I had asked David Calvani what he thought of the comments on the entry that I had posted from him concerning the establishment clause.
I just looked at the responses to my original note at
I find it very interesting that there are 5 comments and only two
The anonymous comment that labeled you a theocrat is what one should expect
form anonymous commentary: an assertion made without the slightest
justification. It is this sort of comment that would incline me not to allow
comments if I had a web log. There was nothing in my note to indicate that I
want a theocratic state (which I do not).
As for Jim Lippard of http://lippard.blogspot.com/ I find it most amusing
that he goes on criticizing me for 3 posts but then has to admit that the
article he linked to in comment #4 "appears compatible with" my view!
Mr. Lippard errs from the very first. He says, "The 14th amendment
incorporates all of the protections of the Bill of Rights as limitations
against federal power into limitations against state power." This is wrong.
The judiciary tried to incorporate all of the Bill of Rights into 14th
amendment jurisprudence, but soon abandoned this approach as unworkable. (Of
course, if the 14th amendment's privileges and immunities clause really
authorized this total incorporation, the amendment would not repeat the 5th
amendments due process requirement as a new obligation of the states.)
After rejecting the total incorporation doctrine, the courts invented their
'fundamental constitutional rights' doctrine, saying that only the
'fundamental' rights granted by the Constitution were incorporated. But the
Constitution makes no distinction between 'fundamental' and
'non-fundamental' rights! The courts should stick with the actual language
of the 14th amendment: the privileges and immunities of a citizen of the
Jim Lippards second assertion is even more absurd. He wrote, "It's pretty
clear that an official state religion would violate the First Amendment
rights of citizens of the state who are not members of that religion." How
so? Does the United Kingdom lack freedom of religion because of the
established Church of England? If the tyrants of China ever leave Tibet,
will Tibet be without freedom of religion because the head of Tibetan
Buddhism and the King of Tibet are the same person, the Dalai Lama?
The first amendment treats non-establishment of religion and freedom of
religion in two separate clauses. As far as the U.S. Constitution is
concerned, they are distinct and separate matters.
Why Jim conflates the two is seen on his own blog when he states "A loving
God? The unmitigated level of sheer evil in the world belies this claim ..."
The Constitution does not share Jim's fear and hatred of religious thought.
VR: David sent me a note telling me he now realizes that the comment on the Lippard blog was actually from Einzige and not from Jim. But he thinks Jim probably concurs.