Sunday, August 6, 2017

This Is Not the Religious Freedom We Fought For, But It Is the One They're Looking For

The freakazoids don't have to get the constitutional convention they are drooling for if they just destroy the one we have one right at a time.

But, seriously, Ambassador At Large For Religious Freedom? How is that even a job under a secular Constitution? And given Brownback's history as a radically conservative Catholic, one of those Crisis/First Things types who look with great envy at how Pat Robertson does business and who long for the days when a pope could terrify people at a distance, I suspect that easing the pain of the prejudice that might be afflicting, say, Muslims in Europe is not going to be at the top of agenda.

Even so, how is this even a thing? Are we going to have Ambassadors to all First Amendment freedoms? Because I'd really like to be Ambassador At Large For Press Freedom. How about the whole Bill of Rights? I think, in some countries, Ambassador At Large Against Quartering Troops might be a tougher job than it sounds. No, alas, I suspect this, along with the bizarre presidential* announcement about transgender troops on Wednesday morning, is one of the opening shots in the 2018 midterm elections, which apparently are going to be conducted according to 1998 rules, and which I already hate with a considerable passion.

In 1817, in what have come down to us as his Detached Memoranda, James Madison discussed the appointments of congressional chaplains. Mr. Jemmy was not impressed.
Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom? In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U. S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation. The establishment of the chaplainship to Congs is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles: The tenets of the chaplains elected [by the majority] shut the door of worship agst the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority.
Damn that little feller. He saw all of this coming, centuries down the road.

UPDATE -- To some of the Top Commenters, I am aware that the position was not created specifically for Brownback, which is why I didn't say it was. I don't believe it ought to exist at all.

No comments: