Judge Jones wrong about Founding Fathers' "true religion"
I think that it is unfortunate that religion is an issue in the debate over evolution, and I am particularly disturbed that some people are abusing the establishment clause here to suppress scientific ideas that they don't like. I also feel that the Founding Fathers' religious beliefs should not control our interpretation of the Constitution. And I am also greatly disturbed that Judge Jones has shown that his lousy Kitzmiller v. Dover decision was influenced by his hostility towards organized religion and his distorted ideas about the Founding Fathers' religious beliefs and reasons for creating the establishment clause. Here again is an excerpt from his Dickinson College commencement speech:
.....we see the Founders' ideals quite clearly, among many places, in the Establishment Clause within the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This of course was the clause that I determined the school board had violated in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case. While legal scholars will continue to debate the appropriate application of that clause to particular facts in individual cases, this much is very clear. The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry. At bottom then, this core set of beliefs led the Founders, who constantly engaged and questioned things, to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state. (emphasis added)
For starters, Judge Jones' above statement about "true religion" shows such great hostility towards organized religion that he should recuse himself from any establishment clause or free exercise case.
Also, contrary to Jones' statement that the Founders' beliefs about "true religion" are "very clear," the only things that are "very clear" are that today there is no consensus at all about the Founders' religious beliefs and that Jones' simplistic description of the Founders' "true religion" is wrong. A Christian Science Monitor article titled "How religious did they expect us to be?" says:
Both Christian fundamentalists and their militantly secular opposites tend to cite our founding intellects as the original wellsprings of their philosophies about the proper place for faith in the public arena.
Another Christian Science Monitor article titled "This year, lots of fireworks over the Founders' faith" says:
"People who are fighting battles now, against the Christian right or the secular left, feel their case will be stronger if they have history on their side," says Alan Wolfe, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College.
At least nine new books this year - such as "Washington's God," "Moral Minority," and "American Gospel" - delve into the Founders' spiritual and ethical beliefs.
Some authors are raising questions about Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. Were they Christians who found salvation in a personal God? Or were they deists, that is, devotees of reason who saw God as a benevolent yet distant creator?
Ironically, though Dickinson College, Jones' alma mater where he gave the above commencement speech, was founded by a Founding Father, Dr. Benjamin Rush, and named for another Founding Father, John Dickinson, the college seal -- designed by Rush and Dickinson -- has a picture of an open Bible and a Latin motto which means, "Religion and learning, the bulwark of liberty." And yet Jones' commencement speech said, "The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible." What a joke. I can't believe this.
Jones is just a lousy judge and a crackpot.
Definition of "federal judge" -- A lawyer who knows a senator (another variation of that cliche`, "it's not what you know, it's who you know"). My thanks to BarryA, an attorney, for that one.
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