So Gov. Ron DeSantis said this:
Then Rep. Eric Swalwell, the Congressman who was more than close with a female Chinese spy and sits on the freaking Homeland Security Committee, decided to wade in:
- Point 1: Separation of Church and State does not mean that secularism becomes the religion of the State. Lefties think that they can shove wokeness down our throats because it's not religion and that ain't true.
- Point 2: Separation of Church and State is nowhere in the U.S. Constitution.
"GASP!" You say, "But it is! Is this guy an idiot?"
I guess it's difficult to understand in a society that ferrets out the right to murder a child from the Constitution, but no, there is no such phrasing in the 1st Amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...
That's it. That's all that's written in the Bill of Rights itself.
The concept of "separation" between Church and State comes directly from then-President Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist church in Danbury, Connecticut on January 1, 1802, where Jefferson expressed his opinion on the matter.
I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ʺmake no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,ʺ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.
Again, this isn't law. It wasn't voted on or ratified. It is the wording of an opinion in a private letter.
Of course, the traditional concept of separation of powers that Jefferson is arguing here IS constitutional; as in, it adheres to the separation of powers found in the federal government's design and it adheres to the principles outlined in the 1st Amendment. This is why we've built a host of laws around the concept.
Context is helpful: Almost every country in Europe had an official state church, and many of those who had come to America both before and after 1802 were religious refugees escaping persecution in their homelands.
Jefferson's letter assured the Danbury Baptists that the establishment clause in the First Amendment that bans the government from making any law to persecute a religious organization or prohibiting people from worshipping as they see fit.
This would mean, for example, that when a public school tries to ban students from praying or bringing their Bible to school, which has happened often, that the establishment clause prohibits such government interference with the practice of religion.
The government is not allowed to tell you what denomination or faith to follow, and it cannot compel you to pray or worship as someone in power wants. This includes rigidly promoting godlessness as the religion of the land or trying to "protect" citizens from religion.
The Supreme Court has upheld the right to publicly pray, because the Founders did not see the God-given right to worship our Creator as a private thing. If anything, the government was to promote the free exercise of religion as much as possible! Though Jefferson said "religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God," Jefferson also noted that "the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions."
The government, simply put, has no jurisdiction when it comes to matters of God.
This is exactly DeSantis' point. He isn't saying that you have to follow Christian teaching (even though the foundation of all our laws is based upon Christian teaching). He is upholding the very basic logic of the Declaration of Independence and Constitutional rights that enshrine that logic.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
Let someone who isn't a top politician explain to to Swalwell:
Still, Eric Swalwell likes to play games:
The Cornell link he cites mentions Everson v. Board of Education, where SCOTUS ruled that the wall of separation between church and state be kept "impregnable" concerning busing reimbursement (FYI, SCOTUS citing the concept of this "wall" doesn't mean it is in the Bill of Rights). The logic was that parents could not be reimbursed for busing to religious schools, because that would be the government showing deference for religion.
Because public schools were largely "neutral" at the time (such a thing as complete lack of institutional ideology cannot exist), the logic worked. Public schools were meant to be objective centers of learning for the future good of the body politic.
But those days are gone. This is, again, the EXACT POINT DESANTIS IS MAKING. He isn't invoking Jesus. He isn't trying to send money to churches. He is saying that the purpose of schools is to educate unbiasedly, not teach a religious cult that says men can be women, that sexualizes young kids and hosts drag queens in kindergarten, and reframes history as it sees fit.
If you have any doubt of this, 1) turn on your TV, and 2) look at how SCOTUS' opinion of school of choice has begun to shift away from Everson.
Swalwell doesn't see Critical Race Theory, the LGBT movement, trans insanity, or the like as the cult that it is, because that's his religion, and he wants you and me to worship it.
So to wrap up, Swalwell, like all the dumb post-moderns who don't understand our laws or history, thinks that this "wall of separation" means that government isn't supposed to [checks notes]... stand up for the idea of God-given rights as outlined in the Declaration and Constitution, but penalize common citizens for daring to speak against the State religion of sexual woke secularism in the public square.
Do I have that right, representative? Make sure to run on that platform!
P.S. Now check out our latest video: "Highlights from Biden's speech last night" 👇