when Rick Santorum decried that the idea of separation of church and state made him want to throw up, most people assumed he was an outlier. i mean, everyone knows that we have such a separation as a fundamental principle bestowed by our Constitution. or do they?
i admit to a weakness for trolling one particular right wing blog. my encounters there are often disturbing, but you can use these forums to glean some insight into your ideological foes. a recurring theme i encounter revolves around the idea of church/state separation. they argue that it is myth, that our founders never intended for such a thing.
so should it come as much of a surprise that one of our lawmakers in the House has offered a Resolution reaffirming the importance of religion in the lives of Americans?
of course this is a non-binding resolution and wouldn't have any real policy attached to it even were it to pass. still, it's an alarming example of how Evangelical lawmakers are using their time in office to take a sledgehammer to the wall of separation of church and state. they don't believe it should exist, and many insist that it never existed in the first place.
where does all this come from? from what i can gather it's from a strict and literal reading of the Constitution itself. nowhere in the document does the language for separation exist, hence any later clarifications are meaningless. the original document doesn't say it so the founders must not have meant for it to be. of course these simpletons miss the fact that all amendments to the Constitution are considered on equal footing with the original document. also that Court decisions on interpretations are equally binding.
ultimately it is similar to taking the Bible literally. these folks adhere to a view that only the original Constitution matters, and that any add ons have only fouled up what the founders intended. it's a truly regressive way of thinking, and it misses the genius of the "living and breathing" Constitution, which is what makes it such a historic and marvelous piece of work.