John McCain Fails Constitutional History

A Jed Report arrives via the usual wandering paths, me picking up the trail from Pharyngula:

What a pandering tool McCain has become, and what little understanding he has of the modern era. Hey, McCain? The days when you could spout ignorant crap like this and not expect it to get around are long since over.

I’ve discussed this revisionist history before. To recap: No, the United States was not founded as a Christian Nation. The only reference concerning religion in it is in Article VI, section 3:

…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Pretty unambiguous. The very First Amendment made to Constitution addressed religion, too:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion… or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

And then there’s one of the first treaties, the Treaty of Tripoli, initiated under President George Washington and signed into law by President John Adams after unanimous Senate approval, and containing in it Article 11, which states:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

It’s either pathetic that such a senior United States Senator has such a poor grasp of American History, or it’s loathsome that he would knowingly pander by spreading this pernicious revisionist lie. Sadly, I suspect the latter, because while the aforementioned legislation might have happened when he was a boy, making “In God We Trust” our motto (under Public Law 84-140) happened while McCain was an adult, in 1957, his penultimate year at the Naval Academy.


~ by B.T. Murtagh on June 8, 2008.

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