Monday, May 31, 2021

Tench Coxe on Article VI, Clause 3 of the US Constitution

  Check it out here.

No religious test is ever to be required of any officer or servant of the United States. The people may employ any wise or good citizen in the execution of the various duties of the government. In Italy, Spain, and Portugal, no protestant can hold a public trust. In England every Presbyterian, and other person not of their established church, is incapable of holding an office. No such impious deprivation of the rights of men can take place under the new foederal constitution. The convention has the honour of proposing the first public act, by which any nation has ever divested itself of a power, every exercise of which is a trespass on the Majesty of Heaven. 
No qualification in monied or landed property is required by the proposed plan; nor does it admit any preference from the preposterous distinctions of birth and rank. The office of the President, a Senator, and a Representative, and every other place of power or profit, are therefore open to the whole body of the people. Any wise, informed and upright man, be his property what it may, can exercise the trusts and powers of the state, provided he possesses the moral, religious and political virtues which are necessary to secure the confidence of his fellow citizens.

5 comments:

JSH said...

In 2015-16, Ted Cruz's strategy to be elected president was to appeal to fundamentalist, evangelical, and/or Pentecostal Christians.*
Not just during the primaries -- for the general election too.

Cruz was not alone. Fellow presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Perry had the same plan. These men and others like Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo proclaim, "I am first and foremost a Christian, then a _____, then a _____." (Blank spots rotate between Republican, conservative, father and husband, et cetera.)

This is wrong, wrong, wrong -- completely contrary to Americanism's values and the No Religious Test Clause of the Constitution.

What Cruz had in mind -- and, well, nearly every GOP candidate did and does -- was to force the government (ie, voters, since we are a self-governing Sovereign People) to use a religious test to pick him or the candidate(s) who are less showy in their religious beliefs or are less extreme in their doctrine.

Candidates who run on Christianity have no place in our secular government. We are not, and have never been, a Christian nation. No matter how many times David Barton (Cruz's official campaign 'historian,' by the way) says otherwise, it will never be true.

The Religious White have long loathed the Establishment Clause, which is our actual "first freedom" (not religious liberty, as radicalized Christians insist) -- the liberty of not having tyrants legislate their religious beliefs, making slaves of who are purported to be a self-governing People.

County clerk Kim Davis and those like Huckabee and Cruz who granted her martyrdom were wrong. "God's law" is not supreme to "man's law." The day this finally is accomplished is the day America dies. We cannot debate or outvote a deity.

The Kim Davis melodrama provides a crystal-clear example of why the No Religious Test Clause exists. Being a Christian is fine. Being "first and foremost a Christian" is not. Politicians and judges must be first and foremost an American, because religious intolerance and religious proscriptions have a long record of stigmatizing, marginalizing, silencing, demonizing, and dehumanizing those deemed "marked by Cain," perverts, infidels, and threats to civil society.

Gays, Blacks, the disabled, Muslims, and others are Americans to whom the Constitution guarantees rights, privileges, and immunities. Those who believe historically marginalized people's rights exist only to the extent the tyranny of the majority decides they do really suck at being an American.


*By Christians, I mean Protestants, although some, such as independent Baptists, reject that label. Their religious lineage, they claim, dates back to the Apostles and they are the original church. Many, if not most, evangelicals deny Roman Catholics and Mormons, for example, are Christians, although given the vast wealth of these so-called cults, evangelicals are more than willing to partner with the "hell-bound" to achieve political goals.

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