The very first clause of the very first amendment to the Constitution of the United States is quite easy to understand. It reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”. If you can’t understand how that language establishes the separation of Church and State, then you can make your way on over to Article VI, section 3 of the Constitution, which reads, “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States”.
Yet, Congress violates this clause of the Constitution quite often. Members of Congress love to pass laws that establish religion through the power of government. They pander to religious interests in the hopes of keeping the political support of religious Americans.
One blatant act of Congress that violates both the First Amendment and Article VI, section 3 is the establishment through appointment of an official Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives. What does this official government Chaplain do to serve the Congress? He has no practical governmental purpose. He performs official government acts of religious worship and religious guidance in Congress.
The current House Chaplain, Catholic priest Danel P. Coughlin, says of his job “To be both a minister of the Lord and an officer serving the United States government responds to a twofold call to serve others and offer prayer that unites Heaven and Earth.” No one could write a job description more plainly in violation of the separation of Church and State.
To perform his governmental religious rituals, Coughlin the priest is being paid a salary of $85,074.99 this year – plus benefits. Yes, that money comes from the taxes paid by residents of the United States. We’re being forced to provide financial support for Coughlin’s religious rituals, even if we’re not Christian.
I say “Christian” in particular, because it seems that the office of the Chaplain of the House of Representatives is not merely a position of government-established religion. It appears to be particularly a Christian position. There has never been a non-Christian religious official who has held the position of House Chaplain.
Women may be interested to know that a woman has never served in the position. The House Chaplain is for patriarchs of Christianity only.
Coughlin’s position of religious establishment in the U.S. House of Representatives is bad enough. What makes it worse is that Coughlin can’t even keep his theology coherent.
Yesterday for example, Coughlin preached to Congress in his official, government-sanctioned prayer, “Lord God, You are blessed from the rising to the setting of the sun each day all around the world.”
What does that mean, to say that God is blessed? By who? Who has the power to bless God? Does God have a God, or a committee of spirits over him, or are people the God of God, having created God after they were created by (?), as Nietschze suggested?
Why are taxpayers being forced to pay for this babbling nonsense? Why is this priest’s income being heaped onto our huge budget deficit? Why are the “deficit hawks” of Congress allowing for this wasteful spending to continue?