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Establishment of Religion

Reader comment on item: Which Privileges for Islam?

Submitted by Stephen Berman (United States), Mar 15, 2005 at 11:40

Daniel:

The U.S. constitution does not prohibit states from establishing religions. Indeed, by 1840, at least 6 states did not allow Jews the right to vote or serve in public office. It is merely through an interpretation of the 14th amendment that states have been prohibited from establishing official religions.

Moreover, nearly every, or perhaps every European country has an official state religion. The Church of England, and the Russian Orthodox church, are closely tied to the governments.

Finally, even if it is contrary to an amendment to the US constitution, to establish Islam as the national religion, there is nothing wrong with advocating amending the constitution to remove or modify the 1st Amendment or 14th Amendment. Loyal Americans often advocate constitutional amendments.

In fact, perhaps it would be worthwhile to rethink how it came to be that we have freedom of religion. Perhaps we should ask whether the 17th century presumptions (that a person's private thoughts are of no interest to the government) still hold true.

In a free country, we should encourage Muslims to advocate for whatever they wish to advocate. If the people of the United States do not have a problem giving Islam special rights and privileges, that is their decision. In fact, there is no way to stop it.

If Islam is truly a threat to the U.S., there will need to be other measures enacted to protect us.
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