Neil Gorsuch says no-one can sue to stop government establishing religion

By Rmuse | 27 March 2019
Daily Kos

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

One inherent danger of allowing a religious minority to install a puppet controlled by religious fanatics in the White House is the now unfolding threat of government officially establishing religion – the Christian religion. Any American’s confidence that the U.S. Constitution is a protection against government establishing religion is grossly misplaced and, that belief is about to be disabused by the current religious conservatives responsible for adjudicating the law of the land.

Because a nearly half-century-old Supreme Court ruling prevented the government from advancing religion, the wall of separation between church and state is almost certainly going to be eviscerated by the Christian conservatives on the current Supreme Court. The crusade to demolish the wall of separation is being advanced by one of the Heritage Foundation SCOTUS nominees confirmed shortly after Trump corrupted every aspect of the government his hands touched. However, it is noteworthy that Neil Gorsuch’s theocratic crusade is wholly supported by Trump’s other SCOTUS appointee, Brett Kavanaugh.

The reason the “Establishment Clause” is going to be found unconstitutional by the current Court’s Christian conservatives is crystal clear; they believe a 1970’s-era ruling prohibiting government establishment of religion adhered to the U.S. Constitution and is patently wrong. The prohibition on government establishing religion is appalling to evangelicals and the theocrats on the High Court are not going to tolerate it any longer.

The High Court recently heard two cases, American Legion v. American Humanist Association and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission v. American Humanist Association, brought by Americans who errantly believed the Supreme Court would rule according to the U.S. Constitution like lower federal courts; but that prospect is highly unlikely. Those Americans failed to comprehend that there are few conservatives who actually fulfill their oath to uphold the nation’s founding document and law of the land; this is particularly true any time the Constitution is at odds with the theocracy-minded Christian Dominionists. Christian Dominionists have lusted for the day the federal government will establish the Christian religion as the law of the land, and it is something Justice Neil Gorsuch contends cannot be challenged.

Based on comments by Trump’s more vocal and radical theocratic justice, it is all but certain that the Court will uphold the so-called “Peace Cross” as the initial step in a long sought-after demolition of the so-called wall of separation enshrined in the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment. The case centers on a 40-foot tall Christian cross-shaped monument on government land in Maryland. The Christian cross, a well-known Christian symbol, was erected to honor fallen Christian soldiers from the First World War; as if no Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, or atheists sacrificed their lives for what they believed was a nation with a secular Constitution banning the government from establishing any religion.

Trump’s theocratic Justice Neil Gorsuch proffered a truly radical position regarding the unconstitutionality of the government establishing religion, as if he was a hired lawyer and spokesman for the theocratic Dominionist movement. Although not going so far as asserting the First Amendment’s “Establishment Clause is unconstitutional” like former Attorney General J. Beauregard Sessions, he may as well have.

Gorsuch did, in fact, claim that any plaintiffs who challenge government establishment and endorsement of one specific religion should be banned from suing the government to force it to uphold the Constitution’s Establishment Clause. According to Gorsuch, there is no situation that allows any American to have “legal standing to challenge” a Christian religious display on government property; something that is in fact establishing religion. He claims that because “their only injury is that they take offense” at the religious display on taxpayer’s land, in his theocratic mind being offended is not enough to demand the government abide by the law of the land – any more than expecting Christian conservative justices to support, uphold, and decide cases based on the Constitution.

It is noteworthy that in Gorsuch’s Catholic mind there in no law, no part of the Constitution, or no civil rights protections that an evangelical extremist’s religious freedom cannot abridge. In fact, any time he has been involved with cases regarding basic civil rights, especially women’s and gays’ human rights, Gorsuch plays the religious liberty card – it is what his Catholic religious leaders taught evangelicals a few decades ago as an electoral tool to engender unwavering religious support for Republican candidates in the South.

During the evangelicals’ argument that the Court has to tear down what Founding Father Thomas Jefferson labeled “a wall of separation between church and state,” Gorsuch condemned the High Court’s 1971 ruling in Lemon v. Kurtzman. In that particular case, the Supreme Court had to defend, support, and enforce the 1st Amendment’s “Establishment Clause” because malcontent religious freaks opposed the idea of a Constitution that prohibits theocrats from using the government to establish their religion. In that decision the Court ruled correctly.

“The nation’s laws must have a secular legislative purpose and a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion.”

The Court also held that “the nation’s laws cannot foster government entanglement with religion.”

Gorsuch disagrees and complained bitterly about that kind of originalist argument he asserted was too confusing for  judges in lower courts leading him to declare:

“It’s time to thank Lemon for its service and send it on its way.”

Gorsuch’s arguments were aligned closely, and likely carefully coordinated, with one of three theocratic attorneys arguing in favor of the Peace Cross as a cudgel to tear apart the wall of separation between the Christian church and state. According to “archconservative lawyer” and theocrat Michael Carvin, any law that advances religion should be upheld by the High Court unless it coerces individuals into religious activity.

It is noteworthy that all Americans are already “coerced” into providing tens-of-billions of dollars annually in free, tax-exempt welfare to churches, and that is on top of the several billions worth of tax-free faith-based initiative dollars to shove their religion down other Americans’ throats.

There was a time, not so long ago, that the idea of a Supreme Court justice openly arguing that the government has a right to establish religion, and that no citizen has standing to sue to force said government to adhere to the law of the land, would be considered lubridious. However, that was before a fanatical religious minority seized absolute control of the federal government, including the federal judiciary, on the day of Trump’s poorly-attended inauguration.  It is curious that religious extremists like Gorsuch and Kavanaugh claim to be devotees of “Constitutional originalist” Antonin Scalia, and yet they are staunch crusaders for violating the Founders’ original intent and support giving other Christian extremists the religious freedom to control all American citizens.

Look, anyone who is remotely aware of world history, especially the bloody and brutal Christian world history, knows full well that these Taliban-ISIS-like fanatics will never stop until they rule with a theocratic iron fist. The Handmaid’s Tale was probably written as fiction, and possibly as a cautionary tale, but the fictional events that led to the overthrow of the democratic United States and creation of the “Republic of Gilead” are playing out before American citizen’s eyes – and people are still terrified of uttering an unkind word against the religious minority running America. Sadly, the same “who cares” attitude that allowed America to get to this extremely tragic situation will continue unabated until America is Gilead.

The Republicans advancing the Dominionists’ agenda may not comport changing America’s name to Gilead, but they damn sure countenance America’s lurch toward theocracy. Moreover, they will continue unabated providing a vile group of “mean god” evangelicals with all the “religious liberty” they demand to control every aspect of American life. Even more tragic is that their first victims will be mothers, daughters, sisters, girlfriends and wives of the men who claim to love them while remaining silent and therefore complicit.

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