On Religion, Government, and the Actual Words of our Constitution 

I’m STILL getting folks claiming that there’s dome sort of Constitutional imperative allowing Religion in Our Government. 

DEEP sigh*

Okay, so we’ll break it down one more time:

From Wiki (yes, it’s that easy to find): 
Here’s what the Constitution SAYS in the First Amendment:
First Amendment to the United States Constitution

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”[1]

The Prohibition:  
Congress shall make no law respecting
Okay… so respecting about, or pertaining, to WHAT?

Part 1, before the comma: 
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
So we know that respecting means “about or pertaining to”… 
SO… Congress is as of this point under aBlanket Prohibition which specifically prohibits them from using Law to speak about an establishment of religion… can’t say ANYTHING in Law, either for it or against it.

What’s an establishment?
So… here’s that bit:  

[ih-stab-lish-muhnt]  Show IPA   noun 
1. the act or an instance of establishing.
2. the state or fact of being established.
3. something established; a constituted order or system.
4. ( often initial capital letter ) the existing power structure in society; the dominant groups in society and their customs or institutions; institutional authority (usually preceded by the  ): The Establishment believes exploring outer space is worth any tax money spent. 
5. ( often initial capital letter ) the dominant group in a field of endeavor, organization, etc. (usually preceded by the  ): the literary Establishment.

From Jon Grouberts’ wifes’ hard copy of Blacks Dictionary of law regarding The Establishment Clause;

Such language prohibits a state or the federal government from setting up a church, or passing laws which aid one, or all, religions, or giving preference to one religion, or forcing belief or disbelief in any religion.” 

So to translate this into modern English:
Congress may not EVER use Law to speak about Religion, they also may not EVER limit the freedom of speech, or the freedom of the Press, or restrict the Right of the People to peaceably assemble to demand a redress of grievances from the government.”

Seems pretty crystal clear to me.  In short – Government may NOT ever use Law to support religion, but they ALSO can not ever use Law to stop you from supporting religion in your private* life.

*Private life = as a private Citizen, as opposed to as a member of our government. 

To put a finer point on it:
You’re more than welcome to pray or read your holy book pretty much anytime, and anywhere you please, but you are not permitted to use any government position (say as a court clerk or publicly funded school teacher, or a fire chief) to force others to comply with your beliefs.

So… if you want to read your bible on your lunch… fine.  If you want to refuse to issue marriage licenses for gays in a State where gay marriage is legal… not fine.  This last is called “Using a government position in an attempt to enforce your religious beliefs upon others.”  

As to claims that “This doesn’t apply to the States.”

Sorry, wrong. If for no other reason than the Fact that marriage is, under the Law, a privilege* which offers immunities.** 

Here’s the full Answer to that blatantly false claim…

U.S. Constitution, Amendment XIV
Section 1.

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.

Since the several States explicitly agreed to be legally bound by this language through the process of Ratification…. Yes, sorry, it does apply. Further, because of the explicit agreement from the several States, it applies directly and specifically to the States.

For those unclear on the concept:

Approval or confirmation of a previous contract or other act that would not otherwise be binding in the absence of such approval. If an employer ratifies the unauthorized acts of an employee, those actions become binding on the employer. A person who is under the legal age to enter into a contract may ratify (and thereby adopt) the contract when he or she reaches majority, or may refuse to honor the contract without obligation.

We Ratified this Amendment  (Aka: change or revision to the Constitution) in 1868 and though large parts of the provisions have been un-enforced, the actual words still mean the exact same thing: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge  (means injure, limit, or damage) the privileges or immunities of Citizens of the United States,…”
Note carefully that there are precisely zero exceptions contained in this language. That’s intentional!

The other reason we think this limitation is in the First Amendment to Our Constitution is because (as noted here http://www.quora.com/Why-do-some-people-think-that-separation-of-church-and-state-is-in-the-United-States-Constitution/answer/Kris-Rosvold-1/comment/11987086?srid=X0qr&share=1 and thanks for the heads up to Roger Simpson) one of the folks who wrote our Constitution said as much repeatedly.

From the above comment:

Simply put, President Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association why he would not proclaim national days of fasting and thanksgiving. In his letter, he wrote that:

“I contemplate with sovereign reverence  that act of the whole American  people which declared that their legislature  should ‘make no law  respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting  the free  exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between  Church  & State.”

As to what he meant by that, it is easy to see. Jefferson was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (of which he was more proud than writing the Declaration of Independence), which states: 

“… no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship,  place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained,  molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer  on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall  be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in  matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish,  enlarge, or affect their civil capacities”

I’ve had some additional thoughts come up here…

First is that I glossed over the free exercise bit, so here it is. I’d note that this part seems just as absolute as the rest does. 
“or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
This, quite blatantly prohibits federal government; and since the 14th Amendment, ALL State government, from doing 2 things: 
1) Saying that you can’t practice your religion as a private Citizen.
2) Imposing ANY form of religion which you didn’t choose upon you.

So this sword of the First Amendment cuts both ways, as we’ve seen in the cases of American Indian religions which have successfully challenged drug laws with this.

*Reply to an appologist claiming that the Constitution allows religion in Law by using quotes from the original body of the Constitution*

Yes, that’s the original language which was changed by Amendment which was Ratified  (Aka: Agreed to be bound by) by the States.

Everything religious apologists claim about the original words of Our Constitution 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 other 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 1st 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 using 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 and bar the door, after slamming it on religion in government, by saying “Congress shall pass no Law respecting an establishment of religion…”

Sorry folks, there’s just zero wiggle room in these Facts, no matter how badly apologists want to “create” some.

Progressives Reading List

Here’s a great comprehensive reading list from the awesome folks at Citizen Works dot Org

CitizenWorks.org Progressive Reading List

The only thing I’d add is a few videos like these

Nick Hanauer completely debunks Trickle Down lies from both Partys 

Malcom X warned us over 50 yrs ago
We, literally, had ZERO valid choices in ’16
DNC Treason and paid seat fillers 

Progressives Bump

Obama’s TRUE legacy

Opposition Member of Irish Parliament tells the truth about Barack Obama and his actions.


So, I’m absolutely fed up with all the public adulation of the Democrat psychophants praising Obama to the roof and beyond as if he’s some sort of Ghandi.

Sigh… Guess I’d better back up and preface here.

In 2008 I worked to get Obama elected because he had a history of acting as a reformer, was a Constitutional Law scholar, and because I loved the idea of what a black POTUS represented for our nation. I mean, seriously folks, it really is about damned time for us to have a black leader in the White house.

Further, from a strictly pragmatic point of view as a Veteran who still sees his Oath to protect Our Constitution from ALL enemies… who, in theory, who would be better suited and armed to protect Our Constitution from domestic corporate fascists than a Constitutional Law scholar?

This last matters to me because I took an oath to protect our Constitution in ’79 and still take that oath seriously. I also read Law the way most folks read Ludlum novels.

Here’s the genesis for this article


Onward to the harsh reality of his actions…

When Obama took office (with a nice majority of Democrats in Congress) he promptly cosigned both the blatantly unConstitutional EVIL of the so called Patriot Act (more on this later) and Bush’s corporate fascist, #2Big2Fail bank bailout. He even went so far as to order his bankster lap dog Eric Holder to whomp up some excuses and lawyer lies to use against nay sayers, while we Citizens were almost universally demanding that he RICO the bastards as Iceland and Norway were doing at the time.

This would have been the ideal time for him to ACT in support of his Oath to support and defend our Constitution with a simple Executive Order to his new Heads of the DOJ and the FBI ordering them to pursue these thieving banksters using RICO, as was done in the S&L scandal in the ’80s and in the first bank crash during the ’90s.

Here’s how Obama could have acted, and “most carefully” didn’t act.

Antitrust & Obama’s refusal to use it

Instead he chose to do the exact opposite of what his Oath and our ammended Constitution demanded of him and acted to service those bankster/bribers at our expense, while also cosigning the Patriot Act renewals buried in NDAA. I regard these actions as the single largest treason against Our Constitution since the Confederate States passed the laws which caused Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to be added to Our Constitution as an Amendment.

Here’s Section 3 of the 14th Amendment:

The language is a bit archaic but is perfectly clear in both intent and legal effect when we diagram out the subject of the sentence:

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress [lists other applicable offices] or hold any office [lists all applicable State & Federal offices, including Judicial and Military Commissions] who, having previously taken an Oath as a Member of Congress, [re-lists all the additional covered offices] to support the Constitution* of the United States, shall have engaged in Insurrection or Rebellion against the same*, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof*

(Here “the Constitution of the United States” is the Subject of the sentence and *refers back to “the Constitution of the United States”)

So, what this legally passed and Ratified Amendment says, quite directly and unequivocally, is that a person who has acted (yes, votes ARE Actions in every legal sense… just ask any 1st yr Law student or any Corporate Board Member) in Insurrection or Rebellion against Our Constitution MAY NOT HOLD ANY ELECTED OR APPOINTED OFFICE, WHETHER STATE, FEDERAL, OR MILITARY COMMISSION.

Now let’s look at the definitions of Insurrection and Rebellion

Here’s the full legal definition from Cornell Law’s Legal Information Institute


Back to the Preamble and we find that the Constitution IS in fact both “the Authority of the United States” (our Nation was CREATED by the Ratification of our Constitution) and it is the Supreme Law of the land in ALL things per Article 6, Paragraph 2 of the Body of the Constitution.

For the Record: This section of the 14th Amendment, and the Oath of Office, are specifically designed to unequivocally establish The Constitution as Our Civil Authority so that actions taken against the Constitution ARE treasonous in nature & in Law. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is an Amendment (Aka: a change or correction) so it supersedes any and all prior language in the Constitution on the subject it speaks to.

Here’s why the Patriot Act is an action against Our Constitution and a vote to pass it is, in fact, and in Law, an act of treason.

1) The Constitution REQUIRES that Congress only pass laws which COMPLY with the Constitution

2) The Patriot Act VIOLATES the entire Bill of Rights contained in our, as ammended, Constitution which IS “The supreme Law of the land.”

3) In order to cure that violation either an Amendment MUST be passed and ratified by the States, or the fiat, treasonous “law” which violates the Constitution must be nullified… these are the ONLY LEGITIMATE ways to resolve this conflict because the laws passed by legislation MUST COMPLY with the Constitution to be valid.

4) NO such Amendment was proposed, much less passed or Ratified by 3/4 of the several States

Thus this fiat was done by Congress completely outside of their legal boundaries and they knew it at the time.

5) On that Article 6 above… here’s the last bit of it which REQUIRES State and Federal Judges to nullify laws which violate the Constitution

Again with the diagramming:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof [Aka Subject to the limitations of the Constitution and in compliance with it] and all treaties which are made, or shall be made,

under the Authority the United States [Aka those treaties which are in compliance with the Constitution] shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the judges of every State shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or Laws if any State notwithstanding.”

So… to put the cap on these logs and chains of Laws which bind our government, what does “in pursuance thereof” mean?

It means simply, to pursue the stated goals of our Constitution within the limits placed upon Congress & the federal government by the Constitution

Since the Patriot Act DOES violate, quite directly, the prior limits upon the Federal Government contained in the 10 Amendments known as The Bill of Rights, it is patently illegal

Here’s where it violates Our Constitution


In short, Congress knowingly passed a law which they KNEW was not “in pursuance of the Constitution” and which their support of violated their oath to protect our Constitution because that law violates our as ammended Constitution on every meaningful level.

So, yes the ACTION of voting to pass this law is a direct violation of their Oath to protect Our Constitution and thus is a violation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment which bars them each, jointly and severally, from serving in ANY government capacity whether elected or appointed.

Lastly, I’ve been getting lots of comments on twitter claiming that this “Patriot Act treason was none of Barak Obama’s doing!!”

The simple FACT is he not only cosigning it willingly in ’11, his signing statement ACTIVELY DEFENDED THIS INSURRECTION AGAINST OUR CONSTITUTION.

This treason, from a Constitutional Law Scholar & supposed reformer, is far more alarming than the original signing by Shrub (aka: Bush Jr.) because Obama knew precisely what he was doing to Our Constitution.

Update 9/21/17

For all those useful idiots who attacked me for writing this, let’s review his ACTIONS since he walked out this door. With a private “Fuck y’all, I Got Mine!”

Obama The Carpet Bagger

Lastly, if you claim these actions by Obama “aren’t actually treason because Muh Constitution,” please go look up the alternate definitions (civil & legal) of the word “Insurrection” as used in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment which I’ve cited above.

I’ll wait.

Of Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores and costly “Computer Errors”


 “My favorite day” Said Pooh…

Heads Up    Act 1

Fraud by Lowes. Heads UP my people! If you buy ANY tools at Lowes  ^^check your reciepts before you leave^^  because they’re cramming “warranties” and charging you for them whether you like it or not. I don’t know if it’s done with every tool purchase, or some, or just folks like me who won’t use the “MyLowes” Big Brother Purchase Observation System (or BB POS); but I can unequivocally prove that it IS being done. Yes I do, in fact, have their receipts! (vicious pun intended 😈)

Prelude To A Theft    Act 2

In Hiding

So… about 4 months ago I purchased an $800.00 trailer at the Lowe’s store in Bend, Oregon. All went well, and easily, until we came to the checkout portion of the sale. The cashier (who was completely awesome btw) asked me if I wanted to buy the extended warranty plan. I declined because I firmly believe these “warranties” (which are almost always written as an insurance plan with a stiff deductible) are a scam. So I watched the lady push the “no” button on the keyboard in reply to the sales prompt for the warranty plan… All Good right?

Well, you’d like to think so 

But Nope. When I reviewed the Reciept the ^computer system^ had added the 1 yr “extended warranty” and charged me for it… even though I’d watched the cashier press the “no” button in response to the warranty prompt . (Note here that I’m on the Aspie Spectrum and I “notice” EVERYTHING. I’m also a fair bit anal about money, contracts, and such things so I reflexively read EVERYTHING about any transactions I’m involved in… Sorry; it’s just how my brain is hardwired)

So I stopped her from moving on to the next customer and said that I’d watched her push the “no” button for the warranty and asked why was I being charged extra money for a warranty I’d declined to purchase after I’d watched her select “no” to the warranty sales prompt in the register system? She immediately got a manager, the warranty was canceled & money was refunded along with lots of apologies to me, and lots of blame for the “Computer error by our old, old, register system”.  All good, no harm/no foul, and I got all my money back; Right?

Well, you’d like to think so; and that’s what I thought at the time, but apparently not so much…

Prelude to a Theft   Act 3
In Real Life

So this week (11/02/16 at 14:52 to be precise) I went to the Redmond Oregon Lowe’s store and purchased $258.17 worth of stuff for some home repairs I was doing. Among those items was a narrow crown stapler which I’ll be using to build replacements for our kitchen drawers which are beat to crap particleboard that’s been repaired repeatedly. 

Pretty rough eh?

The cabinets themselves are all 1970s legacy solid wood cases and aren’t realistically replaceable at any sane cost because of the quality of the wood used (north of $10k for a small kitchen) .. So I’m refurbishing them. Here’s some of the ones I’ve already refinished with a satin urethane spar varnish. I’ll never have to do it again.

Much better, and very nearly bullet proof as I used an exterior grade urethane spar varnish.

But I digress…

Anatomy Of A Theft    Act 4
So, this cashier guy (also awesome btw) checks me out, asks me do I want the 2 yr $11.97 warranty on the $70 stapler (making it an $82 stapler) and I, being the anal Aspie that I am, say “No thanks, no warranty”

Once again I WATCH him push the “no” button on the registers’ warranty sales prompt and I pay with my debit card… here’s my Reciept

See that little old $11.97 for “2yr RP Tools $50-99.99” at the bottom?

Yup! BINGO! That’s the warranty I’d declined, then stood and WATCHED as the guy pressed the “no” button on! (I wonder if Lowes can put in a “HELL F’ING NO” button…)

Once again I called it out, got the money refunded, and got lots of apologies from him and his manager (the people were awesome it’s the system that’s FUBAR) about their “Glitches in the old, old, almost decrepit, computer system causing the problem” which was nice and would be all good IF I hadn’t had the exact same thing happen at a different Lowes store 30 miles away and four months prior. (Oops… those pesky #DamnedFacts and attentive customers really suck for corporate fascist liars)

Where’s The Beef?!    Act 5

Now, were this a one off, or even were it a repeat at the same store a few weeks later, I might buy their excuses of “its a computer glitch” but this happened twice at TWO DIFFERENT stores 30 miles apart, and separated by more than 4 months?!

Um… Yea, folks I was born; but it wasn’t fucking yesterday. This “Computer Glitch” causing the EXACT SAME problem, which profits the Company, at two different stores, months apart, actually looks to be pretty damned intentional and it’s something which the Sherman Antitrust Act calls The Practice of Cramming which has been unequivocally banned since the late 1970s.

It’s also attempted fraud, and likely a few other criminal charges as well. (Like say insurance fraud since the “warranty” is written as an insurance plan)

The Blatant Truth    Act 6 and Finis

Now, I’m a pretty peaceful guy even though I’ve got over 10 years of aikido, and 4 years of Navy Hand to Hand Combat Training, under my belt. I’ve been in just 1 “fight” over the past 30 years and that was because some idiot in San Francisico thought it was perfectly OK to reach for my wallet without my explicit permission (don’t bother coppers,😂 the Statute of Limitations tolled well over 15 years ago).  I say “fight” because dude reached into my pants pocket for my wallet, without my explicit permission, and pulled back a broken wrist & shattered elbow for his troubles. It lasted under 2 seconds total time & I walked away. He, I suspect, didn’t do much walking for a while as I’d also kicked him in the knee. Hopefully he went into a somewhat safer line of business.

Where I’m going with this is that I don’t take kindly to thieves & abusers, nor do I passively tolerate them even though I’m a radical old school progressive who’s generally very peaceable.

SO… I’m writing this to let others know what’s up in the hopes of giving them the tools to defend themselves.

I’LL also say to Congress, SC(R)OTUS, POTUS, and everyone else on God’s Green Earth, that I will ONLY accept your claims of Corporations being equal or equivalent to People and thus deserving of OUR Human and Constitutional Rights; if and when I can punch Lowes’ teeth down his throat for these attempted muggings. Note that I’m being quite literal here. It’s intentional because if I can’t hurt you, or physically imprison you, for harming me then you’re NOT a person!! Thus corporstions are NOT ever entitled to hold the Rights of being a person… on ANY level.

Be well, Stay Woke, and WATCH YOUR RECIEPTS Ppl! There’s shenanigans afoot.

Fin. Almost

False Advertising   Act 7

Lowes makes great hay of “Honoring Veterans” in their advertising  by “offering Veterans a discount” because we served our Nation. Interestingly enough it’s only CERTAIN Veterans though.. Specifically it’s only those Veterans with a current DOD issued ID card. The rest of us who served honorably but didn’t retire, or weren’t injured In Service enough to get a VA Card, or whose records were damaged by aging microfiche (me), get NOTHING. So I served, honorably, can prove that Service with the “Veteran” marker on my driver’s license (which I had to present my DD214 to obtain), or with a DD214 hard copy, yet I get nothing.

Bottom line here is that you either offer the discount to Veterans, or you don’t.  To advertise that you do, even with your “Restrictions Apply” evasions, is simply a lie & it is false advertising.

Now, I’ve talked to their customer support people on all of this, so none of this is news to them. I got ZERO from those folks but polite evasions, obfuscation, and liberal doses of Corporate Newspeak a la 1984; so here we are.

IF a Lowes Corporate person with some level of authority has any questions for me on any of the above you’re welcome to DM me on twitter @fixer_guy to talk.

Fin.  For reals, this time.