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 67 Comments [9/17/2012 3:24:21 AM]
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Bryan thinks Muslims know who he is.

9/17/2012 11:10:38 AM


I'm sure Joseph Story was correct; the rights of Hindus, Jews, etc. were not given much thought by the writers of the Constitution. However, most of them would not have wanted to see non-Christians persecuted, either. These are interesting historical points to discuss, however, the intent of the Founding Fathers becomes increasingly irrelevant in the modern world. Live humans make the laws, not dead ones.

9/17/2012 11:27:11 AM


What part of freedom of religion is so hard for you to understand?

9/17/2012 11:33:38 AM


Bryan, if you're not trolling and sincerely believe all this nonsense you come up with, then you're just about as crazy as savagesusie.

9/17/2012 11:37:12 AM

Following their reasoning, since the First Amendment only prohibits any Christian denomination from becoming the official religion, it would be completely constitutional to establish Sharia law in the United States since Islam isn't a Christian sect.

Joseph Story should be impeached and Bryan Fischer should stop torturing logic.

9/17/2012 11:48:01 AM



You do realize that Joseph Story died in 1845, don't you? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Story

He was one of the more conservative (using the current terminology) of the judges of his time.

9/17/2012 12:01:13 PM


Written in true Don Quixote style!

9/17/2012 12:18:26 PM


"far from the only issue on which the courts have strayed far from the meaning of the Constitution as given by the Founders."

Speaking of making up a bunch of bullshit and rewriting history to suit your ideological agenda, there's you..........

9/17/2012 12:37:24 PM


Those poor, stupid founders. They meant to write "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion one Christian sect over another, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof of Christianity", but they just plumb forgot!

The idea that the founders were unaware of other religions is nonsense. One of the first things the new government did, even before the Constitution was even written was to pay extortion money to the Barbary pirates.

9/17/2012 12:49:04 PM


i'd say the constitution isn't in heaven anymore, but it never was. if they had specified that christianity was synonymous with religion, then they'd just be wrong, and the more sensible right to free expression of religion would still win. the founding fathers were just a bunch of fallible people, right?

9/17/2012 1:23:20 PM

so one judge disagrees ? thats why there is a group that make decisions by a majority.

9/17/2012 1:36:44 PM

Oh My Dog!

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

Where is "Christianity" mentioned?

9/17/2012 1:52:48 PM


"In the course of the opposition to the bill in the House of Delegates, which was warm & strenuous from some of the minority, an experiment was made on the reverence entertained for the name & sanctity of the Saviour, by proposing to insert the words "Jesus Christ" after the words "our lord" in the preamble, the object of which, would have been, to imply a restriction of the liberty defined in the Bill, to those professing his religion only. The amendment was discussed, and rejected by a vote of agst."

~ James Madison, father of the Constitution

You were saying?

9/17/2012 2:22:25 PM

Old Viking

Bryan thinks the founders were deficient in writing skills.

9/17/2012 3:26:29 PM

Steven Mading

Someone needs to show this lying sack of shit the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by a lot of the very same people who signed that constitution he's talking about.

9/17/2012 3:36:55 PM



9/17/2012 4:49:37 PM

Fundies Make Me Sick

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, and Wrong.

9/17/2012 4:50:29 PM


Except for, you know, the things the Founding Fathers actually SAID.

9/17/2012 4:59:50 PM


Well, let's see, regardless of the original intent of the founders, the Constitution was significantly altered in 1868 with the 14th Amendment.

I contend that the 1st Amendment is the greatest paragraph even written by the hand of man. Section 1 of the 14th Amendment is in the running as the second greatest paragraph ever written by the hand of man.

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Story wrote his commentaries in 1833, thirty-five years prior to the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment makes state law subservient to federal and eliminates any abiltity of the states to establish a religion if any such power ever existed (which it didn't).

9/17/2012 5:10:01 PM


Byran why do you hate freedom of religion? Why do you hate America?

9/17/2012 5:20:42 PM


Oh yeah, one other thing.

The threat to the west from Islam is essentially negligible. Islam's military power is nothing next to ours and it's culture has nothing to attract the overwhelming majority of Americans or Europeans.

Yes, it might be able to launch a suicidal terrorist attack from time to time but, as painful as those are, they're not going to topple western culture.

What the hell are you freaks afraid of?

9/17/2012 5:26:21 PM


Not even if 10 million africans would march on europe would "our" civilization topple.

Don't be afraid.

We've won.

Except maybe against China.

9/17/2012 6:01:53 PM


@fishtank: but there have to be enemies to fear--that's the only way the reactionaries can gain and continue to hold power. It was communists and hippies yesterday, it's socialists, gays and Muslims today. Tomorrow it'll be something else.

Then again, the reactionary right is STILL terrified that there are commies under their beds, so I suppose all they really do is add more enemies to their list instead of replacing them.

9/17/2012 6:36:13 PM

TB Tabby

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.”

Then Associate Justice Joseph Story is a fool. It would be easy for a majority Christian sect to outlaw all other sects by exploiting the fundies' favorite argument for dismissing Christians they disagree with, all together now...


The ACTUAL Founders realized this, as they had just won their independence from a nation where Catholics and Protestants used that argument to take turns persecuting each other for centuries. Even if you do it with the best of intentions, any government that endorses one religion over others will always be wide open to corruption and abuse of power. The only way for Christians to truly enjoy freedom of religion is to have a government that doesn't endorse any religion, including theirs. But Christians like Bryan Fischer don't really want to be free of oppression. They just want to be the oppressors.

9/17/2012 7:11:02 PM



Your rage may be understandable if it is directed at Fischer, but sexually-based insults and wishes that someone suffer a horrible fatal disease are not helping.

9/17/2012 7:15:59 PM

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