The establishment clause of the Constitution is clear,
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
The interpretations provide the government, and the governed, a clear path to follow. The Government has no place in supporting or subverting religious practices. Nor acting against those who chose to hold no religious faith.
I, as many of you know, am of the latter category. My progression from Catholicism to Doubt (or cynic in the tradition of Diogenes and Epicurus) makes me particularly sensitive to governmental line crossing.
When I watched the Trump rally in Florida, I was taken aback by the First Lady’s recitation of a Christian prayer. One may argue that being a political rally, President Trump can conduct this in any manner he chooses.
There is no such thing as a “time-out” from being President. Wherever, whenever Mr. Trump is, he is the President. He need conduct himself as such.
What’s the big deal, you may ask?
Imagine the reaction if Melania read a Sura from the Koran? The Christian conservatives would lose their minds. It would illustrate the double standard in evidence here.
A “Christian” prayer is a harmless invocation recognizing the importance of religion to most Americans. A recitation of a Sura, I dare say, would be taken as an insult.
Make no mistake about it. The recent ban on entry to the United States is a direct attack on a specific religion. Something clearly prohibited by the constitution.
Many are quick to wrap their guns in the Second Amendment as being inviolate and clear in its intent. Yet find it convenient to parse the language of the Establishment clause.
This is not a debate on the validity of any religion. I’ll save that for another time. My point is to illustrate the disingenuous nature of this administration. Trump plays to the lowest common denominator of emotion. He sees most Americans are Christians as a justification for ignoring the constitution. He plays to their fears and lack of understanding of those of different faiths.
That many Americans applaud and support such tactics is frightening. We cannot let this stand.
The President must be the calm and sober one, containing the raw emotions of nationalism and fear not feeding them. They must play the part of the adult in the room. I fear this one never will.