Assaults on the England language
ggarman at sunnetworks.net
Sun Jul 24 23:11:19 PDT 2005
The difference between private speech and government sponsorship is
indeed the point: The Founding Fathers separated religion and government
by prohibiting religion tests as a qualification to any office or public
trust. The First Congress separated religion and government by
prohibiting Congress from establishing religion by law. Founding Father
James Madison, "Father of the Constitution" and member of the six member
Senate-House conference committee which drafted the final version of the
First Amendment's religion commandments, subsequently wrote: "Strongly
guarded ... is the separation between Religion and Government in the
Constitution of the United States ("Detached Memoranda," William and
Mary Quarterly, 3:555). If there is a primary source authority for
understanding the religion commandments of the Constitution, it is James
Acknowledging the above is to recognize constitutional prohibition of
government sponsorship of "religion." "No religious test shall ever be
required," means no religious test shall ever be required by government.
"No law respecting an establishment of religion" means no law respecting
an establishment of religion by government. No exceptions are given, and
the Supreme Court cases you mention have no constitutional authority to
give tests or make laws which permit exceptions.
The Constitution gives no authority to any court to rewrite or add
exceptions to the words of the Constitution. Wherever the Court has
allowed "government to sponsor or prefer religious speech" it has
violated the Constitution's principle of separation between religion and
government, as established by its religion commandments, and such
decisions should be overturned.
For example, if anyone wishes to read my recent review of Van Orden v.
Perry, simply click on the following link:
Gene Garman, M.Div.
America's Real Religion
Douglas Laycock wrote:
> The difference between the public square and government sponsorship is
> the point at which both sides in the culture wars start cheating with
> their claims about the current law. The Court has never held that
> private religious speech may or must be censored because it occurs on
> government property. Speech is private if the speaker is not a state
> actor and receives no preferential access or promotion from anyone who
> is a state actor.
> So private religious speech is constitutionally protected in the
> public square. Government sponsorship of that speech is restricted --
> restricted pretty tightly but far from absolutely. For better or
> worse, Zorach v. Clausen, Marsh v. Chambers, Lynch v. Donnelly, the
> menorah/Christmas tree holding in Allegheny County v. ACLU, Van Orden
> v. Perry, and probably (if they had reached the merits) Elk Grove
> Unified School District v. Newdow, are all cases where the Court has
> allowed government to sponsor or prefer religious speech. There is no
> such list of exceptions to the rule that government cannot restrict
> private religious speech because of its religious content.
> Douglas Laycock
> University of Texas Law School
> 727 E. Dean Keeton St.
> Austin, TX 78705
> 512-471-6988 (fax)
> From: religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu on behalf of JMHACLJ at aol.com
> Sent: Sun 7/24/2005 12:48 PM
> To: religionlaw at lists.ucla.edu
> Subject: Re: Assaults on the England language
> In a message dated 7/23/2005 10:17:08 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
> ggarman at sunnetworks.net writes:
> The problem, in terms of conflict, it seems to me, arises, not
> from use of the public square, but from the desire on the part of
> some to use government space and property for the promotion of
> religion and for direct attacks upon the constitutional principle
> of "separation between Religion and Government," (James Madison,
> "Detached Memoranda," William and Mary Quarterly, 3:555).
> But this is the essence of the free speech and peaceable assembly
> principles that are the underpinning of the public forum doctrine:
> use of available public spaces (virtually always "government owned")
> for promotion of ideas of the speaker free from exclusion based on the
> disapproval of those ideas by others, whether government actors or
> private parties.
> Jim Henderson
> Senior Counsel
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