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Wannabee Senator Not So Sure About that First Amendment Thing

By Robin Aronson |

Christine O’Donnell, Tea Party candidate for the Senate seat in Delaware, doesn’t know that the separation of church and state is written into the Constitution.   A lot of people might not know that the separation of Church and State is part of the first amendment, thinking it’s more about speech than God. But a lot of people aren’t running for the US Senate.  Christine O’Donnell is.

Forgive me if my values aren’t O’Donnell’s but I suspect families these days who are invested in education value both homework and basic reading skills, things O’Donnell seems not to value.  If she were, she’d know that as one of 101, 100 Senators, she’ll be required to vote on laws that must be, you know, Constitutional and the First Amendment is, technically, part of the Constitution.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that our politics are what they are, given that Snooki has her own Wikipedia entry and we know who she is without even clicking on the link.

A few years ago, I read an excerpt of Po Bronson’s book Nurture Shock in New York magazine. In it, Bronson introduced the now constantly discussed notion that as parents we should coach our kids, not overpraising children to instill in them a sense of process.  By coaching, our kids would learn to keep trying, even when something is hard, and to gain a sense of mastery over material that’s challenging.  This is what we try to teach our kids. Christine O’Donnell has been trying to stay in the public eye since she was a teenager and she’s been a candidate many times over the years.  She certainly learned the lesson of stick-to-it-iveness, but she has mastered no material.

In the way that geography wasn’t important to Tea Party fairy godmother Sarah Palin, a woman who could see Russia from her backyard, the details of government don’t seem to be important to O’Donnell.  A Senator, a President, these people should be role models at least when it comes to doing your homework. Can Christine O’Donnell, who wants to be famous and a Senator but can’t be bothered to read the first amendment, really be a role model, never mind a senator?

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Robin Aronson

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0 thoughts on “Wannabee Senator Not So Sure About that First Amendment Thing

  1. John says:

    You are wrong bro. It isn’t in the constitution. It was added as an amendment to keep the government from adopting a state religion. Like Saudi Arabia or Iran. Got it? 1947 Supreme court decision made seperation of court and state. Not the constitution.

  2. John says:

    *Church and state :)

  3. Patti says:

    This woman is an IDIOT! Quick–somebody ask Sharon Angle the same question!

  4. Arie O'Byr says:

    Separation of church and state is NOT in the first amendment.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Where does it say the state and church are separated?

  5. Ross says:

    This is what the First Amendment says, “…prohibits the making of any law “respecting an establishment of religion”, impeding the free exercise of religion” Where do you see separation of Church and State.”
    The prohibition is on the government. Read it carefully. It says nothing about separation of Church and State. It says the GOVERNMENT IS PROHIBITED from respecting ONE religion or stopping the free exercise of religion. The leftist want to obliterate religion because they want us to worship the state so that the government has complete control over us. Any Republican is better than any Dumborcat.

  6. Joseph says:

    I hate to to be a “Tea Party Pooper” but “doesn’t know that the separation of church and state is written into the Constitution.” is false on two levels. 1) She didn’t say it wasn’t…she asked “where is it?” followed by “”let me be clear, your saying that (separation of church and state) is in the 1st Amendment to The Constitution.”. OK. That’s factual but not very significant. What is MUCH MORE significant is that “separation of church and state is written into the Constitution.” is a completely false statement. That is a popular and oft used characterization of the 1st Amendment but not in any way accurate. In fact, this EXACT characterization was predicted with grave concern by one of the legislators at the time of this Amendments’ drafting. His name was Huntington.

    This is the EXACT and COMPLETE text of the 1st Amendment; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    That’s it. ALL of it. No “separation of church and state” at all. Infact the words “church” and “separation” do not appear in the Constitution or any of the Amendments.

  7. Robert Keck says:

    Talk about reading skills-have you bothered to READ the 1st amendment? It DOES NOT say anything about separation of church and state! It says the government can not establish a national religion or have preference of one religion over another. Laughable that Law students would sneer at her correct question.

  8. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    The teabags have landed. You don’t even have to wait for the Texas Board of Ed to erase history from the textbooks, these fools have already embraced the anti-intellectual movement.

  9. bob says:

    It’s interesting to note that these lunatic comments arrived only on the third thread on this subject today. The other two must have been before Rush Limbaugh spewed this B.S. interpretation on the radio yesterday and these are the dittoheads.

  10. goddess says:

    Wow- guess Jefferson needed you there to tell him what he [and they] actually meant eh?
    Jefferson: “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 eternal separation between Church & State. “

  11. Huh? says:

    Wow! This is absolutely amazing. I was wondering what the spin would be, and it was conveniently waiting for me on Babble.

  12. Treespeed says:

    If folks like the ‘not a witch’ candidate and the Tea Bagger commenters here want a theocracy so bad there are plenty in the middle east they could move to.

  13. Hallo says:

    It appears that she was correct. The words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the Constitution. The First Ammendment was written to protect Freedom of Religion, not “freedom of the State”.

  14. bob says:

    It was mean to protect them both from each other and that’s the understanding, established through precedent, since the constitution was adopted. To argue otherwise is not only wrong, but overturning this long-standing principle would require something most supporters of doing so supposedly loathe — JUDICIAL ACTIVISM.

  15. Treespeed says:

    Saying that the words separation of church in state don’t appear in the constitution is on the same level of pedantic literalism as saying the constitution doesn’t say anything about people owning guns.

  16. afw says:

    I don’t get the supposed Christians’ aversion to acknowledging separation of Church and State. It is exactly that separation that allows them to worship as they please, and no one – no one – can force them to worship in any other way. The government can never tell you that Mary wasn’t the mother of Christ, or that you can’t sing hymns you love, or that we are all going to be Jewish now. Could it be because they really want to have their own version of religion imposed on the rest of us? Particularly those Muslims?

  17. Marj says:

    I think to some extent many Christians would be much happier if this were truly a Christian nation. Perhaps they are uncomfortable with respecting any laws that are not biblical in nature.

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