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Daniel P. Coughlin Is The Establishment of Religion in Congress

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?

52 comments to Daniel P. Coughlin Is The Establishment of Religion in Congress

  • Jacob

    I see where you are going with this and understand your frustration but I have to point out one peice of glaring mis information. Catholics are not Christians. Neither side claims the other. In fact, through out history the Catholics have killed Christians at about every turn. Think John Huss sort of stuff…
    Also, does this priest perform any other duties besides one prayer a day? Perhaps he councils and helps congress people deal with the extremly high stress job they have and the emotion of being away from family for long periods. If so that in itself would help justify this position. Our congress people need support. Just like our taxes pay for chaplains for the police, fire and emts

    • Oooooookay, Jacob. There are a few sects of Christianity that claim that Catholicism is not a party of Christianity. Apparently, you’re part of that funky little subculture. Your claim is way outside the mainstream, though. Go take a look at Belief.net, for example, and you’ll see that Catholicism is listed as a kind of Christianity. Encyclopedia.com writes, “Roman Catholics may be simply defined as Christians in communion with the pope.”.

      A priest or Christian preacher of some other variety is trained primarily in religious counseling. If they’re offering counseling within their range of actual expertise, it’s religious counseling. Otherwise, they’re not providing appropriate professional services.

      Why should the government pay for people to give religious advice to elected officials and government workers about how to do their jobs and live their lives? If people want that, they can go to their own choice of church, not to a government-appointed religious instructor and ritualist.

      • Jacob

        They cant go to there own church. They ar in DC and many times thousands of miles away from there church. This is a service that is provided for the officials who elect to use it because we as a American people try to help those we elect. Its a job perk that they have a person on call to come to them for counciling, they dont have to hunt somebody down. I dont believe that there is a rule that requires the use of this service. I believe people can not use the service if they so choose.

        On belief.net if you look really really close in the middle of the very main page you will notice a very large box that you can click on your faith. Notice that Catholic and Christian are not the same button. If you go to the Catholic sites you will find quotes such as “The word Catholic was used by the year 110 A.D. to distinguish the Church of the Apostles from heretical teachings” (The Catholic church sees non Catholics as heretics, thats why they used to burn us on the stake). On the Christian websites you will find “He believes in Christ and speaks about the grace of God. But if he follows the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, regretfully I must say that he does not really believe in Christ nor does he know the grace of God. Please allow me to explain.

        The Gospel teaches that “a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28). God regards a person just and righteous who trusts wholeheartedly in Jesus, and who does not attempt to win God’s favour by his imperfect obedience of the Law. Sadly, Roman theology has rejected God’s way of salvation. To faith, Rome adds a set of deeds (many of which are human inventions) and curses anyone who dares to completely trust in Christ alone for salvation.”. You see, the defention of a Christian is someone who believes that faith aolne can get them into heaven. There isnt a works system “‘If anyone says that the faith that justifies is nothing else but trust in the divine mercy, which pardons sins because of Christ, or that it is that trust alone by which we are justified, let him be anathema.(Council of Trent, session 6, cannon 12). Anathema means Catholics think that people who believe in faith alone are going to Hell. You see, not only do we not take part in the sacraments we reject them as false teachings.

        You see, I am not part of a funky subcluture (or maybe I am, actually, probably am a member of a funky subculture) instead I rely on Biblical teachings and reject this modern new age garbage that is coming into the church.

        Also government apointed is a bad word choice. I think government offered makes much more since. There is nobody out there saying ‘Obama, we give you Rabbi Bob, Peloski, you get Pastor Fred’. No, what they are saying is if you feel the need, set an appointment, if you dont, dont. And o by the way, if you dont like religous councolers, we have secular ones as well. Please use one of them.

        • le pelerin

          Jacob, you’ve been fed with a strong dose of anti-catholisism. I’m sure you mean well, but the Church does not consider you a heretic. A heretic would be a Catholic teaching falsehoods. Since you are not a Catholic, you are not a heretic and you are entitled to any belief.

          If you want to know what the Catholic church really teaches, go to it’s catechism. That is the Church’s official teaching. Don’t believe what your pastors traditions are telling you about the Church. A simple good website to explore is http://www.catholic.com You might want to use their forums to express yourself.

          Peace

          • Jacob

            le pelerin,
            Please explain the death of John Huss to me… As someone who believes similiar to him I think his death speacks volumes. Maybe I am reading history wrong…

        • Jacob, I don’t think you’re looking at the actual information available about the House Chaplain position. It IS government appointed, and in doing so, the Congress IS saying to everyone that we’re all to be served by this religious official doing religious work. There is NO House Secular Counselor position receiving government funding an endorsement.

        • Jim

          DC has plenty of churches, Jacob.

          • Foolishness

            It has plenty of bathrooms to. I think my tax dollars shouldnt go to supplying more of them. They can pee across the street and save us all money

            • Big difference, F. Congress has the constituional duty of working to establish the general welfare. Going to the bathroom is a clear part of that, sanitation needs recognized since the Roman Empire.

              Establishing government religion, on the other hand, is explicitly forbidden in the Constitution.

              • Jacob

                There is not an established government religion… We are going in a circle here. There is no forced religion which is what that amendment is set to accomplish. In England there was an official church which dicatated you must be of that religion. That is not the case in America and we are in no threat of that happening. If you really believe the fact that we have one chaplain is an issue maybe we should increase the office so we have a chaplain from every major religion. That would fix the problem.

              • Jacob, we’re all forced to participate by funding the position, and our representatives in Congress are compelled to start and end their work days under this religious official’s rituals. Neither the First Amendment nor the no religious test clause explicitly use the word “forced”, anyway. The Constitution says what it says – no government establishment of religion, and no religious test for public office. This position clearly violates both.

                Establishing a chaplain for “every major religion” won’t fix the problem. It will just make it worse, with more government establishment of religion and more public money going to pay for religious rituals. Besides, how is the government supposed to differentiate between which religions are given the elite status of “major”, and which are given the second class status of “minor”. That’s religious discrimination, plain and simple. Besides, the growing number of non-religious Americans would be further distanced from equality, even behind the minor religions.

                This is not at all the only case of unconstitutional government establishment of religion. It’s just an example.

              • jacob

                Even if this man was apart of the legeslation process, which he clearly is not, how would that be bad? He isnt running the government. He would be giving voice to the population who is of religous nature. The biggest problem I have with athiests is the fact that they feel they should be the only people in the world with any say. We have a house filled with athiests and there is one, thats right one, man who is of a religous nature in the entire freaking government and you are up in arms. AND, this one man has no ability to do didly squat and is ceremonial in nature at best. I dont think I understand. Jim and I have had a lengthy conversation about how killing babies is murder and yet if the new health reform goes through as is my taxes get to pay for abortion, which in my eyes is the worst thing that can happen. The people who want this are from the religion of atheism (more often then not) and yet I must pay for that. Im ranting now… not even sure where Im going with this

  • le pelerin

    Hus and Hussites
    Treatment of Jan Hus
    ——————————
    * Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913. Hus and Hussites. —JOHN (JAN) Hus, b. at Husinetz in Southern Bohemia, 1369; d. at Constance, July 6, 1415. At an early age he went to Prague where he supported himself by singing and serving in the churches. His conduct was exemplary and his devotion to study remarkable. In 1393 he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from the University of Prague and in 1396 the master’s degree. He was ordained a priest in 1400 and became rector of the university 1402-03

    Additional material removed because it’s an abusive cut and paste of material that violates copyright law and is off topic and excessive in length. It’s rude to interrupt verbal conversations by reading entire encyclopedia entries out loud. Please don’t do it here. Provide a link, and then write in your own words.

  • Jacob

    Thanks,
    Of course, this is all a side note to the issue at hand. There is nothing stated that there cant be religion in government. It simply states that there “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” This is not a law and does not establish a national religion. Nor does it cause religion to make state decisions, and ” religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States”. Once again, nobody is forced to take part in this religion or even to talk to the guy. So this passes both tests.

    • No, Jacob, it fails both tests because

      1. It creates a government position which only people with religious credentials are qualified for – that’s requiring a religious test
      2. Funding for the position is established through legislation – that’s making a law respecting an establishment of religion.

      We are all forced to give special favors to Christianity through this position, forcing our Representatives to take part in a Christian prayer ceremony twice per day, and paying our tax money for the purpose.

  • Kevin

    “Catholics are not Christians”

    well this is true. Cat-o-licks are actually pagans! They worship Dagon the fish-head god. You can see the fishhead in the pope’s miter, and the style of dresses they wear.

    The “Whore of Babylon” is a name given to the Roman Cult because it was imported from the sun worshippers of the East.

    All true! look it up!

  • Wow, all those years growing up catholic, I just “assumed” I was christian. It’s like I was living a lie. Oh well, doesn’t matter now anyways.

  • Kevin

    naaa.. THe “Whore of Babylon” is the Pope!

    did you ever see his shoes? definately FM shoes.

    Marduk was a trinity god from Babyon.

    “We know Marduk -symbolised by the dragon-snake- also as ‘the trinity sungod’ consisting of ‘the man-god’ Baal or Bel, ‘the female-god’ Astarte or Isis/Ishtar and ‘the child-god’ and reincartion of Baal called Tammuz or Horus.

    They are also symbolized by ‘the eye of Horus’ pictured as an eye in a pyramid; the Roman-catholic church, masonry and Kabbalah use this symbol for their organisations. It says a lot about their beliefs and fundament of their beliefs… ”

    and

    “This view was first advanced by Alexander Hislop (1807-1862) in 1856 “The Two Babylons.””

    Now its true that it is described in Revelation 17:5-6:
    “And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”

    but that just points out that the cat-o-licks are out to ruin the world.

    http://jjlmblog.typepad.com/3minutebiblestudy/2009/06/aag-bsp-112-revelation-1756.html

    • le pelerin

      Kevin, you probably believe this too: Government killed JFK, Bush ordered 9/11, Roswell aliens are sitting in a freezer in area 51, and the Catholic Church is controlled by the Jews, the CIA, the Masons, a one world govenment, the Bilderbergers, the Trilateral Commisson, the Skull and Bones club, Communist infiltration and subversion or the Catholic Church controls them. It’s all a conspiracy that some people believe. Must then be true! …Hey don’t lose your sleep.

  • Kevin

    and look mr. le pelerin .

    You may be a “hussy” but I, sir, am not. and I am not gullible. It took many hours of study to determine the roots of cat-o-lick evil.

  • Jacob, have you rejected the goddess Isis altogether?

    • jacob

      I wasnt being mean, simply asking a question. Does your questio serve a purpose? We talk about religion, I am just curious from where he is coming from. I dont believe I asked you…

      • But, have you rejected Isis altogether? What about Ganesha. Have you rejected Ganesha altogether?

        • Jacob, why do you refuse to acknowledge that you have rejected Ganesha?

          I think that, secretly, you must be a Hindu…

          … or maybe it’s that you don’t want to grapple with the astounding arrogance of your own leading question.

          • Jacob

            I didnt ask a leading question, and I (unlike someother people in this room) am smarter enough not to ask questions that I already know the answer to…

            • Jacob

              But not smarter enough to spell correctly…

            • Jacob, asking someone if they have rejected God completely presumes that they started out embracing God – just as when i sarcastically ask if you’ve rejected Ganesha, I presume Hinduism as the default for you. The Jewish/Christian God is no more default than Ganesha. Understand?

              • Jacob

                Did you ever read the post the spurred the question. My question was based of the fact that he has spent hours studying the Catholic church. My question was asking what the end result of that study was. The rejection of God altogether or only the rejection of the Catholic church… Please read all posts…

              • Jacob

                And actually the default for me is athiesm. I grew up in an athiest house. I am now the ‘black sheep’ of my family. Guessed wrong on the roots

  • Kevin

    errr.. I don’t believe any of that stuff. You have a lot of wierd ideas.

    I was talking about the well-known affiliation of the cat-o-licks with pagan rituals, symbols and practices.

    Are you saying they the aren’t? What proof do you have?

  • Kevin

    yeah right.

    those are sure to be unbiased -* NOT!

    Do you think I’m stupid or something? You can’t fool me with the lies on those Catolick appology sites. You guys are all a bunch of cannibal wannabes. Do you actually believe that you are eating human flesh at your rituals?

    because that’s what the pagans do…

    • Jacob

      Is it just me or is this site extremely hostile towards people with other ideas. It is pretended that civil discource is what you want, an exchanging of ideas id you will, but what this really is is a site were people of like mind whine together and mock everyone else

      • Jim

        Where have you ever read here that this is a website for “civil discourse” at which you can be assured that you won’t be mocked? I for one value honesty over courtesy. You aren’t courteous or honest, so don’t start your complaining, “You are Hitler, Catholics aren’t Christian” Jacob. Or rather, go ahead and do, but don’t expect my sympathy.

        Has nobody picked up yet that Kevin is not being literal?

        • Jacob

          I never said “You are Hitler, Catholics aren’t Christian”.

          • Jim

            Not in the same sentence, no.

            • Jacob

              And how is pointing out a factual error by the author of this artical compairing Catholics and Christians evil? I didnt say anything bad about Catholics, it was someone else who called them “Whore of babylon”. I simply pointed out the main theological difference between the two sides. I didnt even give my own side… Wow, Jim, you are usually push more careful when you try to push people under the bus…

              • Jim

                Evil? Your word. You said Catholics aren’t Christian, which isn’t true. And I don’t own a bus.

                I’m describing the character of this website to you in more clear terms, since you’re currently laboring under a misapprehension about it — namely, that the people who write for this website value courtesy and “civil discourse” (whatever that is) over frankness. We don’t. Be frank. If you want to be mocked when you’re being frank, go ahead and make shit up. If you want to be taken seriously, bring on empirical evidence, define controversial terms you want to use, and make a logical argument.

                And if that’s not your cup of tea, there are lots of places you can go to get courtesy instead.

              • Jacob

                there is a difference between frank and acting like an A**hole… Some people on this site act out the later more often then the form. You and I have had several heated discussions in the last year. JClifford and I have had several heated discussions over the past year. I dont like your opinions but it is what it is. Mr/Ms. Wood on the other hand, never, which is why I posted that on his/her article, not yours. Conversations with him/her go ‘Heres my article’…’Really, the article is wrong because of xyz’…’What about Bob the Lizard of the cosmic trib of Lala’… “Ummmm…wow…’

  • Jacob

    I never said you are Hitler. I said the way Americans disregard the life of an unborn baby and value it less than other human life is like Nazi Germany.

    • Jacob

      Also, I dont believe anyone in America is like Hitler right now. There is nobody giving the marching orders at the moment on issues like this. I think people are like the German soldiers who blindly follow and do horrible things in the process, believing an untruth. Jim, you can quote me on this. I believe you are like a Nazi German soldier, but not just you, about half of America on the issue of baby rights

  • Kevin

    So, Jacob, since no one in America is like Hitler, then you are saying that Americans are blindly following the orders of an foreigner? That’s wack!
    .
    Babies don’t have any rights. They are the property of whoever pays to have them. Little blobby thingies are not even babies and are barely worth keeping if they interfere with you lifestyle, like a planned vacation for instance.
    .

    and what was so bad about the average Nazi German Soldier? he was just a man defending his home from communists, homos, jews and liberals. you know, like republicans today.
    .
    you shouldn’t pass judgements unless you lived through what they did.

  • Jacob

    Sadly we dont have one single Hitler that we can blame this nightmare on. There is nobody to point at. We are following the whim of society and constitution with massive holes in it. When our country was founded there was no need to make laws against such stuff. Nobody would have guessed society would have gone downhill so fast…

    Babies dont have rights? Why does the ability to end their lives end at birth then? I can kill my horse, if that is how I can treat my property then why is this property different?

    Havent ever seen a Republican kill someone, but I am sure they have abortions as well. Not exactly sure where you are going with that… Hmm, weird.

    I also didnt pass judgment on them, I just stated history. I passed the judgment on you…

  • Kevin

    what? you passed gas more likely…
    .
    do you eat meat? are you okay with torturing and killing millions of cows, chickens and pigs so you can eat?
    .
    let me guess. they don’t have “souls” so its okay to kill them.

  • Jacob

    So to you a baby and a cow are the same thing? Do you eat babies then?

  • Kevin

    so you kill sentient beings for fun and get your panties in a knot over a bunch of cells without a nervous system…

    man you are screwed up.

  • Jacob

    You my friend are a knot of cells… I believe we all are. Of someone dragged you halfway out the door of your house and stuck a pair of scissors in your neck I would be pretty upset about that as well…

  • Kevin

    I don’t have a soul either so I doubt if you would care.

    also, blobs of cells don’t have “necks”

    they have HOXa1 expressions

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