The Old Man here, ready to rant on one of my favorite topics – constitutional interpretation. For some unknown reason, today’s population (well, at least part of it) continues to challenge the Constitution of the United States. And while our forefathers encouraged this kind of independent thinking, I really have to believe that they didn’t intend this to include opinion-based interpretation of what they wrote. Now I know that some egos really and truly believe that they are smarter than those that founded our country, and you’ll have to excuse me if the best response I can come back with is “The Bronx Cheer”.
I really have a hard time understanding those that can’t comprehend things that, to me, are written clearly and concisely. Like the first amendment – “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” – the so called “separation of church and state” statement. I’ll tell you, I don’t find it too hard to comprehend – it means that you will pass no laws that dictate how the people will live based on church doctrine – any church doctrine.
What doesn’t it mean (to me anyway) is that any and every thing based on religion has to be stricken from our public lives and shut away in a closet somewhere (like where your Aunt Julie used to hide because of the stigma and persecution of her need to be with women). This includes the current point of interest, removing the “In God We Trust” line from America’s currency. Just as saying prayers in school is NOT against the separation statement (but making someone say prayers IS), making a reference to God – any God, as a deity is not a law, but a choice – a choice made by our forefathers and continued by the American people for over 200 years.
First and foremost, America IS a Christian Nation. It was founded by Christians and the religious majority are Christians. But unlike other majority nations (and religions), America does not REQUIRE you to become a Christian. America respects ALL religious beliefs without legal persecution, as long as the laws that protect the general population are not violated. And any laws that protect or govern the general population CANNOT be put in place if they are, in any way, based on religious beliefs or requests.
But just as school prayer has been pushed aside, I’m afraid that whichever court rules on this latest suit will let their ego get in the way and make a damning decision based on popularity and the need to “feel special” rather than just standing their ground, dismissing the suit as “groundless” and saving all Americans the exorbitant cost of an “opinion-based” trial. And sending the message that our founding fathers weren’t that obscure after all.