Ask the average citizen where the phrase “separation of church and state” occurs in the Constitution and they will usually answer, “In the First Amendment.”
The correct answer however is “nowhere.” The phrase was in fact coined by Thomas Jefferson in his famous reply letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802. The congregation had written Jefferson in 1801, expressing concerns about states rights and the possibility of the federal government limiting their religious freedoms by abusing the First Amendment.
While it’s a pity that the American masses get this one wrong, it’s a complete travesty that a person running for the U.S. Senate, Chris Coons (D-DE) not only incorrectly believes the text of the First Amendment includes this statement, but also cannot name the five freedoms it guarantees.
So Delawareans are expected to entrust their freedoms to a man who doesn’t know which are secured by the First Amendment? It’s simply illogical.
During yesterday’s debate at Widener University School of Law’s Delaware Campus in Wilmington, Coons attempted to attack O’Donnell’s beliefs, arguing that local schools should teach science rather than religion.
O’Donnell seized the opportunity and scored big by asking Coons, “Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?”
Incorrectly identifying the “First Amendment” as the origin of the often ill-used mantra, O’Donnell further pressed Coons to then identify the five freedoms – religion, speech, press, assembly, petitioning the government for a redress of grievances, in that order – were covered.
Coons was unable to specifically name any of the above and merely reiterated, “separation of church and state.”
In fairness to Mr. Coons, perhaps he may have been absent the day they went over the First Amendment at Yale Law where he earned his degree.
Not unexpectedly, as predicted by outspoken conservative Michelle Malkin, the left leaning media put a “warped, gleeful spin” on the Coons gaffe in his favor.
Amongst the more dishonest reports on the exchange were the Washington Post, who described O’Donnell as a “religious conservative activist” who doesn’t recognize the Supreme Court rulings on the subject and the Wilmington (DE.) Journal which tried to turn the table and make O’Donnell out to be the one “not knowing what is in the First Amendment because she repeatedly asked about it.”
The W.P. article also misidentifies the U.S. as a “democracy” when in fact it is a constitutional republic.
The Journal article also slanted the situation by including a comment from a Widener professor describing Coons as a “very patient, gentle person” who was being “frustrated” by an “aggressive” O’Donnell.
Coons also took the opportunity to advance his own religious presuppositions stating, “Evolution is widely accepted, well-defended, scientific fact, and our schools should be teaching science …not religious doctrine.”
In addition to Coons’s ignorance of the First Amendment he is apparently oblivious to the fact that evolution is promoted as a religious perspective. At least that is, according to some of its most ardent advocates such as noted evolutionist, professor Michael Ruse who wrote:
“Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology a secular religion–a full fledged alternative to Christianity with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and ex-Christian, but I must admit in this one complaint… the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. It was true of evolution in the beginning and it’s true of evolution still today.”
In deference to Mr. Coons’s comment that evolution and its companion “Big Bang” theory are “well-defended, scientific fact,” evolutionary cosmologists like Stephen Hawkings and George Ellis admit that their models also start with ideological presuppositions, stating “…we are not able to make cosmological models without some admixture of ideology.”
To the casual observer Coons and the complicit liberals in the “mainstream” media are doing as much as they can to make Ms. O’Donnell look doltish and fanatical.
One must wonder if Mr. Coons would categorize men like Johannes Kepler, Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Louis Pasteur, and Lord Kelvin as ignorant fanatics as well. All of these men were trailblazers in their respective fields of science. All believed in creationism.
Might one suppose if they were alive today that Coons and his ilk would tag them fundamentalist lunatics?
Of course, though Christine O’Donnell is no Lord Kelvin, the general principles of the argument still apply.
She is however by all appearances, an honest, committed Constitutional conservative, with traditional moral values and religious beliefs. Values that she seems most unwilling to compromise upon simply to win an election.