O’Donnell is Right on Church and State

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Cover of "The Naked Public Square: Religi...

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So Christine O’Donnell denies that separation of church and state is in the Constitution, and a law school audience gasps at her “gaffe.” Besides being another confirmation of my negative opinion of the legal profession, this is a good opportunity for going over the First Amendment’s “Establishment Clause” on religion. Just what does the clause say?

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

I don’t see the words “separation of church and state.” Enough Supreme Court justices, from Hugo Black onward, imagined that those words were there, and through their vivid imaginations they ruled that the First Amendment meant “separation of church and state.” For those who follow in the footsteps of Justice John Marshall and support the tyranny of the federal court system, this is the end of the matter. Those individuals with more critical minds will ask whether the original intent of the Founders was to separate church and state. Now the deist Thomas Jefferson referred to “a wall of separation between church and state,” but that is not in the constitution. What the First Amendment does is forbid an established church such as the established churches still found in some European countries. It also allows freedom of religious expression. There is no justification in the Constitution for what the later Father Richard John Neuhaus called “the naked public square,” that is, the public realm stripped of all religion. Atheists and secularists, who often time are more haters of God than nonbelievers in God, have erotic dreams about removing religion totally from the public square, as if their position is truly a “neutral” position. Their position is not neutral; rather it is positively secularist and anti-religious in orientation. This was not the intent of the Founding Fathers. Many of them were deists, true, but they still believed that a religious populace was a necessary check on rabid individualism that could lead to moral chaos.

O’Donnell’s critics will say “The Constitution means what the Courts say it means.” I cannot argue with people who support judicial tyranny. And for postmodernists who deny that there is any meaning to any text other than what the reader says the text means, I have no rational arguments to use against people who are fundamentally irrational.  Although I’m not the biggest fan of Rush Limbaugh, there is one statement he says that makes lots of sense: “Words mean things.” Words are not arbitrary in meaning, and that includes the words of the Constitution. The fact that judges have read into its words things that are not there does not change the fact that the Constitution has an original meaning. And that meaning does not include “separation of church and state.”

Let’s Get Rid of RINOs!

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Michael Johns, U.S. Senate candidate Christine...

One would expect a political party too support its nominee unless the nominee holds overly radical views. Christine O’Donnell is not in that category, so the Delaware Republican Party should support its nominee enthusiastically. But when she defeated former Governor Mike Castle, a RINO (“Republican-in-Name-Only”), the state Republican establishment said it would not support her. To its credit, the national Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee supported her.

The Republican Party has long been divided three ways: into moderate/liberal Rockefeller Eastern establishment Republicans, into libertarian Republicans, and into traditional Conservatives. Another name for the Eastern establishment types is “Country Club Republicans.” They are basically Democrats in Republican guise. What Republicans in Delaware did was to vote in a true conservative, Tea Party supported candidate rather than a candidate of the old, tired establishment.

It is time for the Republican Party to purge itself of RINOs, especially the country club liberal Republicans. They have fought the party’s conservative base tooth and nail for years. They strive to divide the libertarians from the traditional conservatives so they can push their own agenda and candidates. They support Democratic big spending plans, support massive federal intervention into the economy and into the lives of Americans, and are every bit as liberal on social issues as Mr. Obama. The Tea Party movement has brought out conservative voters to remove these establishment candidates. This does not imply that the Tea Party candidates are always ideal, or that the Tea Party is correct on every issue–many Tea Partiers need to tone down warmongering and support the American interest foreign policy of Ron Paul. But they, at least, listen and are far more willing to change than comfortable establishment candidates.

The press, of course, along with the Country Club Republicans, are writing off Christine O’Donnell as a loser. Both the majority of people in the press and the majority of Country Club Republicans hate middle America and its conservative values. I remember talking to an older lady, very nice, but a Country Club Republican, about abortion. I was shocked at what she said to me: “We have to allow abortions so those poor black babies won’t be born into such bad environments.” I assure you that she is not the only Country Club Republican with that attitude. Comfortable in their gated communities, such “moderate” and liberal Republicans are quite confident in their beliefs about who is worthy to live and who is worthy to die. The Republican Party can do without people like that. It can do without their presence, their politicians, and their money. The only hope for the Republican Party becoming a true Republican Party is the Tea Party and other grassroots conservative movements bringing out the vote. Only then will more establishment candidates be replaced by those who truly desire the Republican Party to the conservative party of the United States, to curb spending and taxes, to give more power to the states and less to the federal government, to stop judges from making laws rather than interpreting them. But to do that, the RINOs have to go!