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Thread: Christine O'Donnell's Church and State Gaffe Makes Voters Laugh

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    Christine O'Donnell's Church and State Gaffe Makes Voters Laugh

    Christine O'Donnell's church and state gaffe makes voters laugh

    Richard Adams in Washington
    guardian.co.uk

    Widener Law School audience derided O'Donnell for asking: 'Where in the constitution is the separation of church and state?'

    The US constitution has its quirks but it is crystal clear on one issue: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," begins the first amendment, adopted in 1791. But more than 200 years later, its meaning appears to be lost on Christine O'Donnell, the Tea Party favourite running for a US Senate seat.

    At a debate today for the Delaware Senate seat once occupied by Vice President Joe Biden, O'Donnell appeared to be nonplussed by the wording of the first amendment, repeatedly returning to the subject and sounding incredulous after her Democratic opponent Chris Coons attempted to explain it to her.

    When Coons told her the text of the constitution prohibited government from establishing any religion, O'Donnell replied in apparent bewilderment: "You're telling me that's in the first amendment?"

    Minutes earlier, the audience at Widener Law School in Delaware had laughed in derision when O'Donnell asked: "Where in the constitution is the separation of church and state?"

    Not only is the first amendment perhaps the most famous part of the constitution but the "establishment clause", as it is known, is the subject of legal precedent stretching back into the 19th century. No less an authority than Thomas Jefferson declared the clause's aim to build "a wall of separation between church and state".

    While O'Donnell's campaign was quick to attempt damage limitation, saying that the words "separation of church and state" appear nowhere in the constitution, the gaffe does O'Donnell no favours as her campaign unravels and she trails far behind Coons in latest opinon polls.

    O'Donnell's slip is also the latest in a string of blunders by Tea Party candidates around the US, highlighting the danger of pushing untested candidates under the glare of the national media.

    On Sunday, security guards for Republican senate candidate Joe Miller forcibly handcuffed a local journalist after a public event in Alaska, while Nevada Republican Sharron Angle recently told a room full of Hispanic students that "some of you look a little more Asian to me".

    • This article was amended on 20 October 2010. The original said that Thomas Jefferson was one of the authors of the US constitution. This has been deleted.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010...nd-state-gaffe

    I had been excited by the Tea Party Movement due to their stances on taxation, government size, and immigration, but I am growing more and more leery of them due to a painfully obvious lack of intelligence and intellectuality from the politicians endorsed by the movement, as well as the movement itself. Reminds me a bit of the SA in 1930s Germany. They may be a useful medium for changing the status quo, but they're woefully unfit to lead.

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    Well I hate be the one to break it to you but if your going to change anything
    politically in the U.S. you have to have the Christian majority on your side.
    Anybody who lives in the U.S. knows that most of the white voter base is
    Christian.I would not be suprised if she is being endorsed by a bunch of white
    Christians and she is saying exactly what they want to hear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneWolf View Post
    Well I hate be the one to break it to you but if your going to change anything
    politically in the U.S. you have to have the Christian majority on your side.
    Anybody who lives in the U.S. knows that most of the white voter base is
    Christian.I would not be suprised if she is being endorsed by a bunch of white
    Christians and she is saying exactly what they want to hear.
    Yes, that's what scares me. A lot of Tea Partiers endorse the "school choice" issue, which would open the floodgates to the creation of even more religious schools, sinking the country even further into a state of abject lunacy. The Supreme Court held that vouchers could be used toward religuously-based schools without violation the 1st Amendment. Madness.

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    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," begins the first amendment, adopted in 1791.
    The first amendment was a restriction on the power of Congress, not the individual states. Some of the states still had an established church at the time of the adoption of the Bill of Rights. Massachusetts was the last state to disestablish its official church (the Congregationalist Church) in 1831, not because of the first amendment but because of public sentiment in Massachusetts against a taxpayer supported church that many citizens did not belong to.

    In recent decades the first amendment has been taken to an extreme to try & drive Christianity out of the public forum. Where as parades celebrating homosexuality are tolerate under freedom of expression, navity scenes are banned at Christmas under the misconception that the first amendment requires seperation of church & state (the first amendment only applies to Congress, not states or municipalities), therefore all public expressions of Christianity must be forbidden. And it is Christianity that gets this treatment, not Judaism or Islam.
    'Let's Go Brandon!'

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneWolf View Post
    Well I hate be the one to break it to you but if your going to change anything
    politically in the U.S. you have to have the Christian majority on your side.
    Anybody who lives in the U.S. knows that most of the white voter base is
    Christian.I would not be suprised if she is being endorsed by a bunch of white
    Christians and she is saying exactly what they want to hear.
    How do you explain people like Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Barbara Boxer, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Russ Feingold, Al Franken, Barack Obama, etc...... getting lected? They did not win because of the Christian vote.
    'Let's Go Brandon!'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Æmeric View Post
    How do you explain people like Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Barbara Boxer, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Russ Feingold, Al Franken, Barack Obama, etc...... getting lected? They did not win because of the Christian vote.
    There are christian denominations, modern ones that would've sympathized with some of the campaigns of those of the above. That presbyterian one that merges its message and activities with cultural liberal positions,(United Church of Christ) as well as the Unitarians, there are others besides these I'm sure.
    "What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil." Friedrich Nietzche

    "Virtue - all virtue - is knowledge."
    Socrates

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    Yes, but the Supreme Court has held that the First Amendment applies to the states based on the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

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    I listened to O'Donnell's assessment of world politics and terrorism. It was pathetic -- even worse than Palin's tortured accounts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaxonCeorl View Post

    I had been excited by the Tea Party Movement due to their stances on taxation, government size, and immigration, but I am growing more and more leery of them due to a painfully obvious lack of intelligence and intellectuality from the politicians endorsed by the movement, as well as the movement itself. Reminds me a bit of the SA in 1930s Germany. They may be a useful medium for changing the status quo, but they're woefully unfit to lead.
    Unfortunately I am starting to feel the same way about the TEA parties. I will give credit that there are many TEA party groups. Some are very neocon based Christians and others ( the majority of them ) simply want our country back in the hands of the people.

    The stance lately has been to get rid of the Washington ruling class elites. I all for that, but I would hate to see them replaced by far right Christian groups.

    All in all though I do think there is real chance the TEA parties will help get rid of some of the leftist.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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    The "Tea Party"

    The "Tea Party" is nothing more than the more than "vocal" wing of the Ridiculous Right which has gone far in destroying the Republican Party and Moderation in the American body politic. Ask yourself one question, "Why did McCain lose the Presidential Election"? One word, "Palin".

    These people represent the "deaf, dumb and blind" of American Politics. It is simply the deaf, dumb and blind demanding and trying to lead the blind. If this is all the Republican Party has to offer, time to change Parties or purge them like the Democrats did to the Dixiecrats or in modern parlance, Tea Partyers...

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