The following is a reply to a religious appologist who claims that Our Constitution currently permits religion in government; and cited some language from the pre- Amendment Constitution as support.
Yes, that’s the original language which was changed by Amendment via Ratification by the States.
And everything you claim WAS true. It was also CHANGED in 1868, BECAUSE they were seeing a de facto trend in government (State and Federal) towards religious activism using laws and regulations. This change was the First Amendment which says, quite clearly:
“Congress shall make no law respecting (about) an establishment (organization in general) of religion…”
The direct, semantic, translation of that to modern language is, as I said, “Congress shall not use Law to speak about Religion. Neither for it, nor against it.”
Since this language was explicitly agreed to (Ratified) by the several States and the language of the 14th Amendment was also Ratified, that change in the First Amendment also applies to States.
Basically what the 14th says is that ALL Citizens of any State are also Citizens of the USA. Then it goes on to say that States may offer Citizens of the United States MORE Rights and Protections than the US Constitution does; but may not ever offer fewer rights and protections that the United States Constitution does.
Because the Several States explicitly, and legally, agreed to this language in the 14th Amendment through Ratification of it, those changes to Our Constitution apply directly to the States.
Now: Here’s the grand convenient “error” so many religious apologists make in this area of discussion…
The United States Constitution and its Amendments (means changes to) are not, in any way, shape, or form, “different things.”
These Amendments are all part and parcel of the same supreme law. We merely retain the original (superseded/changed by Amendment) language, by tradition and intent, so that everyone (Citizens and Legislators) can track these changes and monitor them.
I’d also note that the intent of the First Amendment is made even clearer because one of the unchanged parts of the original Constitution (Article 6 last paragraph) also says, quite clearly, that:
“… no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
This paragraph is especially interesting in that, while it deals specifically with the issue of Religion in Government that the First Amendment addresses, it was intentionally left unchanged by the Amendment.
IF what religious apologists claim were true, (that religion belongs in our government) then any sane, reasonable, persons would have addressed and changed this Article 6 prohibition on religious tests with the First Amendment.
They, most emphatically, did not do that in the First Amendment which was Ratified (explicitly agreed to by the several States) just 4 years after the signing of the original Constitution.
With these Facts included in the picture, it is an utterly disengenuious obfuscation to claim that there was ANY intention to permit religion any entre into our government because this “oops we missed that bit” of the Bill of Rights just 4 years later would have been the perfect opportunity to make that clear.
Instead they chose to bolt the door, after slamming it on religion in government, by saying “Congress shall pass no Law respecting an establishment of religion…”
Sorry there’s just zero wiggle room in these Facts, no matter how badly apologists want to “create” some.