UI – Part 369 – How Does the Constitution Define Religion? What about Islam?
The title to this blog raises a serious issue. How does the Constitution define religion? Actually it does not. There is no test for religion. Any suggestion of a test applies primarily to office holders eligibility. We then need to further explore this reference. The framers of the Constitution were Christian. Several States do require a religious test, denying office to anyone that does not acknowledge a Supreme Being, or God. That then would include Allah, as this deity according to Islam is both a Supreme Being and god.
Forming a New Religion – Vidality
I could form a religion and call god, Vidal, and all discussions would refer to Vidal as a Supreme Being, a host of hosts, with a life eternal if a person is considered acceptable to Vidal’s standards. Vidal could indeed be our Creator. A Scripture would be inspired by influences received during dreams or escape periods when under the spell of opioids that conjure a Gabriel spirit to share Vidal’s words with me. The religion, way of life, ideology would be called, Vidality. Knowing salvation is a objective, offering a life hereafter as well as hope, Vidal would explain the actions humans must take to insure they can achieve an Eden where there are but beautiful men and women sans clothing gathered in luxury with abundant foods, including grapes. Earning this wonderful setting, a new body would be provided in the form of that most desired on earth. Upon the death of a follower a book of stars earned for complying with Vidal’s commands is presented. Vidal is the recipient and judge, determining if the weight of stars far exceeds the weight of stamps depicting coal that would enable the granting of the key to entry.
Of course, as the prophet of all that is espoused I would be at the right hand of Vidal giving approval as the attorney general for the Eden domain. I could proclaim myself prophet, Thomasia, and the life I lead, the methods employed, will be the example to all as the means to achieve nirvana. I would insure witnesses stayed with me and recorded what I say and the actions I take so that interpreting the scripture of Vidality would be the same at all times and in every place. They would be trained to pick-pocket and steal and share the spoils with a minimum of 5% for me and 10% for Vidal, which I would oversee. The cadre of followers would keep the remainder. Attracted by the rewards obtained by what some may claim are devious means would, regardless, serve to grow the cabal seeking similar benefits. Loyalty would only be among the cadre; only if one member of the army harms another would there be punishment. If ever they should leave my side they would find death and a key to damnation as the only outcome. Thus the army of the Prophet Thomasia would grow. The follower would then take this key and be given the choice of two doors. The key fits but one. It is opened either to a path to a verdant field of comfort and pleasure, or a slide to a damp, dark and empty abyss. Killing Muslims, Christians and Jews would provide the greatest assurance the key received, more so if the follower died in the act of extirpation of the infidel to Vidality, would lead to the path of all earthly desires without any limitation.
In America Vidality would be protected by the Constitution. Persecution of Vidalums would become a ‘hate’ crime and the growth of communities of servants for Thomasia and Vidal would be abetted by the system itself, protected by freedom of religion. Oh the government of America is so great and so accepting and inclusive of even the most vile.
The Wonder of Terra
My most recent book, The Wonder of Terra, sees god as the Engineer of all that exists, time and space, forming Terra as the ideal locale for life and those made in the image and likeness of the Engineer. It is the testing ground to determine persons to become additions to the other-worldly realm in which the Engineer dwells. From the back-cover, “This is the story of existence. Time and space are formed by a supernatural engineer yielding a profound look at the nature of the universe from its beginning to its end. Scientific, astrological, and biological forces combine to tease the senses. How humanity progresses with a divine influence parallels what we know. Conclusions drawn when research cannot find answers bewilders us all. You will be amazed by the content and truth of the Wonder. You will be left wondering and thinking in a fresh way about the world–the Terra upon which we dwell for but a dash from life to death. Divine law, that which made the natural and physical laws of the universe possible, cannot be ignored. Evolution has its place. “This is more than I expected. Truthfully I never thought I’d get past the entry point. If I made it that far, I never thought I would measure up to being able to answer the question as to my worthiness.” Are you worthy?….” (For a copy)
Framers of the Constitution
Without exception those who wrote the Constitution were Christians, if not deists, believing in a god, and used the Bible as a guide in establishing the moral and ethical values to be considered. No Muslim or Jew were among the authors, but a variety of Protestants and Catholics worked together, their differences in how they worshipped put aside to assure our Nation could never become a theocracy. Imagine a religious sect growing in size, a violent order, to the point they elected and appointed members in positions of power in the Federal Government, and then ordered the military to seize control of the Government revising the legal parameters for our populace to satisfy the Scripture of the sect assuming control.
James Madison spoke up regarding the election of Congressmen and wanted no means by which “Religion itself may become a motive to persecution and oppression.” The President’s Oath of Office, noted in the Constitution, affirms, “…I will faithfully execute the office of President…and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The oath is intended to be all-inclusive and does not call for the office holder to only ‘swear’ the oath, but alternately ‘affirm’ the oath (for those not allowed to ‘swear’ an oath). Personal responsibility to uphold the Constitution as written is called for, for the the religious as well as un-religious. Thomas Jefferson, not an author of the Constitution, had strong feelings that no person, male of female, shall be “compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever….” This applied to the legalization of religious laws specific to any religion as the guide to common law. The Supreme Court has been involved in the definition with the conclusion, basically, that religious rule or law cannot be superior to civil law, civil law designed for the good of all persons, no matter their religious preference (or none at all).
Interesting is the fact the Supreme Court, in the case Cantwell v Connecticut, allowed for open solicitation, or proselytizing, by religious groups without a need for a license or requirement from local, state or federal authorities. A permit demand “deprives them of their liberty without due process of law in contravention of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Thus there is to be ‘no compulsion in religion’ made more clear here than even in the Quran, where such language appears, but as written was later abrogated by Muhammad. Not the case for the USA.
Then there is The Lemon Test. This arose from a Supreme Court case, Lemon v Kurtzman as recently as 1971. The protection afforded by the Entitlement Clause (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”) was presented with three criteria. “First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not foster ‘an excessive government entanglement with religion.’”
Islam in America – In Government
Concerns have been raised over the possibility Islam might grow in the United States to then invade government, local, state and federal, to impose Sharia Law, thus having a preference for the religion of Islam over any other. The force of Islam once they become more numerous is reflected in the terroristic methods this religion employs to insure believers do not leave, become apostates. In addition there are many who feel Islam is not a religion, more an ideology, a way of life, dictated by evil forces that have compelled Muhammad, his Companions and followers to create an operative framework to favor their wants and desires, with a continuous effort to suppress and oppress the poor and women.
Muslim dominated cultures are strictly controlled by a few. Women are generally regarded as producers only, their education not needed as their role is to support the male and the growth of the population of Islam. Laws are applied differently to Muslim women, and much differently to non-Muslim women. Education is not favored for the majority fearing an informed populace would read and study the history and texts of Islam, as well as that of the Bible, and find a new path, one where love supersedes scare tactics and violence is not the means to grow a faith. The people would turn to atheism or Christianity. Dissidents may arise that would cause a revolution and overturn those who use vile tactics, that of the Sunni and Shiite. A free-will spirit voluntarily discovers their path to salvation, which is anathema to Islam.
Do the laws of America and the decisions of the Supreme Court protect our Nation from any encroachment by the desires of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim Public Affairs Council [an Islamist lobby group (a Muslim Brotherhood legacy group)], and C.A.I.R. into any hall of governance? And if not, how can it be stopped.
Establishment Claus Means….
An important judgment by SCOTUS came from Everson v Board (1947). Regarding the 1st Amendment, it read:
“The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this:
- Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church (or mosque).
- Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.
- Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church (or mosque) against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.
- No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church (or mosque) attendance or non-attendance.
- No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion.
- Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups or visa versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between Church (Mosque or Worship center) and State.’”
Has Islam Already Entered or Encroached Upon Local, State or Federal Offices
What happens, then, in areas, like Hamtramck, MI where the call to prayer has been permitted because of a Muslim majority whose board of commissioners allowed. (Read About) Is this a violation of US law and the Constitution?
What happens when a Muslim is elected as a civil judge, 7th Municipal district, Brooklyn, NY, and takes their oath of office on a Quran and not a Bible. Are they professing to support Quranic Law or Islamic Law, or Sharia Law and not the Constitution? Are they truly officers of the Court of the United States? (Read About)
A Bill has been proposed in Washington DC with a specific reference to Muslims. The posture of Muslims is a ready response to concerns, criticism, even questions asked of Islam that is labelled ‘persecution’. Calls for punishment arising from Islamophobia that might result in harm, physical or mental, have been intimated in the legislation. H.Res.569, Introduced in the House on 12/17/2015 – Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States. (Read more) My concern is the emphasis on Muslims as it is a statistical fact more Jews are attacked for their religion in the USA than Muslims. Other religious or non-religious groups have also been subject to what many react to and refer to as ‘hate’ crimes. The Bill cites “physical, verbal and emotional abuse” as a basis for concern. To me this is a ‘sticks and stones’ concern that reflects poorly on Muslims whose superiority as noted in the Quran is as thin and sensitive as Donald Trump.
We Need to Be Better Educated
Americans need to educate themselves. The Constitution is a vital instrument that has made America great. It keeps us free and protects us from intrusions by those who want open borders, increased immigration, to include illegals, and from excesses by progressive and socialist agendas. In the preamble it clearly states our Government is to “promote” the general welfare of the people, not to provide it. It does say our Government is to ‘provide’ a military for the security of our borders and people from invaders intent on altering our foundations (“provide for the common defense”). Islam, for those studied and adherents, intends to change not only our Nation, but the world, to become more like the battlefields of the Middle East, as bastions for followers of the example of Muhammad and their god, Allah. We know what that looks like.
I worry about the majority moderate Muslims in the United States. They are viewed just as the infidel, called ‘heretics’ instead. They are not devout, nor fully educated in the basics of Islam, which according to the Islamists, those now referred to as ‘radicals’, are critical. The Quran, the example of Muhammad, Sura 9, and the Hadiths are the essence, in their view, of Islam. To be obedient to Allah a Muslim must promote Islam to the fullest, to achieve a world all for Allah, to accept their superiority over other religions and exercise it accordingly through Holy War, offensive as well as defensive. That would entail changing the Constitution to be more like Sharia Law. They too must insist America remains bound by the Constitution, even to the extent they must yield their cultural heritage to be the American they have become It just may be that is not as a political Islamist, a radical, or even a Muslim.
I prefer things the way they are, not as Obama or the Islamists would like.
Food for Thought.
Grace and Peace.