- - Thursday, October 2, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The American Civil Liberties Union and its supporters have every right to work to ensure the government remains out of religious matters. They generally base their beliefs upon what Thomas Jefferson referred to as “twistification” of constitutional language (“Score: Prayer 1,000, ACLU 0,” Commentary, Web, Sept. 26). In this case, that twisting takes the form of biased interpretation by liberal Supreme Court justices of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

The pertinent language of the First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” and the relevant portion of the Fourteenth says that no state shall “deprive any person of … liberty … without due process of law.” In the absence of judicial activism, the First Amendment clearly only prevents Congress from making a law “respecting an establishment of religion.” The Fourteenth Amendment provides persons with “due process of law” in the protection of their liberty.

Except for the very narrow proscription placed upon Congress in the First Amendment, there is absolutely no reference in either of these amendments, or anywhere else in the Constitution, that prevents federal, state or local government involvement in religion. I would suggest that the straw-man position here is actually made by those who base their principles upon the “twistification” of the Constitution.

ROBERT HARGEST

Alexandria

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