Report Card # 5 on Bill Press’s Book
How the Republicans Stole Christmas
[Posted on this blog Saturday, July 9/2011 – written Dec. 10th, 2005]
Chapter 1 - Separation of Church and State
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Would it not be wonderful if Bill had a prayerful conversion and became a public advocate of Pope John Paul’s Gospel of Life? He would be a hero of the pro-life movement. Instead as a wayward Catholic, he is a pain in the neck. He promotes the secular humanist judicial activist judge’s interpretation of the first amendment. Bill is very upset with the following:
Bush signed an executive order allowing churches that receive federal funds for so-called faith based programs to practice religious discrimination: hiring as staff members only those who belong to the same church. 36
Bush proposed a school voucher program, which would give parents federal tax dollars to use to pay tuition to private religious schools. 36
Bush instituted a “religious test” for judges, promising to appoint only “commonsense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God.” 36
Under Bush, employees in the White House, the Justice Department, and other federal agencies are under pressure to begin their workday by attending “voluntary” Bible study and prayer sessions. 36
In fact, tearing down the First Amendment’s historic wall of separation between church and state is the express aim of religious conservatives today, and they make no bones about it. After an October 2004 meeting with President Bush, Philadelphia’s Cardinal Justin Rigali issued a statement deploring “separation of church and state” as “A MISINTERPRETATION OF THE CONSTITUTION.” 38
In the Supreme Court’s 1985 Wallace v. Jaffree decision, which declared unconstitutional an Alabama law requiring that the school day begin with a moment of “silent meditation or voluntary prayer,” then Associate Justice Rehnquist issued a blistering dissent: “The wall of separation between church and state is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor that has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.” 40
I recall being a substitute teacher in the Waltham, Mass. Public Elementary School System during the spring of 1962. I read short excerpts from the Bible to the children. This was a positive educational experience for them. It was not unconstitutional.
The L.A. Tidings issue, Dec. 9th, 05, p.20, George Weigel hit the nail on the head.
The Framers’ intent to foster a robust religious life in America by preventing the Federal government from ‘establishing’ any denomination as the governmentally approved faith has now been turned inside out. Today, the first amendment is widely understood to require not simply governmental ‘neutrality’ between denominations, or between belief and unbelief, but governmental suspicion of, bordering on hostility to any public manifestation of religious conviction in the public square.
A Common Sense Pro-Life Dispatch
George H. Kubeck, ..