Thursday, March 23, 2006

Establishment of Religion in San Francisco

The Supreme Court has, for the last 20 years or so, fairly consistently said that the government may not endorse religion or irreligion. It is supposed to stay neutral on matters of religion. To pronounce on religious questions would violate the constitutional prohibition on establishment of religion

So it is generally agreed that the Wisconsin state legislature could not adopt a resolution stating that Jesus Christ is the sole path to salvation or one declaring Scientology to be a fraud.

But the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution denouncing Roman Catholic doctrine and practice. It called the church's opposition to homosexual adoption:

"hateful and discriminatory rhetoric (that) is both insulting and callous, and shows a level of insensitivity and ignorance which has seldom been encountered by this Board of Supervisors.''

I am not a fan of the "endorsement" approach, but why isn't this a flagrant violation of the separation of church and state?

I just checked the web site of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State because I am sure they would want to denounce this. They did manage to denounce Pat Robertson for saying Islam is not a religion of peace. Robertson, of course, is not a representative of any government, so you'd think that when a governmental body weighs in on the nature and value of religion, they'd be all over it.

But nothing.

Maybe someone should send them an e-mail.

Or a clue.


Billiam said...

You didn't honestly expect them to be intellectually honset, did you? Say it ain't so!!

Amy said...

It's only a matter of "separation of church and state" when people are trying to promote religion and practice it in public.

Just like when conservatives start meeting with prayers.

Otherwise, it's perfectly legal and constitutional to ban religion, or quote it for your purposes - like Hillary did yesterday, referring to Jesus and his stance on illegal immigration.

Billiam said...

Sorry Amy. The 1st amendment say "Congress shall MAKE NO LAW respecting the ESTABLISHMENT of religion, NOR prohibiting the FREE EXPRESSION thereof.."
Congress has made no law stating that ANY religion is the "official" religion of the Counrty. Under the Constitution the States could, if they so chose, establish one religion over another. The Separation garbage is just that. Garbage. The words do not exist in the Constitution. This is why many want judges who won't make up things that do not exist in the document.

Rick Esenberg said...

I think Billiam and Amy are saying the same thing.

Billiam said...

It's possible I've misiterpreted her intent. Wouldn't be the first time. ;-(

Amy said...


I was being sarcastic. Check out my blog - I'm fully aware of the meaning of the First Amendment.

I was just pointing out the the phrase "separation of church and state" means two different things to the left:

1. Anyone (i.e., any Christian) cannot pray, say "God" or "Christmas" or do anything even resembling religion in public.

2. We (the left) can work to establish laws that violate the First Amendment and esentially establish secular humanism as a religion and that's fine.

Does that make sense?

I can be very sarcastic, but it doesn't always translate well to writing. :smile:

Billiam said...

Amy, will do, and apologies. I should slow down.

Amy said...

Apologies happily accepted. You're not the first to mistake my sarcasm for stated opinion. :)