September 05, 2006

Establishment Clause Bantering

Joe over at Joe's Big Blog and I have an ongoing friendly (and sometimes heated) discussion over the establishment clause in the First Amendment. He's a good friend, fellow blogger and co-worker and we love to "torture" each other over this topic. In my last post I linked to an article about Chuck Norris becoming a board member of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools.

Joe commented that it would be better for "parents to directly oversee the relgious teachings of their children". This, as I replied to Joe, missed the point entirely. I'm not dumping on Joe, I think it's a great start to a passionate discussion by both sides.

The Constitutional language that states...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

...refers to the two clauses in the First Amendment that guarantee freedom of religion (not from). The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official state religion or preferring one religion over another.

The Bible is an historical record of facts. The people and places written about are historically accurate. The Bible is also backed by writings from other secular authors as well as archeological finds that all substatiate it's accuracy.

Here is a link to an excellent page that shows the evidence that I refer to. This is a must read page if one is to understand the foundation of this disagreement. It is a lengthy and detailed page but certainly provides ample evidence.

The following excerpt is from an article on the Liberty Legal Institute's website. The quotes are from Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Legal Institute, attorneys for the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools.

Attorneys for NCBCPS respond to Texas Freedom Network’s (TFN) attack on an elective Bible course offered in public high schools across the state.

“It is ironic that a group which claims to be against censorship is now attempting to become the biggest censor in the state of Texas.”

The NCBCPS curriculum has been approved by 300 school districts in 37 states and endorsed by many of the nation’s leading constitutional scholars, public officials and law professors. In the case Abington v. Schempp, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that “the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities,” so long as it is “presented objectively as part of a secular program of education.”

In addition to providing an interfaith perspective on the material, NCBCPS
curriculum is also designed to broaden perspectives and stimulate discussion and

“NCBCPS course material is designed to utilize the vast historical and cultural
insight found in the Bible,” Sasser said. “Depriving students of such important
study is totally ridiculous and contrary to the U.S. Supreme Court statement.”

Unfortunately the frantic folks at the "Asinine Communist Liberal Uber-anger" society ("ACLU" for those who read mostly MSM) who hate everything this country stands for won't be happy until all traces of religion, or references to, are eliminated from society. Somehow in their faith tradition (Liberalism - which is a religion unto itself) they have determined that all other religions are invalid and should therefore be eliminated. Sounds a bit like the current swath being burned by radical Islamo-fascists.

I just had to include some quotes below from the Founders. I'm a sucker for the folks who gave up everything to preserve their freedom.

"The Bible is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed."
Patrick Henry

"It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom."
Horace Greely

"I have always said, and will always say, that studious perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens."
Thomas Jefferson

While President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson was elected the first president of the Washington, D.C. public school board, which used the Bible as a reading text in the classroom.


  1. Yes, Todd, I'm a card carrying member of the ACLU. Note that they're supporting Fred Phelps'(noted Christian) right to protest at servicepeople's funeral services.
    As repugnant as I find the Westboro Baptist Church, their right to free speech overrides the vileness and delivery of their message.

  2. It's impossible to be a member of an organization that represents millions of people and not disagree with some of their doctrines or activities (our work representation for example). The fact that you are a card carrying member of the ACLU does not make you a spokesperson for all of their activities. It just happens that a sizeable portion of their activities are aimed at destroying our culture (my humble opinion).

    When you say Fred Phelps is a noted Christian I am hoping that you are meaning "note, he says he is Christian". Because someone says they are a Christian does not make them infallable. They are humans as well. They are also a fringe group of nutjobs (my hunble opinion as well).

    Having said all of that, there is nothing in the Constitution or Bill of Rights giving someone a "right" to harass, offend or speak their mind without consequence. This article ( ) has information on the activities of the protesters and refutes the purported Constitutionality of their activities.


Always glad to have some form of reaction/response to my posts. Caustic or otherwise.