WHAT IS IN THE CONSTITUTION?


This morning in a forum with her Democrat opponent, Republican (and TEA Party-backed) U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, after telling her opponent that she could see no reason why Creationism could not be taught in public schools, questioned his assertion that it violated the Constitutional requirement for separation of church and state, asking him, “Where in the Constitution is separation of church and state.” (First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”).

Ignoring the fact that the First Amendment could be interpreted as not prohibiting the teaching of competing theories, even if one is religious in nature, her question indicated her ignorance of the Constitution, a blunder from which she will not recover.

I wonder how many incumbents in Congress–and presidents–could accurately answer questions about the Constitution. Their actions in Congress lead one to think either that they do not understand it, or that they choose deliberately to ignore its provisions. We know that Congressmen and Senators do not read the bills they vote into law. Of course, if they don’t understand–or choose to ignore–the Constitution, it doesn’t  make any difference whether they read the bills or not.

In my post “Prescription for (Real) Hope and Change” (Oct. 18), I offered amendments that will put government back in the hands of the states and the people. Perhaps I should have included as an amendment a proposal that appeared in Congress a couple of years ago that would require all bills to cite their constitutional authority. In the event, maybe some in Congress would find that their bills had no constitutional basis. Whether they would care is doubtful.

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