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The Part of the First Amendment that Walter Jones Hasn’t Read

Text of H.Res. 399, introduced by Rep. Walter Jones (NC): Text of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution:
Whereas the United States of America was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, and even today many Americans believe that our strength comes from these principles;

Whereas the creator is explicitly mentioned in the Declaration of Independence as endowing us with all of our rights;

Whereas in Jeremiah 1:5 the Bible reads “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee.”; and

Whereas in 1 Timothy 4:1–5 the Bible reads “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils”: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives calls upon the Speaker to encourage committee chairs to schedule the following legislation for immediate committee consideration, then follow through with scheduling votes on the House floor if they are reported favorably by their respective committees:

(1) H.R. 2802, the First Amendment Defense Act, introduced by Mr. Labrador of Idaho.

(2) H. Res. 359, Providing that the House of Representatives disagrees with the majority opinion in Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, and for other purposes, introduced by Mr. King of Iowa.

(3) H.R. 3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, introduced by Ms. Black of Tennessee.

(4) H.R. 3197, the Protecting Life and Taxpayers Act of 2015, introduced by Ms. Black of Tennessee.

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.

3 thoughts on “The Part of the First Amendment that Walter Jones Hasn’t Read”

  1. Leroy says:

    First of all, The Declaration of Independence is NOT a document of the United States or a part of the United States Constitution. It is not a legal government document!

    Secondly, when the author of the Declaration of Independence used the term Creator, it was done so in the non Christian form as used by Deists (and Deism supporters).

    To specify:

    “The Declaration refers to ‘Nature’s God,’ ‘Creator,’ and “Divine Providence.” These are all terms used in the sort of deism which was common among many of those responsible for the American Revolution as well as the philosophers upon whom they relied for support. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, was himself a deist who was opposed to many traditional Christian doctrines, in particular beliefs about the supernatural.

    One common misuse of the Declaration of Independence is to argue that it states that our rights come from God and, therefore, there are no legitimate interpretations of the rights in the Constitution that would be contrary to God. The first problem is that the Declaration of Independence refers to a “Creator” and not the Christian ‘God’ meant by people making the argument. The second problem is that the ‘rights’ mentioned in the Declaration of Independence are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” — none of which are ‘rights’ discussed in the Constitution.

    Finally, the Declaration of Independence also makes it clear that governments created by humanity derive their powers from the consent of the governed, not from any gods. This is why the Constitution does not make any mention of any gods. There is no reason to think that there is anything illegitimate about an interpretation of any of the rights outlined in the Constitution merely because it runs contrary to what some people think that their conception of a god would want.

    What this all means is that arguments against the separation of church and state which rely upon the language of the Declaration of Independence fail. First, the document in question has no legal authority with which one could make a legal case. Second, the sentiments expressed therein do not support the principle that government should be guided either by any specific religion (like Christianity) or by religion ‘in general’ (as if such a thing even existed).”

    AND…

    “…It is a common assertion among American wingnuts and figures on the Religious Right that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. This is not simply referencing that the majority of Americans were, and many still are, Christians (albeit of a rather large variety of denominations), but rather, the state and its institutions should openly embrace and promote Christianity and (in some cases) the Old Testament legal code (which is a terrible foundation for laws).

    Rather than address explicit constitutional provisions, American fundamentalists often like to quote-mine the Founding Fathers in order to divine their intentions and “prove” that they actually envisioned the new state as a Christian nation. They primarily target George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the first three Presidents of the United States, and claim that they were deeply devout Christians whose actions were to a large degree inspired by their faith.

    This notion is patently false: Jefferson’s Deistic convictions are evident from his writings, and he was a high-profile critic of established Christian dogma; he even wrote his own version of the New Testament, the Jefferson Bible, expunging the Gospels of all references to the supernatural. Washington never attended communion services at his church and took great pains to refer to his god by Deistic terms like ‘Great Author’ and ‘Almighty Being’ in his inaugural address. While Adams credited religion in general with bolstering public morality, he was personally a Deistic if churchgoing Congregationalist and later a Unitarian (yes, the kind that eventually became Unitarian Universalism), and consistently argued that the United States had been founded on rationalist and Enlightenment principles and rejected the notion of divine legitimation for political leadership.

    It is also interesting that these eminent figures were heavily criticized for their lack of religious devotion in times past.”

    And that is… The rest of the story!

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Thanks, Leroy!

  2. Leroy says:

    Elected and senior appointed officials – or ANY government employee who takes an Oath of office SHOULD have to take a test on the Constitution, Basic American History, and Civics 101. And if they don’t pass with an 80% score, then they forfeit that office, any future office… and are deported to Antarctica!

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