Wednesday, 2 March 2011
Sarah Palin's Religiongate
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that expressly prohibits the United States Congress from making laws "respecting an establishment of religion" or that prohibit the free exercise of religion, infringe the freedom of speech, infringe the freedom of the press, limit the right to peaceably assemble, or limit the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Although the First Amendment only explicitly applies to the Congress, the Supreme Court has interpreted it as applying to the executive and judicial branches. Additionally, in the 20th century, the Supreme Court held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the limitations of the First Amendment to each state, including any local government within a state.
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the establishment of a national religion by the Congress or the preference of one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion. Originally, the First Amendment only applied to the federal government.
Subsequently, under the incorporation doctrine, certain selected provisions were applied to states. It was not, however, until the middle and later years of the twentieth century that the Supreme Court began to interpret the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses in such a manner as to restrict the promotion of religion by state governments.
So it was a misunderstanding of the Fourtheenth Amendment that led Sarah Palin to blur the line between church and state...
Although she didn't try to establish a state religion, her boundaries were somewhat loose.
Religiongate is very complex and it would be impossible to review in one single post. Sarah Palin has played down the role of her religious allegiances during the VP run, but in many of her speeches since she left the state of Alaska behind she has mentioned God as the one entity involved in her decision-making processes. Her secret Twitter account, @mckinely777 appears to have some biblical significance. [Other evidence of the importance of 777 may be found HERE, HERE and HERE]. Coincidence? Sarah Palin doesn't believe in coincidences...
There is a strong Dominionist movement in the country and the Bush administration made inroads into many sectors of society, in particular education. Many states now have creationism as part of the school curriculum, for example. The aim seems to be to get them young so when they grow into voters, some ideas have taken root.
Although I don't believe Sarah Palin can be elected president, there are too many variables and also precedents in dodgy presidential elections. Should she make it all the way to the White House, we may see her showing her true colours regarding her church and religious allegiances, a very frightening thought. Another administration furthering the Dominionist agenda could inflict irreparable damage on another generation on future voters.
(H/T to SI Johnson for the 777 find)
Good articles HERE and HERE
A very revealing book by Leah Burton may be pre-ordered HERE (H/T to Ripley).
Please read all Religiongate posts on Palingates.