Pharyngula

Video is not Christine O’Donnell’s friend — every time she opens her mouth she exposes her ugly, ignorant side. The latest faux pas comes from here performance in a debate with her opponent in which she reveals she hasn’t read the first amendment, and is surprised by what’s in it.

Here’s the relevant part:

“Let me just clarify,” O’Donnell pressed. “You’re telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?”

“The government shall make no establishment of religion,” Coons said, summarizing the gist of the specific words in the First Amendment’s establishment clause.

“That’s in the First Amendment?” O’Donnell asked again, eliciting further laughter from the room.

This is a fairly common talking point among lunatics of the far right. It is literally true that the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the constitution, but the first amendment is still quite clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” means you don’t get to use the influence of government to help promote your cult. It also promises not to get in the way of your evangelizing, but that the state itself is going to be neutral.

We also have a lunatic running for secretary of state in Minnesota who has been saying the same thing as O’Donnell.

Quite often you hear people say, ‘What about separation of church and state?’ There is no such thing. I mean it just does not exist, and it does not exist in America for a purpose, because we are a Christian nation. We are a nation based on Christian principles and ideals, and those are the things that guarantee our liberties. It is one of those things that is so fundamental to the freedoms that we have that when you begin to restrict our belief and our attestation to our Christian values you begin to restrict our liberties. You simply cannot continue a nation as America without that Christian base of liberty.

It seems rather obvious to me. The constitution saying that no state religion shall be established is in direct contradiction with anyone claiming that Christianity is our state religion.