‘We need God in the White House:’
Unconstitutional slogan or unrealized oxymoron
Now, I have no doubt I will be harshly judged for this article but some things within our country need to be addressed. I recently had a conversation with a friend who read my last column and asked me why I don’t think America was founded on Christianity. I feel that my friend isn’t the only one begging for some enlightenment. Hence, this article.
This country was founded on religious freedom by Protestants escaping religious persecution in England. Upon the ratification of the Constitution, the First Amendment established what today is the standard view of religion.
“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.”
This protects freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The Establishment Clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another (Cornell University Law School). Now, the phrase “separation of church and state” was coined by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to a group known as the Danbury Baptists, ensuring them that no religious group would have precedence over another. This only exists in the Constitution in spirit.
While the founders had an idea of God, they lived in a time of great religious persecution. So, they created this amendment to ensure future religious freedom. This was because the founding fathers had experienced religious persecution in their own lives. One of the largest influences on the founding fathers was John Locke, who had a quite distinct view of the separation of church and state. Coupling this with the writings of Henry David Thoreau and Thomas Pain, we can see the founding fathers had no intention of preferring one religious view over another.
At a recent Tea Party rally, Sarah Palin said “We need God in the White House” to the gathering masses. She was greeted with a roar of applause, showing how well “tea partiers” understand what it means to be a Constitutionalist, which they claim to be. Now that we have established that this idea is unconstitutional, we can go on to explain how this statement is an oxymoron. If God is an omnipresent being, then God is everywhere. With that said, the use of this phrase only shows Palin and the other tea partiers’ lack of understanding of this phrase, their own faith, their country and of the English language. So, like children following the Pied Piper, we smile — galvanized by our own ignorance to a bitter end.
“Every great truth begins as a blasphemy.”
— George Bernard Shaw
My name is “The Good Reverend” James Ferda and I approve this message.