Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
I don’t sit down and read the Constitution very often. When I do, I sometimes wonder where some people get their ideas and notions about the document.
Right now the popular argument is about religious freedom, which is part of the First Amendment. Other freedoms are addressed in this amendment but the clause about the government and religion is what I want to focus on.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Read the last part of the clause, it says the government can not establish a law prohibiting the free exercise thereof. To me it says the government can not establish a religion, of any type, nor can it prohibit one from expressing their beliefs.
Now if I refuse service to someone on my religious beliefs, am I covered by this amendment? One would think so, yet there is a sector of the population that does not accept that. Using the Civil Rights Acts, they are forcing these people to provide service to them.
The Civil Rights Acts were passed in the 60’s to address the situation of voting and segregation. A law that is two parts, government and moral law. It was passed to allow a discriminated segment of our society to have full voting privileges and access to government sponsored institutions, IE schools. It was also used to force business to have customers they preferred not to have. This is the morality of the law and where the law in part has been a failure. For prejudice is still rampant in the United States.
The morality portion of the law is what is being used by the Gay community in the United States to force themselves on people who do not want to deal with them. Using the First Amendment of the Constitution, these business owners say it violates their religious beliefs to serve and or do business with Gay people.
So the Gay people take the business owners to court and use the Civil Rights Acts as their cause to force these people to do business with them. So far the courts have been agreeing with the Gay’s, saying they are being discriminated against.
So I reread the amendment again and to me it looks like the government is violating its own laws. For by forcing somebody to do business with some one they oppose on religious beliefs could be construed as a law against religious freedom. Counter to the First Amendment of freedom of speech and religion.
For a different situation.
You have a car for sale, I stop by to look at it. I am wearing a very flashy shirt with the marks of satan all over it. I offer to buy your car at your price. You decide not to sell it to me. Saying on religious beliefs you do not deal with Satan. I offer you more money, you decline, I leave.
I go to court next day and file a lawsuit against you, saying you discriminated against me, I invoke the Civil Rights Acts. I want the court to force you to do business with me.
Is it really a different situation? Has the Civil rights Act been abused? Has the courts abused their power?