Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Christine O'Donnell Watch: "The separation of church and state is in the First Amendment?"

Because we DC residents don't have representation in Congress, it's only fair that we get to choose a nearby Congressional race to report on. We have adopted the United States Senate race in Delaware starring Christine O'Donnell, the Republican nominee and Tea Party candidate.

Today during a debate with Christine O'Donnell, the Democratic candidate, Chris Coons said that religious doctrine shouldn't be taught in public schools. To which Republican nominee Christine O'Donnell retorted, "Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?" Coons explained that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws establishing religion, and O'Donnell replied, "You're telling me that the separation of church and state is in the First Amendment?" About a minute later O'Donnell repeated her question to Coons: "Let me just clarify. You're telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?"

Watch the debate, which was broadcast on WDEL. The notable O'Donnell remarks come at the 2:50, 6:10, and 7:05 minute markers:


  1. Actually, Christine O'Donnell isn't off the mark. The 1st Amendment merely states that: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

    The U.S. Supreme Court, and also lower courts, have re-interpreted this amendment in different ways in various court cases over the years. They've also usually by taken the First Amendment and applying it to the States via the Fourteenth Amendment, or by reinterpreting and applying the Bill of Rights. Those practices violate the original intent of our U.S. Constitution.

    The original intent of the 1st Amendment was to point out that the citizenry had the freedom to choose any religion to practice of their own free will, or none at all, and was to prevent the government from forcing any particular state religion upon the citizens.

    Rather, the 1st Amendment was supposed to ensure that varied religious groups, communities, organizations, institutions, denominations, sects, etc. were allowed to practice their faith freely, without interference by the government, and that religious expression were to be encouraged, but were not to determined for individuals BY the government.

  2. Christine O'Donnell appears completely clueless about the First Amendment. Iif you watch the video (or just read her words), you'll see that she has no idea that the concept of separation of church and state is in the First Amendment.

    If Christine O'Donnell had said something like "Actually it was Thomas Jefferson who used the phrase 'wall of separation between church and state' in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, but that phrase doesn't appear in the Constitution," I might have thought her thoughtful.

    But instead she had that deer-in-the-headlights look about her. And her words, too, point to the fact that when it comes to the First Amendment, he knowledge is lacking, to say the least.

  3. Christine O'Donnell isn't just clueless about the First Amendment. She's just clueless, period.