Monday, April 12, 2010

My friend, the first amendment

Congress shall make no law [This seems pretty straightforward to me.  This amendment is limiting the power of Congress to make a law] respecting an establishment of religion, [So Congress cannot establish a “Church of America” or some such silly thing.] or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; [On the other hand, Congress cannot prohibit me from worshipping the moon if I want to.] or abridging the freedom of speech, [I can tell the truth always about anyone or anything at any time – unless I am shouting “fire” in a theater – unless the theater were actually on fire.] or of the press, [Newspapers were the press of the day.  I would guess this extends now to radio  TV and the internet, but apparently that is debatable]  or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, [So no rioting, but peaceful protest is OK.  Or holding a meeting in a public place is OK] and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. [So, I can communicate with the Congress, the Judiciary or the President.]


Here’s the amazing thing:  People don’t seem to realize that this has nothing to do with state, county, or city governments.  It does not apply to schools or individuals.  Notice also that it does not apply to executive orders (which according to the Constitution – would only apply to the President and his staff including the military).  That would be because Article I section 1 of the Constitution specifically states that NOBODY makes laws except Congress.  Wow, the amazing things one learns by reading the Constitution.  There is even an Article explaining how to make changes to the document.  (And no, it is not by judicial fiat).


Hawkeye® said...

When it says "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", it also means that Congress shall make NO law which prohibits my ability to worship freely WHEREVER and WHENEVER I want to. That includes public schools, local, municipal, county, and state buildings or property.

The sad truth however, is that Congress only makes federal laws, but states, counties and municipalities can make up any laws they see fit. They may not be constitutional, but unless the Supreme Court rules those laws to be unconstitutional, then they stand.

The second sad truth is that the Supreme Court has this wacky notion of "separation of church and state" which itself is unconstitutional by "prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

If the Founders were around, you can bet they'd be really ticked at what has become of their great nation.

Best regards...

camojack said...

"Congress cannot prohibit me from worshipping the moon if I want to."

Nope. Basically, that's what Muslims do anyway; that's why they've got that crescent in their symbology...

Pat's Rick© said...

Don't you wish there were a Constitutional literacy requirement for seekers of national office? Maybe even for potential voters.
Here's a thought: if you have no tax liability, you have no vote either. Nope. Never fly.

camojack Heh!