Clashes over religious expression are among the most frequent controversies decided by federal courts today. Consequently, a body of nine unelected Justices now exercise more control over how, when, and where religious activities will occur than any other entity in America. The Supreme Court has been described as the national theology board.
The Supreme Court largely amassed its control over religion first by discarding the traditional limitations of the First Amendment, and then by adopting the well-known “separation of church and state” phrase as the modern guide for judging the propriety of challenged religious expression. By imputing a non-historic meaning to this celebrated, overused phrase, the modern Court began striking down many long-standing religious practices and expressions. The subsequent over-zealous application by state and local officials of these court decisions, has caused this nation much grief.
Because of the rampant coupling of “separation of church and state” with First Amendment controversies, most Americans believe that the phrase is actually part of the First Amendment. It is no such thing. Concerning religion, the first amendment states the following:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
For generations after its ratification, the courts relied solely on the clear and unambiguous wording of the First Amendment; the reliance on the “separation” metaphor is a recent (flawed) judicial trend. In the Supreme Courts’ first 150 years, the separation idiom was invoked in only two cases. Since then, the separation metaphor has been cited in more cases filed under the First Amendment’s religious clause than the First Amendment itself! The degradation of the Constitution and it’s original intent can be attributed to the pitiful morality and faith of this nation.
Much more to come.