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Quote# 89616

As Associate Justice Joseph Story wrote in his monumental work on the Constitution, “The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment.” In other words, the First Amendment was not written to establish policy for any faith tradition other than Christianity. The Founders were simply not dealing with Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism or any other religion. This is why the Supreme Court in the 19th century could deny Mormon claims to polygamy, even though they argued for it on First Amendment grounds.

The purpose of the First Amendment then, is clear, according to Story. Its purpose is to prevent Congress from picking one Christian denomination and making it the official church of the United States, and to prevent the federal government from interfering in any way with the right of states to regulate religious expression as they see fit.

Thus, writes Story, “The whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the State governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice and the State constitutions.” In other words, according to Story, if we apply the Constitution as given by the Founders and not as mangled by the courts, states may prohibit the building of mosques if they choose to do so.

While this clearly does not represent the current understanding of the courts, according to the longest service associate justice in Supreme Court history, it is the correct one. And of course it is far from the only issue on which the courts have strayed far from the meaning of the Constitution as given by the Founders.

And while we may be years away from returning to an originalist standard of applying the First Amendment, the longest journey still begins with the smallest step and Story’s words may be that first step.

It’s worth noting in summary that, while I am speaking just for myself, these ideas are not my own. They come from noted prosecutor Andy McCarthy, prominent lawmaker Geert Wilders and eminent constitutional historian Joseph Story. While of course there are many who disagree vigorously with these thoughts, perhaps it’s time for a vigorous debate since so much is at stake.

While these steps will not protect us from the Muslims already among us who wish to do us harm in the name of Allah, these practical steps would stem the tide and create two large moats - the Atlantic and Pacific oceans - to protect the castle of American freedom from the very real threat of Islam. There is no time to lose.

Bryan Fischer, Rightly Concerned 66 Comments [9/17/2012 3:24:21 AM]
Fundie Index: 56
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Titania

Tilting at windmills. And attempting to use the Constitution as a lance. Nice try, but no.

9/17/2012 3:47:11 AM

Filin De Blanc

Where in the "or prohibiting free exercise thereof" does it say "unless it's those damn Muslims, fuck those guys"?

9/17/2012 3:54:07 AM

Prager

But if that's true, why do all the smart people disagree with the judge?

9/17/2012 4:07:19 AM

Swede

The Purpose might have been to make it impossible to pick one Christian denomination over the rest, but this will have the added benefit of it also being impossible to pick one religion over the rest.

If one person writes a book with one interpretation, which contradicts most other interpretations, then maybe you ought to go back to letters and diaries written by the Founding Fathers, where they themselves described what their intentions were. Just a suggestion...

9/17/2012 4:31:00 AM

Reynardine

I suspect, Mr. Fischer, that you're making up Stories. In any case, a dissent is not law.

9/17/2012 4:33:08 AM

Canadia

Longest serving? Must have resulted in a bit of senility.

9/17/2012 4:38:28 AM

Doubting Thomas

Sorry, but it says "religion" in the First Amendment, not "Christianity." Therefore it applies to ALL religions.

I've seen this stupid "The Establishment Clause just means the government can't prefer one denomination of Christianity over another" bullshit before. We've really got to improve the state of education in this country.

9/17/2012 4:44:21 AM

UHM

So let's talk about some other things in this originalist interpretation:

- Did the Founding Fathers (all of them) believe non-whites to be human beings? No, therefor stop blacks and hispanics from voting immediately! An don't forget that slavery has to be legal again thing! (13th and 15th Amendment unconstitutional)
- Did the Founding Fathers intend to let women vote? Probably not (because most people at the end of the 18th century thought women were, well, "emotionally overcharged"), so no voting and not running for office anymore, hysterical women! (19th Amendment uncostitutional)
- The Patriot Act would be unconstitutional after the Fourth Amendment. Out wth it.
- The Twelfth Amendment from 12.09.1803 would have come in to late - therefor all presidential elections since 1804 are nullified.

See? I can be silly as hell too!
(Damn am I happy to live in country with a constitution that is barely sixty years old)

Edit: Geert Wilders is a fucktard, he wants to stop immigration from Eastern Europe - even those within the Schengen Area! For all those that don't know the inticracies of European treaty webbing - that's impossible without leaving the EU.

9/17/2012 4:53:01 AM

anevilmeme

Goodmorning irony.

The US Constitution was written by a deist named Madision, prehaps you've heard of him.

That marks my 1000th irony meter murdered by fstdt.

9/17/2012 4:54:02 AM

MK

Thomas Jefferson specifically disagrees with you and Judge Story. I'll take Judge Fact instead.

9/17/2012 5:11:04 AM

breakerslion

One axe-grinding moron quoting another axe-grinding moron.

Surprise!

"While of course there are many who disagree vigorously with these thoughts, perhaps it’s time for a vigorous debate since so much is at stake."

"Asked and answered," as they say in the courts... or, do you expect to gain followers by beating this dead horse?

9/17/2012 5:16:04 AM

Mister Spak

" In other words, the First Amendment was not written to establish policy for any faith tradition other than Christianity."

Treaty of Tripoli dumbass.

9/17/2012 5:42:31 AM

dionysus

“The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment.” In other words, the First Amendment was not written to establish policy for any faith tradition other than Christianity.

Well tough shit. Then the founders should have made that clearer if that was their intention. However, given that a number of the founding fathers were deists that seems highly unlikely. Also:

Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.

-Thomas Jefferson

9/17/2012 5:56:54 AM

pete

Fischer is a vile little worm who will tell any lie in order to foster hatred for those who piss him off by being different.

9/17/2012 6:16:51 AM

fishtank

Though luck, the world changes.

9/17/2012 6:46:56 AM

fishtank

" prominent lawmaker Geert Wilders"

ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS.

This man is a joke. An insult to the good people of the country I'm currently a guest in. I know they vote(ed) for him in the past, but the spell seems broken. Fuck you, Geert. Oranje is better than you.

9/17/2012 6:51:56 AM

Xotan

The First Amendment does not specify any religion. Therefore it covers all. It does not refer in the least to Christian denominations. Bryan is engaging in Fundie wishful thinking - and stupidity.

The forbidding of buildings should surely come under Planning Law.

And is it not a function of the Supreme Court to interprest the constitution? Who then is an associate justice to usurp the power of one of the arms of government? He's a nobody that most likely appeals to fundies' limited capacity for thought.

I love the way Bryan shows his limited knowledge of Arabic and Maltese by using Allah instead of God. (The Maltese are very Catholic, but in their language God is 'Alla', necause Maltese is a semitic tongue.) Ao beware the Maltese in your midst too! (Idiocy!)

Run for the mountains quick! Allah is out to get you! ROTFLMAO

9/17/2012 7:20:38 AM

Anon-e-moose

"As Associate Justice Joseph Story wrote in his monumental work on the Constitution, “The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment.” In other words, the First Amendment was not written to establish policy for any faith tradition other than Christianity. The Founders were simply not dealing with Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism or any other religion."

Seems then, that the Founding Fathers were a forward-thinking lot, when they drew up the Treaty of Tripoli. As they were in omitting the words 'God', 'Jesus', 'Creator', and even 'marriage' from the Constitution.

They'd seen what happened in other countries (certainly in past history) when Church and State were indivisible: people were burned at the stake.

Theocratic Dominionism is a double-edged sword indeed. One being the Scimitar of Islamism. The other being the sabre of right-wing Fundamentalist Christianity.

"While these steps will not protect us from the Muslims already among us who wish to do us harm in the name of Allah, these practical steps would stem the tide and create two large moats - the Atlantic and Pacific oceans - to protect the castle of American freedom from the very real threat of Islam. There is no time to lose."

Remember when you were caught off guard on that day in December 1941? That day in September 2001 springs to mind...

9/17/2012 7:20:51 AM

Doom Nugget

Justice Story served on the bench in the 1800s. And no where in the First Amendment does it say "Congress shall make no law establishing a Christian religion, nor prevent the free exercise of Christianity" you dumb ignorant fuckwit.

Hurry up and join the rest of us in the 21st century instead of staying stuck in the 17th.

9/17/2012 7:40:20 AM

J. James

Bull. Fucking. Shit. The founding fathers specifically welcomed "musselmen" as protected under the first amendment back when they unanimously signed the Treaty of Tripoli.

9/17/2012 7:56:33 AM

SpukiKitty

I love how these bozos describe dim-bulb, fundy, bigot, tea-brained rogue lawmakers, psychiatrists, theologians, researchers, etc. as "The great/imminent/respected/renoun/etc." to make said quack sound like an actual authority.

TWO CAN PLAY AT THIS GAME!

"GENE RAY, EMINENT PHYSICS GENIUS & PIONEERING POOBAH OF SCIENCE...DISCOVERER OF THE REVOLUTIONARY TIME CUBE THEORY!!!....."

"MELVIN NEIDERMEYER GOOBERHEIMLICH, TEEN PRODIGY CULINARY PIONEER OF A MCDONALD'S IN LAKAWANNA, NEW YORK!..."

In reality they're a cranky old internet crackpot & a average, zit-encrusted, teenage fast food worker (I dreamed up), respectively.

9/17/2012 8:32:22 AM

freako104

Failing the first amendment, the bill of rights, the constiution and America. Yes Bryan. It is that bad. You fail your own country and its ideals. You migjtwant to stop while you're behind

9/17/2012 8:45:56 AM

Robespierre

You're doing it wrong.

9/17/2012 10:20:39 AM

farpadokly

Notice this common theme in various kinds of fundamentalism; restoration of a previous time, or an idealised version of a previous time.
The fundamental Muslims want to restore a version of one of the early Caliphates, (only a much stricter version of what it was really like), the fundamental Christians want to restore the early Church, or something like that, the strict Constitutionalists want to take us all back to the eighteenth century and pretend that things haven't changed, and the free market fundamentalists want to take us back to the pre-World War I, pre-federal reserve, robber baron era. Your run-of-the-mill unthinking conservative, or men's rights spokesman, wants an idealised, cleaned-up 1950s.
The fact is, though, that we can't turn the clock back even by five minutes. We can no more go back to the eighteenth century than we can to the time of Charlemagne or Aristotle.

9/17/2012 10:52:43 AM

Sasha

@pete, that's the best description of Bryan Fischer I've heard yet.

9/17/2012 10:55:13 AM
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