THE L. F. NEXUS
THE ACLU’s IGNORANCE OF THE HISTORY OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT
By Dr. Michael J. Bisconti
Here is the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America:
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.
The ACLU does not know the history of the First Amendment, or the entire Constitution for that matter. When the founding fathers wrote this amendment, they were using the word “religion” in the way it was used in their time. Religion was not:
In other words, the First Amendment:
Rather, it prohibits:
So, our praying marines below were NOT violating the Constitution. Note that the marines were not commanded to pray and not commanded to bow their heads. Their praying and bowing their heads was heartfelt and voluntary. As confirmation of the voluntary nature of their prayer and/or of the FREELY CHOSEN STYLE AND MANNER of their prayer, note the five marines who did not bow their heads and the three marines who bowed their heads part way.
Here is an enhanced version of the photograph above, along with clear identification of marines who did not bow their heads (which is their right) or bowed their heads part way (which is their right).
Furthermore, let us look at the precise meaning of the First Amendment with regard to religion:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….
Congress shall make no law….
…no law respecting an establishment of religion….
…no law…prohibiting the free exercise thereof….
…no law…prohibiting…free exercise….
The government is to be guided in its future decisions by the principle that “the pursuit of religion is something that is freely done.” In other words:
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