April 25, 2010

(Op-ed) Page under construction

Writes an Iowa attorney* in a Milwaukee paper:
The problem lies in the fact that the courts have read into the Constitution two religion clauses when there is in fact only one — "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." . . . The only way to consistently protect all aspects of religious liberty is to read it as one unified clause prohibiting religious discrimination by the government.
That's one unique solution, I suppose. It ignores the fundamental tenets of English grammar, but what the heck. Let's apply a similar rule to the federal law at issue and forget about the commas:
The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.
So the praying to God may take place only at churches, although you don't actually have to sit or stand near anybody else. That doesn't exactly solve the problem, however. In fact, it makes it even worse.

* Who, along with nearly every other editorial commentator in Christendom, claims the court found the National Day of Prayer to be unconstitutional. That isn't the case. The court found that a significant component in the method by which the establishment of a National Day of Prayer came about to be unconstitutional. To wit, Congress made a law, a brute fact that not even a single-clause reading of the First Amendment can successfully eradicate.


Pete Gruett said...

This appears to be along the same lines as the two judges on the Gableman ethics panel who decided that you can only lie within a single sentence. Paragraphs apparently have no legal standing.

illusory tenant said...

There was barely any discussion of that question at the court on April 16.