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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Taking down the Widener Law version of the 1st Amendment. #DESen @ChristineOD

The below I got in email from a friend. It's a pretty definitive smackdown of Erin Daly, the Law Professor from Widener who thought it smart to trash Delaware Republican Senate Candidate Christine O'Donnell on the 1st Amendment and "Separation of Church and State".



Professor of Law and Associate Dean of Faculty Research and Development

Widener Law

Christine was absolutely right about "Separation of Church and State" not being in the First Amendment or the Constitution. As I am sure you know, but may not admit, the phrase "Separation of Church and State" comes from a letter from President Jefferson to a private group. It did not appear in Supreme Court decisional law until Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 164 (1878), a hundred years after the Revolution.

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between a man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”—Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Danbury, Connecticut, Baptists.

The First Amendment was ratified in 1791, a dozen years before the Supreme Court’s 1803 decision in Marbury v. Madison.

On NPR and Juan Williams.
Holding to it's principles, NPR fires Juan for speaking the truth.

In case you haven't heard yet, Juan Williams was fired by the taxpayer subsidized NPR (National Public Radio). He was fired for saying that he too has anxiety when he sees people in Muslim garb on a plane with him. He was fired for telling the truth, as Erick Erickson noted in the linked post.

Juan's anxiety is a completely normal human response to a traumatic event perpetrated by people citing their Muslim faith as reason and justification for the same. Juan was speaking from his own experience, with empathy for others who have also suffered losses due to Islamic Terrorism.

Despite these natural human inclinations, Juan went on to explain that we shouldn't lump everyone together. To a degree I think Juan is correct. We shouldn't let stereotypes cloud our judgments, nor should we allow a PC culture to do the same.

Even with these qualifications on his overall statements, NPR decided to fire him. He simply wasn't toeing the line for the NPR mission. This is a good point that I will briefly address after the full O'Reilly segment.