A Shocking Betrayal Of The Separation Of Church And State

First Amendment Rally - Union Square NYC - photo by Luke Redmond

The following originally appeared as a comment to: PA House Declares: Jefferson Can Take His ‘Wall’ And Shove It.

In January the Pennsylvania House of Representatives declared 2012 the “Year of the Bible” when they passed Resolution No. 535. Over a month has passed since the PA House violated the First Amendment to the Constitution and hardly anyone has noticed. How is this not getting more mainstream press coverage? This is a shocking betrayal of the separation of church and state.

It’s appalling that this resolution passed with a unanimous vote. Every member of the PA House should ask themselves how people of other faiths should interpret this resolution. But more importantly, allowing bills such as this to pass, sets a precedent to allow the same thing to be passed at some point in the future when the makeup of the House isn’t so Christian. For example, if demographics start to shift and a few key voting districts happen to have strong Muslim voting blocks, might the House pass a resolution declaring the Month of the Koran? Something tells me that hypothetical resolution would get a lot more press than this real world resolution has received. The point of separating church and state is not to promote a lack of religion, it’s to allow all religions to have equal respect. The fact that Christians in the House felt this resolution was necessary, much less permissible, shows how completely out of touch they are, and more importantly, how uninterested they are in representing all of their constituents to the extent possible.

The incongruity of these right-wing ideologues is off the charts. They spout over-the-top rhetoric about toppling oppressive religious theocracies while actively attempting to turn their own country into just such a theocracy. If there’s any doubt, you have only to look at recent Republican polls (especially in PA) to see that religious and social issues consistently make the top of voters’ lists when considering candidates. Passing this bill serves to turn us into the very thing we are sending our children across the globe to fight.


photo by Luke Redmond

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#bible#Christian#church-state separation#First Amendment#House#Koran#Muslim#PA#Pennsylvania#Representatives#separation of church and state#Year of the Bible

  • Unfortunately reason and logic is unlikely to persuade this crowd.

  • CL38

    Violations of the Separation of Church and State have been going on  since the 80’s.  Each violation gets more aggressive and self-righteous.  
    This is a HUGE problem that needs to be addressed before the religious right is burning witches, traitors and heretics (again)!  Just think about the current attack on women’s rights that centers on  sexuality, reproductive rights and our gains over 50 years. The right has an obsession with imposing their ‘religious views’ on the rest of us and targeting those who see things very differently.  Read history and the cycle of religious wars.  The right is once again engaging in a religious war.  They started in the 80’s by attacking liberals and scapegoating gays, then again went after  blacks again, the middle class and now are again focusing on women.  They repeatedly cycle in an out of targeting groups that have gained power, in efforts to destroy their gains.  

    The right is not only deranged, they’re very dangerous.

    • The recent “birth control” nonsense (I’m not even going to call it a ‘debate’ because that would give to much credit to irrational thought) makes it clear that many of the elected Republicans in congress have no idea what the First Amendment means when it comes to religious freedom. Religious freedom doesn’t mean a secular government cannot impose secular regulations on businesses that happened to be owned by or affiliated with a particular church or religion. If you are in an industry, you must abide by the regulations of that industry. If you believe abiding by these regulations would mean violating your religious beliefs, it’s not the government’s job to grant you an exemption. To do so would be favoring one religion over another, which is exactly what government cannot do. Anyone who has read and understands the First Amendment (and does not have their judgement clouded by dogma) can easily understand this.

      • stormkite

        We need to recognize that in many cases the argument that the Right Wing “does not understand” or “has no idea” what they’re doing is simply not the case.

        As here, they know PRECISELY what they’re doing and EXACTLY what effect it will have. And they WANT it to do that.

        They’re FAR from ignorant and they’re definitely not stupid….

        • I agree. I try to refrain from using the word ‘stupid’, although I show less refrain when it comes to using the word ‘ignorant’. 🙂 And I do agree that there are Republicans who are not ignorant, at least when it comes to wanting this country to be a Christian nation. That is indeed their goal. They do know precisely what they are doing, but what I’m saying is that their goal IS ignorant of how this country was actually founded.

          • stormkite

            It’s not ignorant, though. They know. They are engaged in a deliberate and considered effort to pervert it. (I’m careful about ignorant. ;>) Ignorance isn’t inherently culpable, just a state of being. What these guys are doing is evil. )

          • I agree there are those on the Right that know exactly what they are doing but their agenda requires mass ignorance.