS a fossil record, gaps or no gaps. It throws the whole timeline off. After all you don’t need prints of all ten fingers to positively ID someone.We have fossils, as well as living creatures that fit the theory’s parameters just fine. On the other hand ID brings no evidence, fossil record, Angel skeletons, Demon DNA, or even hardened footprints of a God. The lack of evidence regarding religion is not only troubling, it is complete.

  • gladerunner

    TR1123:BTW, the change the amendment thing.. yeah go ahead and give that a try. You’ll only discover that it’s not the atheists and ‘secularists’ that will be your biggest obstacle, it’ll be all those other Christian denominations.Couldn’t open your website… please show me the proposed amendment.”secular hostility to faith in general”

  • biggerjake

    This B.S. has been going on forever. Read Liars for Jesus.

Read More Articles

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.