Rick Santorum’s attack on the long-held concept of “separation of church and state” as per various legal and governmental documents is one more attempt to trash the Constitution by this Republican right-winger and presidential hopeful.
In various quotes the end of last week and this weekend, he stated that he “does not believe that there should be an absolute separation of church and state.”
That goes right along with all the right wing blather about this country always being a Christian nation, that our Founding Fathers meant it to be a Christian nation, etc., etc. Naturally, that is all wrong, and Santorum and his handlers should realize this.
In contrast to this, all you have to do is to realize that there is no mention of God in the Constitution, or listing of religious rights other than the idea that each person may practice his own religious, or non-religious, views and beliefs.
For further proof, just look up the Treaty of Tripoli And an early diplomatic agreement during the Founding Fathers time period and signed into law on June 10, 1797. It was signed earlier for Tripolitania at Tripoli on November 4, 1796 and in Algiers (for a third party witness) on January 3, 1797.
A clause in the agreement states the following. “As the Government of the United States of American is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion, . . .” The rest of the statement is long and deals with maintaining “harmony” between the two countries. This clause in Article 11 of the treaty has been strongly interpreted as an official denial of any Christian basis or founding of the country by the Founding Fathers on the U. S. Government.
Realize that this clause was not snuck into some appropriations bill or other document to whisk it through Congress and onto the President’s desk. This wording was sent by President John Adams to Congress and the Senate ratified it unanimously on June 7, 1797 and it was signed into law by Adams on June 10, 1797.
The point of the treaty was to stop the previous hostilities between U.S. trade ships and the Barbary Pirates, and that the agreement was between two sovereign states and not between two religious powers such as Islam and Christianity.
In this simple but long-lasting treaty and document, the government of the United States of America, through Congress and the office of the President, assured the world that the our new country was a sovereign state and going to act that way, and not going to try to enforce religious views or beliefs on any other country, or on our own citizens.
The First Amendment of the Constitution reads that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;. . .”
This allows for personal acceptance of or rejection of religion of any form in the U.S.A. with certain restrictions which came later as to plural marriage (Mormons) or cruelty to animals during religious sacrifices.
The big question for the inanity of Santorum is what kind of religious freedom would he like? Would it be only Catholic (his religion) prayers? Would other prayers be allowed in public and in government? Would he, with eight children (one deceased), ban any voluntary use of birth control as per his Catholic priests and mentors?
More on this in the following column.