Sunday, November 26, 2006

Question Of The Week, 11/26/06

Good Morning. Maybe I should start getting my Question Of The Week ready and save it as a draft about a week ahead of time. When I wait until Sunday morning I can never find what I'm looking for. I read my local paper and checked my e-mail then I checked the news wires. I ended up coming back to the It's your call section of my local paper, the St. Joseph News-Press. It's your call is a little like a letter to the editor, but caller's don't have to leave their name. I'm sure you have heard comments made about what one of today's caller's had to say,

"Details, please

In response to the issue of church and state separation, a caller mentions that it is "in there," which I assume the caller refers to the "in there" as the Constitution. Please call back in and tell us where it is specifically. I looked and could never find it."

So this weeks Question Of The Week is, What does the United States Constitution say about the separation of church and state and where can it be found?

I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.


Blogger Always On Watch said...

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof....

No official church.

You might find THIS of interest. Excerpt:

Missouri 1845, Preamble. We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and
grateful for His goodness .. Establish this Constitution

5:36 AM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Always on watch is correct.

The Supreme court has ruled on the "Establishment Clause" many times but the first time was not until 1948 and McCollum vs. Board of Education.

It is by no means a 100% seperation which is why the debate rages on.

(I had to look up the case because I couldn't remember it. It has been a while since I read it.)

12:05 PM  
Anonymous mel said...

The term "wall of separation between church and state originated in an 1803 letter from Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, in which Jefferson described his interpretation of the first amendment's establishment clause.

The Constitution consists of the written document and amendments PLUS all subsequenbt Supreme Court decisions that have not been reversed by later decisions.

In the 1947 case of Everson v. Bd of Ed., the court acknowledged that the first amendment should be interpreted as Jefferson stated, as a "wall of separation between church and state".

The following year, in the McCollum case, the court again referred to Jefferson's phrase and it has been established law since then and willo be establishe4d law until it is reversed by the Supreme Court.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

About those Danbury Baptists, from this source (as a matter of convenience):

The Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut sent a letter, dated October 7, 1801, to the newly elected President Thomas Jefferson, expressing concern over the lack in their state constitution of explicit protection of religious liberty, and against government establishment of religion.

As a religious minority in Connecticut, the Danbury Baptists were concerned that a religious majority might "reproach their chief Magistrate... because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ," thus establishing a state religion at the cost of the liberties of religious minorities.

In their letter to the President, the Danbury Baptists also affirmed that "Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty — That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals — That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions - That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor..."

Jefferson concurred and used the phrase "wall of separation" in his response:

Thomas Jefferson's response, dated January 1, 1802, concurs with the Danbury Baptists' views on religious liberty, and the accompanying separation of civil government from concerns of religious doctrine and practice. Quoting the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, he writes: "...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."

Mel said: The Constitution consists of the written document and amendments PLUS all subsequenbt Supreme Court decisions that have not been reversed by later decisions.

SCOTUS decisions are part of the Constitution?

4:58 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I have lived all my life in an America -which because of the "wall of separation"- has prohibited the free exercise of religion on public property. It is time for that wall to come down in my humble opinion.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous mel said...

Why is it so necessary to have the government support your religion or to have you practice your religion on property I pay for with my taxes? Are homes and churches and public streets not enough places to display your religion?

2:25 PM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

First I want to thank you for stopping by to answer this weeks question. I've never been convinced that the United States Constitution mentions separation of church and state. I'm sure the first caller that said it is "in there" must have meant the First Amendment,"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, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" simply means our law makers will not be allowed to set up (create)a government controlled church or stop us from attending the church (or practicing the religion) of our choice. That's just my opinion, I have a feeling that this is one of those debates that is going to continue for years, and the United States Supreme Court is only going to complicate the issue.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

12:47 AM  
Blogger d.a.n said...

The First Amendment sums it up pretty well, but does NOT explicitly state a separation of church and state. After all, the mere, few words "separation of church and state" are insufficient and ambiguous, and can not accurately describe the 1st Amendment. The First Amendment should be the guide. Not an insufficient and ambiguous summation of the 1st Amendment.

6:32 AM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

Mel, I have visited your site and found it interesting, chances are I will return. I didn't agree with everything I saw there, but I'd defend your right to have these beliefs.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic

7:54 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

This particular find of yours was all the talk of my history classes this past week. Even the youngest of my students knew where to look in the Constitution.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Katherine Thayer said...

No... the term separation of church and state doesn’t appear in the constitution. Over the past 200 years the Supreme Court has shaped the constitution to contain a clear separation of church and state that protects every religion equally. If only those who argue against this separation could see how they benefit from it instead of inappropriately interpreting it as an attack on Christianity. Please go to

3:06 AM  

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