Post # 693   THE ABANDONMENT OF THE “ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE”

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution (“Bill of Rights”) contains the following language: “Congress shall make no law, respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” [The Establishment Clause]. This limitation on the power of one of the three branches of American Government was empirically, based upon the many centuries of religious repression and conflict which had been the tragic history of Europe. Accordingly, the U.S. Constitution does not contain any reference to a God, whatsoever. One of the Founders famously, said, “To put God in the Constitution is to put Man out.” Church and State were intended to be completely separate to avoid the excesses, which historically, made for injustice and immeasurable misery in the historic past.

Yet, this prudent and fundamentally, sound provision, in our view, has not been scrupulously, observed by government, and this consequential failure has been directly, responsible for the eternal existence of a hotly contested and angrily, divisive, contemporary issue, viz., the woman’s personal right to an abortion. More on this subject, following another glaring example of our theme.

For centuries, (1656-1956), the Nation was, unfairly and illegally, burdened with the inarguably, unconstitutional and biased, government legislation, known as the “Blue Laws.” Blue Laws restricted or completely banned, some or all business activity on Sunday, for the express purpose of promoting the observance of the Christian Sabbath. Contemporaneously, there remain restrictive laws, concerning the sale and purchase of liquor on Sundays. It may be noted, that there are approximately, ten to twelve separate religions in America, only one of which is Christian. More to the point of this essay, such restrictive legislation is in obvious antagonism to the Establishment Clause. This Nation, tolerated, worse, enforced these laws, which were obviously, based on the religious belief of one of the several American faiths, including atheists. In Court actions, various social rationales were creatively, articulated, justifying the retention of the Blue Laws, but no appropriate recognition of the fundamental American authority on religion, the establishment Clause. We, who are law-abiding citizens, wonder and are disturbed by this inconsistency.

We see such inexcusable injustice in the pronouncements and rulings of governments, State and Federal, on the question of the woman’s right to elect abortion, a position, which clearly is sub-rosa, a part of religious dogma. Its proponents, empirically, cannot take the position of responsible respect for life, itself, when the ardent and very passionate opponents to abortion strictly oppose support and assistance after the fetus is born. Nor can it be anything but religious belief when such parties, oppose contraception, support gun ownership, oppose refugee immigration, favor capital punishment, and have gone as far as committing murder of abortion providers.  

We, disappointingly, have failed to learn of cases where the Establishment Clause was raised, in matters concerning this significant and personal woman’s liberty, and hope that, ultimately, it will suffer the same fate as the unjust Blue Laws.

-p.       

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plinyblogcom

Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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