Does Constitution Forbid
President's National Prayer?
Jill M

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Jill M"
Subject: Re: WAR/GOD/GOV't
Date: September 19, 2001 6:02 PM

1. The Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment to mean other branches of government and even state and local governments.

2. Thomas Jefferson interpreted the First Amendment as forbidding him from directing his constituency in worship, castigating his two predecessor for so doing.
 

I don't understand what they're trying to say, here. By dragging in an idea about cultivating "anti-religion (esp. Christianity) schools of thought," they only show themselves to be desperate for an argument. Their other one (#1, above) being utterly without foundation, it appears that they hope to pile on a plethora of arguments in hopes to win by the sheer number of points they try to make (never mind that they're "oh-fer-two" so far this inning). Furthermore, their use of emotional catch-language such as "propaganda" and lumping "atheistic" and "Left-Wing" with the much-vilified "Marxist" only makes it harder for a reader to even give them the benefit of the doubt on my first point (in #2, here).

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Jill M"
Subject: Re: WAR/GOD/GOV't
Date: September 19, 2001 11:05 PM

The First Amendment applies to state and local governments as well as Congress (the House and the Senate), and this also means the Presidency. Even the courts are bound by the First Amendment and are not allowed to, for example, sentence an "alcoholic" to attend Twelve Step meetings. All three branches must obey the United States Consitution, and yes, the Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment does indeed apply to them.

Thomas Jefferson was the first President to agree with this interpretation of the First Amendment when he explained that the Constitution did not give him the authority to direct or even recommend religious exercises (that is, he thought that the Constitution forbade him from doing this, as this is what does not grant authority means in his letter).

The First Amendment has never fully been practiced, and her opposition began even during the Constitutional Convention. As former vice-president Walter Mondale pointed out, "Today, the religion clauses of the First Amendment do not need to be fixed; they need to be followed." This disobedience, however, is no justification for further disobedience to the Amendment. Jefferson himself predicted that opponents of Liberty would continually try to erode the protections which this Amendment gives to American citizens. Many Christians point to such breeches as "In God We Trust" on our coins to justify further breeches. No. Two wrongs don't make a right!

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

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