On Freedom OF Religion

Allow me to preface my remarks by saying that I am not a lawyer, I am not a college graduate who is studied any of the law. And this is just a plain text reading and understanding of it, prior to any judicial presidents.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution-

 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

First, to understand  the need for this amendment ,you would do well to  remember that at the time of the framing  of this document,  the United States had just broken away from England.  At that time  the church had unspoken control  over the state.  England basically had a state  instituted religion, the Church of England .if the state should make a law  that the church did not like, the state  would have to throw their law out.

In looking over this amendment you will notice that it specifically states Congress  shall make no law respecting  religion for or against it .it does not say that it does not want religion in  government, or  for the people not to practice it.  In this way the framers  left open the choice of the people to either practice or not practice a religion.

The first part shows that Congress cannot  say you will practice a religion,  and follow these rules of that ,or belong to a specific sect of religion .

The second part says that Congress  cannot say you can not practice a religion .

In all this it recognizes that Congress is the lawmaker  and says Congress cannot make any laws for or against it therefore leaving the  individual practice up to the people .

This also says, that  because there cannot be any laws for or against ,that if a particular department of the government wishes to insert prayer  they are welcome to as it is not prohibited . As a matter of point Congress  since the inception has always started off with a prayer .this is important to signify that the framers  were okay with religion and government .or if they did not want religion and government  as so many group’s say ,they would not start  each session off with prayer.

So to all the organizations  against prayer,  your thoughts on the Constitution prohibiting it in government  are misled.  As the framers,  some religious some not,  deemed it important to leave  the choice of the expression of religion  to the people that either  wish or not  to practice that religion,  and not too exclude  it from the possibility  that you may wish to  exercise the right of religion .

Glenn