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FOX: The Unfriendly Skies for God

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Posted on July 10 2009 10:17 am

Barack Obama has taken the Left’s anti-God campaign to a whole new level.   Bill O’Reilly reported that the Pentagon has now, for the first time, decided to ban a forty-year plus tradition – the annual Airforce fly-over for Idaho’s God and Country Festival!  The reason: the fly-over would appear to endorse religion, which would violate the separation of church and state.

This radical interpretation of the First Amendment’s establishment-of-religion clause puts the Obama administration squarely in the camp of those on the Left who want to ban any display of  religion in the public square.   Now the skies have become out-of-bounds for the military to honor a patriotic tradition that happens to mention God in its title.  Yet nothing is being done, by contrast, to prevent Islamic indoctrination in our public school textbooks.

O’Reilly also mentioned that when Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University , his minions made sure that the cross appearing behind him was covered up.  What’s next?  Doing away with Christmas as a national holiday?  Dropping any reference to God in the Pledge of Allegiance or on our coins?

In his visit with Pope Benedict today, is Obama going to have to first issue a disclaimer of any intent to endorse religion or, better yet, chastise the Pope for daring to criticize Islam a few years ago?

The meaning, structure and history of the constitutional text of the establishment clause belie this Norman Lear school of absolutist interpretation.  The words “establish” or “establishment” are used several times in the Constitution, in the context of instituting or creating a body, enacting a law or making an appointment.   This usage conformed to the common understanding of those terms at the time of its drafting.  The drafters expressly rejected alternative language that would have omitted the word “establishment” and said simply that “Congress shall make no laws touching religion”. 

Indeed, it was reported that during discussions in the House of Representatives, one Mr. Huntington was particularly concerned that the Amendment be drafted in such a way so as “to secure the rights of conscience, and the free exercise of religion, but not to patronize those who professed no religion at all.” It was reported that James Madison assured him on this point and that the Amendment’s intent was only to address the people’s fear that “one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion, to which they would compel others to conform.  He thought if the word ‘National’ was introduced, it would point the amendment directly to the object it was intended to prevent”.   Ultimately, it was decided that the intent was clear enough without adding this word. (Congressional Debates: Religious Amendments, 1789).

That is too bad, in retrospect, because we have been in a judicial muddle over the meaning of this provision for the last fifty years and the Obama administration has now turned the provision inside-out completely.  Instead, the secularist progressives’ religion is made up of radical political causes that hurt everyday Americans — like radical environmentalism (whose actual goal is the demolition of technological / industrial civilization) and “social justice” (which has evolved into a code term for “communism”).

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