Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dennis Prager's Puzzling Ideas About Church and State

See how I'm not saying anything snide about this? See how I'm not getting extremely angry? See how I'm just pointing out that he's wrong? See how I'm saying that I can't believe that his claims represent the considered judgments of most American conservatives?

Good Philosoraptor...good...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's great that just yesterday, you posted about confusion as to the definition of the term Christianist, and now, today, you're able to just point and say, "you know . . . like that guy."

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, here's an article Eugene Volokh wrote, appearing in the National Review, calling the guy totally full of shit:

7:41 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

"See how I'm just pointing out that he's wrong?"

That, but not how.

I love Dennis, but I'm not quite on board with him on this one. I think there's something there, but he's not sure what it is.

BTW, Prager is Jewish.

I'm thinking it was lovable liberal who used the term "culturally Judeo-Christian" for America awhile back and I thought it was apt. The use of the bible at swearing-ins is part of that heritage. One need not accept Jesus' divinity to use it.

However, (law) Prof. Volokh's legal analysis is unquestionably correct, and Prager's been caught off base here. I agree with the latter that a nation is more than the sum of its laws and a society cannot survive on law alone; however, this is an unquestionably legal issue.

Right bark, wrong tree.

(And BTW, I have a blogbuddy named Jon Rowe, whose excellent blog is largely devoted to fighting those who might fairly be called "Christianists" and often falsely Christianize the Founding and the Founders. Jon & I disagree on some things, but he's spot-on in correcting their errors of fact and history.)

8:42 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

It appears that Mr. Prager has yet to read that document known as the Constitution of the United States of America.

Article VI reads (3rd clasue):
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

No mention of the Bible here, and requiring one to take an oath with hand on the Bible certainly looks like requiring a religious Test as Qualification to hold the office.

Clearly WS *has* read the Constitution.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Indeed, Jim, I carry a copy of the Constitution in my bookbag, which, weenie academic that I am, goes most places with me.

Other things I'll assert without argument:

The sky is often blue.


Ignorance is inequivalent to strength

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation

These words contain the latitude to encompass this situation. The Framers meant Oath to mean swearing on Scripture; they meant Affirmation to mean swearing in another way, even non-religious.

10:39 AM  

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