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Is Separation of Church and State About To Fall?

Separation of church and state has been a staple in the United States for over two hundred years. Justice Scalia disagrees.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Monday that a religion-neutral government does not fit with an America that reflects belief in God in everything from its money to its military.

"I suggest that our jurisprudence should comport with our actions," Scalia told an audience attending an interfaith conference on religious freedom at Manhattan's Shearith Israel synagogue.

. . .

Scalia told them that while the church-and-state battle rages, the official examples of the presence of faith go back to America's Founding Fathers: the word "God" on U.S. currency; chaplains of various faiths in the military and the legislature; real estate tax-exemption for houses of worship - and the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Well damn. This is the same guy who calls himself a strict constructionalist. He says that he can single handedly know what the Founding Fathers intended in writing the Constitution, and decries interpreting it to reflect the changing times. So how does he conform that belief with the First Amendment?
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 separation of church and state which Scalia is so eager to do away with, consistent with our values(?) IS part of what was intended by our Founding Fathers. In 1802, President Jefferson - one of those pesky Founding Fathers who Scalia emulates except when he wants to rule another way - wrote a letter to a group of Baptists in Danbury, Connecticut, where he stated was the purpose of the First Amendment to build a wall of separation between Church and State. It seems ironic that Scalia doesn't want to follow Jefferson's intent, that he wants the courts to rule consistent with America's "values," while at the same time, he holds himself out as a strict constructionalist.

(As for his statement concerning the phrase "under God" in the Pledge, I am sure that Justice Scalia know that the words "under God" were actually added to the Pledge in 1954 - in response to the Cold War. At that time, the phrase was intended to distinguish the US from communism and everything it represented. THAT certainly wasn't anticipated by the founding fathers.)


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