. If we understand the First Amendment in the way the Founders intended, then the state of Oklahoma can prohibit the satanic mass scheduled for Sept. 21 in Oklahoma City if it wants to
A low information caller to my program today (Friday) challenged me on my historically correct understanding of the First Amendment. My view is that the First Amendment as written by the Founders - not as mangled by the courts – protects only the free exercise of Christianity. It was not written to deal with or even consider alternatives to Christianity such as Islam, Judaism, or atheism. According to Joseph Story, the longest serving associate justice of the Supreme Court, the exclusive purpose of the First Amendment was to exclude rivalry among the various Christian denominations in America. Beyond that, the entire power to regulate religious expression was reserved by the Founders exclusively for the states. For instance, nine of the original 13 states at the time of the Founding had established churches. If we understand the First Amendment in the way the Founders intended, then the state of Oklahoma can prohibit the satanic mass scheduled for Sept. 21 in Oklahoma City if it wants to. Most people think the First Amendment requires Oklahoma City to allow this blasphemous ritual, but they are flat wrong. In fact, states can prohibit the building of any more mosques if they want to, under the authority reserved to them by the Founders in the Constitution. My conversation with this caller is part of this segment of Focal Point.