The Case Against the Separation of Church and State

paintingjesusAs if by divine intervention, the debate over the separation of church and state was answered today — even as the Supreme Court took up the case of Salazar v. Buono ( 08-472). This picture clearly shows Jesus giving the Constitution to the drafters — resolving any suggestion that the original framers envisioned a separation. It came directly from Jesus and should moot the case heard by the Court today.

Before this evidence was produced, the Court was poised to decide whether religious symbols in military cemeteries fail into an exception under the first amendment. The war memorial in California’s Mojave National Preserve features an 8-foot-high cross that was erected with a plaque commemorating the “Dead of All Wars.” A former National Parks Service member, Frank Buono, sued in 2001 and challenged the cross as violating the Constitution’s ban on the establishment of religion. However, as this picture shows, there was no other deity present. The picture shows the conspicuous absence of Buddha, Muhammad, Yahweh, or any number of Hindu Gods. It is not clear whether the Court can take judicial notice of such evidence and save itself a lot of trouble.

In the meantime, the Obama Administration and Solicitor General Elena Kagan are again at odds with civil libertarians — opposing Buono and seeking to bar the action for lack of standing. This comes at the same time that the Administration is supporting efforts to limit free speech in the United Nations to protect religion from some critics, here. Obama ran on a faith-based political message, here.
The case could create a broad “secular purpose” exception that would swallow the rule. With the replacement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. the center of gravity of the Court may have shifted since the 2005 cases. It is also unclear where Justice Sonia Sotomayor would stand on such an exception.

Of course, now that the evidence is in, the Court can start to construct a mandatory entanglement doctrine between church and state.

This site has already begun analysis of the picture as shown by dragging your cursor across the various figures.

For the story on the Mojave cross, click here.

24 thoughts on “The Case Against the Separation of Church and State”

  1. For anyone who isn’t familiar with the “fascinating” thinking and “extraordinary” version of history that led to the painting: It’s largely from the work of Cleon Skousen, who makes Dan Brown look pretty lacking in creativity. The “College Student” (Regent Law School?) holds a copy of Cleon’s best known book, “The 5,000 Year Leap,” which lays out the vision that the Constitution is “a godly document.” This is a version of history entirely unencumbered by folks like Voltaire or other radically liberal Enlightenment thinking.

    It’s worth understanding that when Glen Beck, the teabaggers and similar folks rant seemingly incoherently about “the Constitution,” they have a very different document in mind that we silly folks do. We read it and notice that the only mentions of religion are the Establishment Clause and the prohibition on religious tests, and that “God” or “Christ” are entirely absent from the document. They imagine that the Constitution was passed from God to the founders (hmm… kinda like how the Qur’an was narrated to Muhammad?) and that it means whatever they want it to mean. Not a good setup for reasoned debate…

  2. lol

    “I’m sorry Thomas and James. You boys did a fine job along with your friends. I know it’s good work but these zealots are only going to screw it up by saying either Me or My Father want another theocracy. If We did, We’d have made them instead of giving you lot the idea for a Constitution in the first place. So now I’m taking back the Constitution. I have no choice. I’d rather not but Dad insisted. It’s a great piece of work but something is wrong with the humans. They can’t seem to grasp the importance of the Separation of Church and State not just for maintenance of the country, but to protect Our Greatest Gift of All to you people: Free Will. Maybe they’ll appreciate the beauty of this document a bit better on Zeta Reticuli. I’m going to show it to them. I’ll keep you inside on the low down on how it works out for them.”

  3. Looks to these irreligious eyes like Jesus is taking the document away from the founders, not giving it to them. About right.

  4. Is that Reagan in there? Ha. Funny.

    I like how most persons whose hands we can see are doing something rather goofy with their hands. I guess that’s to try to make the painting full of action poses?

    Would the painting be allowed under the Magically Inspired Document Rule?

  5. What a worn out phrase “separation of church and state”. It is so yesterday.

    Keep it simple.

    The clause is better interpreted as “no single religion can be favoured or disfavoured by the federal government”. And to the extent that this clause applies to the states, neither can they.

    The separation notion goes back to a time when churches crowned emperors when there was a need for “separation”.

  6. I believe the child is pointing out the clause prohibiting any religious tests for offices of public trust.

  7. I know the picture cited above is authentic since we can see Abraham Lincoln in his best Al Jolson stance. I can almost hear him singing:

    “Look at me, Mammy! Don’t you know me?
    I’m your little baby!
    I’d walk a million miles
    For one of your smiles,
    My Mammy! ”

    About the mindset of the creator of the work, I’m sure, but no less ridiculous than the premise of the picture.

  8. If you look closely, Jesus is looking for someone to translate this script, it’s not even in hebrew, Lincoln is trying to show him up by doing his rendition of AL Jolson: “Mammie”. The guy on the phone has a call to Mel Brooks saying he’s found the guy for the “History of Man” part II the sequeal. and the guy holding his head in his hands is Jesus’ agent who’s crying “how is this guy going to get the part if he can’t even read English. Reagan is in the backgroung, MIFFED at his agent because he didn’t even hear about the part and thinks he can do it better. The kid just pulled something out of his nose and needs a place to wipe it. And finally Ben Franklin is having a heart attack at the thought that the Christian loonies are taking over his country. What a sad depiction of an American in a Painting.

  9. Buddha is Laughing,

    The Mother Ship has landed. Please pack minimal provisions. The space will be limited for travel. Please prepare for the final decimation. We provide all necessaries. For this you should be prepared.


  10. Oh, and is that little boy Timmy? If so, where is Lassie? DOG is GOD spelled backward. I can’t say anymore, they’re already coming for m……

  11. Here are some Brownian clues. There’s a guy on a cell phone. Just who is he calling? The pregnant woman? Is it a virgin birth or does she really want a late term abortion on demand? The man with his head in his hands? Did they just torture the location of the Grail out of him? Jesus is dressed like Lady Justice. If he were at the supreme court and his chest was showing, would John Ashcroft cover him up? Which brings me to this cryptic phrase–“Let the Eagle Soar”–something that could only be sung after drinking too much really bad beer.

    I must say that is a stunning piece of evidence and it pretty much resolves the whole issue.

  12. Gyges,

    Dan foresaw this. Some of the action in The Lost Symbol takes place under the painting of the Apotheosis of Washington on teh ceiling of Rotunda of the Capitol.

    It depicts George Washington ascending to Heaven, presumably to rejoin Jesus and to thank him for the assistance.

    See the Architect of the Capitol’s webpage:

    When in Boston, visit the Sam Adams brewery in Jamaica Plain.

  13. I was really hoping when I saw this earlier today that it was just another flashback or perhaps some kind of alien parasite had invaded my brain.

  14. FFLEO,

    Talk about inaccurate satire. Sam Adams was a shitty Maltster, and Boston Brewery mostly makes good beer (not a fan of their cherry wheat).

  15. One wonders what conspiracy Dan Brown would claim stems from that iconography.

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