Tennessee Lt. Governor Questions Whether Muslims Are Protected Under Religious Clauses

Tennessee Lt. Gov. (and Republican gubernatorial candidate) Ron Ramsey has added an alarming new position to the race. He has stated that he is not convinced the Constitution protects Muslims under the guarantee of freedom of religion.

In the video below, Ramsey was asked at a campaign event about the “threat that’s invading our country from the Muslims.” While acknowledging the protections for religion, Ramsey noted that Islam is more of a cult rather than a true religion: “Now, you could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult whatever you want to call it. Now certainly we do protect our religions, but at the same time this is something we are going to have to face.”

He insisted, however, that “you know, I’m all about freedom of religion.” Except that is for the world’s second largest religion.

Source: TPM

73 thoughts on “Tennessee Lt. Governor Questions Whether Muslims Are Protected Under Religious Clauses”

  1. Savaship, I’m no expert on IL gun laws. You don’t seem to be one either. I’m interested in finding out more, so please link to the “bearing arms” codes that you’ve described, please.

    The things that I do know about IL gun law is that ownership is permitted but a purchaser does have to obtain a FOID. Is this the problem you have with the state mandates involving gun ownership. Registration and ID?

    When you say “How is this a right if the state can restrict it?”, I’m not sure what you’re asking. You have the right to vote but you must be registered. Is this also a infringement of your right?

    Are you possibly suggesting that all weapons should be purchased, sold and owned without any type of regulation on the weapons themselves or owners? If so, have you thought about the implications of such a policy? I think that this is where my tongue-in-cheek “Where’s my Howitzer” statement comes in.

    Sorry if you feel I’ve “misinterpret[ed] and mislead”. You haven’t made a clear point, so it is possible. Not sure where you feel I did, either, but you are free to point it out more clearly so I can explain myself. And if you’re implying that I am only interested in some, but not all of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, I would only ask you to refrain from making such inaccurate assertions without some sort of proof.

    Anyway, bring all of your concerns(with links, pls) out on the table so we can look and discuss. Right now, you seem to be arguing with folks that aren’t even aware of the issue or point you’d like to make.

    One last point about your general writing style. Don’t bother with the analogies(the MRID thing isn’t working) or the “no one who reads this agrees” stuff, like the ones in your first post. Obviously, not everyone shares your viewpoint on the subject, so, you only come off sounding self-righteous and unable to have any perspective except your own, IMO. What I’m asking of you is to try to make a case so that we can all follow along. Leave your assumptions out and educate people who aren’t you as to how you got to your opinion.

  2. Also for another example of unconstitutional restrictions of rights, Google “Constitution Free Zones”. You want to get upset about something restricting rights illegally? There’s your boy right there.

  3. savaship,

    Those in Illinois do have a right to bear arms.

    The 2nd Amendment applies to the states as does the rest of the Constitution.

    And rights can be restricted. They are called rights, not absolute rights. They can be modified, but not removed from the citizenry as a whole absent amendment. But there is a Constitutional way to restrict them such as the 1st Amendment restriction on panic speech (yelling fire in a crowded theater) and an Unconstitutional way to restrict them (see this thread: http://jonathanturley.org/2010/07/28/d-c-judge-hits-nlj-with-prior-restraint-order/).

  4. BF:
    You misinterpret and mislead. Illinois says you have the right to keep and “bear arms” then in another breath says our state restricts you from “bearing arms”… how is this a right if the state can restrict it? I am also not for restrictions of the 1st amendment, I’d simply like people to treat all our rights as sacred, instead of just the ones they like to use.
    Muslims hijacked airplanes based on misguided religion and killed more people than any single person with a gun, to me this makes religion a more powerful weapon than any handgun.

  5. Oh Sweetness(Colbert ref),

    Maybe Chuck Baldwin, since he’s a baptist pastor; potus candidate; and both NRA member and Gun owners of America member, he can answer the age-old question, “What gun would jesus use?”

    …or maybe he’s just a pandering ass-hat.

  6. Savaship,

    Oh, I’ve got it, we could make them all wear some kind of symbol on their cloths. Something yellow, and pointy.

  7. Just remember if you pull then pin and forget where you put it, don’t just stand there. Run like a lion…..

  8. AY, that reminds me, when will Obama stop trouncing my right to grenades?!?

    He’s read the constitution. Its my right!!

    Can’t wait to see the faces at target practice when I pull the pin and toss some explosives down-range. They’ll know I’m 2nd amendment through and through.

  9. BF,

    What do you do when a Blond throws a grenade at you?

    Pull the pin and toss it back……

  10. savaship, it’s because a crazy person or a convicted felon can’t kill me with words, political speak or otherwise. A crazy person or felon can get a gun and kill me, though, if there is no impediment to them being able to get said gun.

    Its a “your rights end where the protection of my rights begin” and vice-versa thing, I believe.

    Also, Illinois citizens do have the “right to bear arms,” as all American citizens do, but those arms are subject to the laws of the state and federal regulation.

    When will government stop trying to impede my right to a Howitzer, already??? I’ve got to defend myself!

  11. Buddha Is Laughing:

    If you read the ILCS code for “Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon” you’ll find that Illinois actually has no right to “bear arms” at all. This does not sound reasonable to anyone who considers constitutional rights important in the least. If not a religious ID, why not a political party ID? Or anything else that there is no contradictory case law for? You can have your political opinions, but can’t talk about them out of your house without a DPID (Democratic Party ID). My point is, if one right can be infringed, why not the rest? What makes the 1st amendment more sacred than the 2nd, and 4th?

  12. Tootie

    I just looked at the Constitution Party platform for 2008 and can see why it would suit you right down to the ground. Also Chuck Baldwin, their presidential candidate, is certainly unique (or was until recently – I think he has some competition, now).

    You will forgive me, I’m sure, if I say I’m happy that so few voters (199,314 out of 131 million voters) approved of that party platform.

    I’m still wondering what you mean by the “unique character of the American people” and wondering how multiculturalism reduces diversity.

  13. Tootie, I try, I really do, but your last comments reflect such a woeful lack of understanding of the history of this country, the history of immigration policy and cultural assimilation, the history of religion and of fundamental Constitutional rights and protections that there is simply not enough time to respond. The only plot you haven’t mentioned to date is the old Communist plan to steal our precious bodily fluids. You are one scared, and scary, lady.

  14. savaship,

    Muslim Religion ID’s would be a violation of the Establishment Clause as they would not meet the test set forth in Lemon v Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971).

    1. The government’s action must have a secular legislative purpose;
    2. The government’s action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;
    3. The government’s action must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion.

    Although you could maybe argue it doesn’t fail the first prong of the test, it would fail prongs two and three.

    The FOID’s are well within the established case law allowing regulation of firearms just like states that use waiting periods and background checks. SCOTUS has ruled that the right is not absolute and is subject to legislative controls, though it mentioned reasonableness preventing access to firearms by felons and the insane as valid public policy for the good of the community. They aren’t prohibiting your 2nd Amendment right to bear with an FOID, just making you get ID which is not an undue burden.


    You seem to forgetting the dozens if not hundreds of posts where you’ve advocated laws that wouldn’t pass the above Lemon test based on your view of Christian dogma. You don’t get to insert Christianity into the secular laws of the country any more than Muslims get to insert Islam into the secular laws of the country. You’re still a demonstrated theocrat just like you’re a demonstrated homophobe, so trying to back peddle is a waste of time. Funny. But a waste of time. Unless you realized the logic I presented to you the other day showing that hatred isn’t a Christ-like behavior in regards to homophobia, but being that you responded to that by saying I was being hateful when I was being much nicer about your nonsense than usual and trying to help you? I kinda doubt it.

  15. Be Forewarned: I do not mean to give any credence to what the honerable Lt. Gov from Tennessee is saying, I also do not agree with it.

    Let’s look at how much “leniency” States like Illinois have with the 2nd amendment… something as clear as “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” in Illinois means that you can’t bear arms anywhere, and can only keep them if no one sees it… plus you have to pay for special license called a FOID in order to purchase arms in the state… sounds like complete infringement to me that has yet to be overturned.

    In this case we’re obviously talking about the first amendment… and I say, if no one made a big deal about Illinois’ infringement of the 2nd… why is TN’s equally as severe ‘potential’ infringement on the 1st amendment kicking up so much controversy? Why not require Muslims simply to get a MRID (Muslim Religion ID) in order to practice that is registered through the state police, just like IL’s FOID? Obviously since that has been around since the 1960’s and not successfully challenged that means it’s not an infringement of one amendment in one state… TN could certainly take the same measures with another amendment… right?

  16. Mike Appleton:

    Muslims, unlike Christians, don’t want to work within our system except to subvert and replace it. Christians are working (however badly) to preserve it. You seem to have compared these apples to oranges by mistaking a Christians’ right to lobby for laws and participate in the political process (as Christians) with a desire for theocracy.

  17. Buckeye: LOL. U R FUNNY

    According to some here I AM a very large group of people already (I guess you could say this is an inside joke and if you don’t get it, I’m sorry I mentioned it).

    Anyway, I cannot associate with any political party that advocates killing the innocent. So that eliminates the dems and the reps. I voted the Constitution Party (naturally) in the last presidential election. Chuck Baldwin (the CP party candidate) was endorsed by Ron Paul. But I am an unaffiliated voter: no party.

    I’m not sure what you mean about any amendments. The Constitution already gives congress the authority to legislate and monitor immigration. So no further amendments are needed, only good law. Like I say, sedition is already illegal and we have a right to keep out foreigner who come over bringing with them intent to overthrow our government. That alone could work to keep out Muslims, Communists, Nazis, and all other political subversives.

    It don’t think it is too much to ask those we invite here to cherish our form of government (however diligently our leaders mistreat it).

    We do not need ONE more Hispanic immigrant ever and they should be permanently banned. This is mainly because of the intense loyalty they retain to their former nearby lands and families. It is suicide to swamp our country with nearby foreigners who do not intend to be loyal to this country and cannot get beyond their own ethnocentrism to put the best interests of this country first.

    The proof that Hispanics cannot be loyal or put the country’s interests first is their inability to admit and ask for a ban on Hispanics. Unless that ban occurs it will be impossible to preserve the unique character of the American people and their government as bequeathed to them by their ancestors. The more Hispanics we have the less we will retain our unique character among the family of nations. In fact, the more we are “diverse” internally the less diversity there will be overall in the world.

    Uniqueness creates diversity and multiculturalism reduces diversity.

    I think we should return our immigration system to the way it was before the Immigration Act of 1965 when our government began to commit genocide by immigration (after it promised us that NO noticeable difference in the ethnic makeup of the American people would occur).

    Until then, I suggest a moratorium on immigration. Naturally, democrats “hate” America so that won’t happen.

    I’m afraid secession could happen. It is time to pray.

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