Separation of Church & State - photo by Peas

Santorum Doesn’t Subscribe To Separation Of Church And State

Election 2012, Government 2

Separation of Church & State - photo by Peas

In a completely unsurprising revelation, Rick Santorum said, “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute“. His statement is “almost” identical in wording to something John F. Kennedy once said but with intentionally opposite meaning. JFK said, “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.” Santorum made his remark on church-state separation during an interview on This Week on ABC. He went on to say, “The First Amendment means the free exercise of religion and that means bringing people and their faith into the public square.”

Rick, does that include Muslims? If America were to elect a Muslim president would you still believe there is no separation of church and state?

Since Santorum attempted to use the First Amendment as his reasoning for why there is no separation of church and state, let’s talk about that for a moment. The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Santorum uses “free exercise” as part of his argument against church-state separation, but how does he propose keeping a free exercise of ALL religions if there is no separation? It is this separation that allows the free exercise of all religions. It doesn’t work any other way.

It’s clear that many conservatives, including those running for president need a constitutional lesson, particularly when it comes to the First Amendment, as we’ve witnessed with the recent birth control nonsense. The First Amendment protects us FROM religion. This protection FROM religion is what then allows a protection OF religious freedom. It doesn’t work the other way around.

There is a long list of Supreme Court decisions that have upheld and confirmed separation of church and state, here are a few.

McCollum v. Board of Education
Court finds religious instruction in schools unconstitutional

Torcaso v. Watkins
Reaffirms that the constitution prohibits a religious test for office

Allegheny County v. ACLU
Nativity display within a government building is violation of First Amendment ‘establishment’ clause

For a longer list of Supreme Court decisions: U.S. Supreme Court Decisions on Separation of Church and State
More on church-state separation: Jefferson’s Wall of Separation

I say beware of the devout religious person who tells you there is no separation of church and state in the United States. Run far away if this person is seeking the highest office in the land.

dks

photo by Peas via Flickr


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David K. Sutton

Chief Writer and Editor of The Left Call - I'm a full-time IT engineer, part-time political blogger. I founded The Left Call in 2011 because I believe in social justice, economic equality, and the idea of forming a more perfect union. In addition to written content, I also host the LEFT CALL RADIO Podcast.

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  • jjm

    He’s clearly lusting after being not President but Inquisitor in chief of the USA.

    Can you imagine him grilling you about your use of birth control and sending you to the rack if you do?

  • http://leftcall.com David K. Sutton

    That Santorum is one of the few remaining GOP contenders says volumes about the future of the Republican Party if they don’t change course. Sure, there are tens of millions who agree with Santorum, or at least agree with him enough to vote for him, but his kind of rhetoric is and will become derided by an increasingly tolerant public.

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