Vail Daily column: The law of the land
The U.S. Constitution is the law of the land.
It is also a godless secular document. This was clearly the intent of many of the founding fathers and 100 percent of the intent of those who drafted the Constitution.
Just read the Constitution. One does not need any more information. The five Republican appointees on the Supreme Court (occasionally Justice Kennedy makes a right decision) ignore the history and content of hundreds of cases supporting the concept of separation of church and state.
The intent of those who drafted the Constitution believed in a simple concept: If government stays out of religion and religion stays out of government, then and only then can we have true freedom of religion.
The intent of organized religion was to make the United States a Christian country.
The five Republicans on the Supreme Court are all Catholics. The evangelicals and the Catholics are incorrectly and dangerously using the 1st Amendment by claiming the government is interfering with their religious freedoms and beliefs. They believe that they have the right to impose and force their religious beliefs on the entire country.
There is no reference to any religion, to any God, to the Creator, to Jesus, Moses, Mohammad or any other deity or any other religious person, none! Nor is there any religious word, quote or story of any kind from any Bible or any other religious document in the Constitution.
There are only two provisions that mention the word religion or religious. Ignorant religious extremists like David Barton claim the Constitution is a Christian document and the United States is a Christian nation. Barton and everyone who believes this are 100 percent wrong.
When the Constitution interferes with their religious and political views, the Republican justices just ignore the Constitution and make unconstitutional decisions to force their political and religious beliefs on this country.
Here is where religion is referenced in the Constitution:
First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Article 6: Debts, Supremacy, Oaths: … “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
Fourteenth Amendment: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The 14th Amendment, as does the entire Constitution, applies only to rights of persons, citizens, the people and individuals. The word “corporation” is not mentioned or even hinted at. Neither does a partnership nor any business of any size whatsoever appear in the Constitution, nor any does any religion whatsoever. “Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.” Thomas Paine, from Politicus USA on Jan. 2, 2014: “There is a quote that states, ‘When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” It is really a condensed version of several prognostications warning 1930s Germany that Adolf Hitler was rising to the level of dictator and with his ascendance came their loss of freedoms. America is falling victim to the same kind of fascism despite the Constitution’s guarantee every citizen is equal that is facing a greater threat than any time in the nation’s history. When America finally falls to fascism, and it is quickly approaching, it will be in part due to a well-planned assault on liberty by a group that announced a decade ago their coup d’etat would be bloodless, but certainly not without pain and not without a concerted effort to replace the Constitution with a religious text; the Christian Bible.”
Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802, wrote: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”
Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, Jan. 24, 1814: “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, Feb. 10, 1814: “The whole history of these books (the Gospels) is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament, there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.”
Thomas Jefferson, “Notes on Virginia,” 1782: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law. … But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
Henry Bornstein is a retired attorney who handled constitutional cases and studies the Constitution from a historical as well as legal perspective. He lives in Beaver Creek.