Rush Limbaugh is fulminating today about how Christine Crazypants is right about there being no mention of separation of church and state in the US Constitution. Chrissy Crazy and Chris Coons were debating each other because they’re the two C’s running for Senator from Delaware.
Chrissie took umbrage with Chris’s defense of separation of church and state as justification for not teaching creationism in public schools. She asked, Where in the constitution is separation of church and state?
Of course, she’s technically right–the phrase separation of church and state does not appear in the Constitution. It’s still a stupid question to ask. How about asking, Where in the constitution does it say blacks should have the right to vote? The word blacks is nowhere in the Constitution.
(To be fair to Chrissie, rags like the LA Times are getting the story wrong and spinning her statements during the debate as if they were incredulous questions, as if she didn’t know whether or not the Constitution addresses separation of church and state, not that she believes it doesn’t. Chrissie’s attitude about c&s is regularly defended by Limbaugh, Medved, Hannity, Beck et. al.)
However, it is well-understood, except by in-denial right-wing Christian fundamentalists and their fellow-travelers (I don’t want to exclude Medved) that “separation of church and state” is a common and accurate paraphrase of the meaning of the First Amendment. At least that’s what Thomas Jefferson thought, when he coined the phrase:
I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.
Conservatives who respect original intent ought to damn well respect separation of church and state. Intent about the meaning of the Bill of Rights doesn’t get much more original than Thomas Jefferson, does it? Do any of you Christianists honestly think that Madison would cavil at Jefferson’s eloquent summary of what the First Amendment is all about?
Christianists, try to think straight for 5 minutes about stuff that impinges on your religious beliefs and your need to make the rest of us pay them lip service: You’re not going to win on this. You look like Luddite jackasses when you try. Game over, realize it and quit making excuses and demanding do-overs.
Hardly any of the teachers will teach your creationist crap in science class like you think they should, even if you get it injected into the curriculum. Boycott the schools, home educate, compete with the schools, attack the people you despise on fronts where you can win. Do what the Mormons do–they send all their kids to an hour of brainwashing every morning to counteract what the school is telling them.
Realize this: nobody who wouldn’t sit next to you in Church next Sunday gives a shit what you have to say about the origin of species. Or about your Phariseeical parsing of the First Amendment. Get over it, admit you’re not going to get the rules changed in your favor, and use that separation of church and state thing to your advantage. There’s a lot there to use, if you’ll stop pissing in your own punchbowl and praying it will turn to wine.