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Article VI of the Constitution

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 @ 8:36 AM
Article VI of the Constitution The president's recent declaration that there should be no religious test concerning the admission of Syrian Muslim refugees shows ignorance of Article VI of the Constitution.
The religious test clause of the U.S. Constitution applies only to those holding a federal office. - David Barton

Following the recent attacks in Paris, and after learning that terrorists were hiding among Muslim Syrian refugees, a political battle erupted in America over allowing those refugees to enter. The President supported their continued admission while Congress voted to increase screening of those refugees. Numerous governors added their opposition to accepting Syrian refugees.

Presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz recommended that America accept only Christian refugees from Syria, but President Obama flatly dismissed that proposal, explaining:

When I hear folks say that, well, "Maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims" -- when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted. . . that’s shameful.

The President's allusion to a “religious test” is a reference to Article VI of the Constitution, which says:

. . . no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

President Obama, once again, has completely rewritten the simple wording of the Constitution to make it say something it does not. As is evident from the clear wording above, the "religious test" clause applies only to federally elected and appointed officials, and that's all. It does not apply to immigrants or anyone who does not hold federal office.

Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (considered one of the two "Fathers of American Jurisprudence") affirmed this in his famous 1833 Commentary on the Constitution:

 This clause. . . is designed to cut off every pretense of an alliance between the Church and State in the administration of the National Government. (emphasis added)

This clause specifically ensured that there would be no requirement that all federal officials must belong to just one specific denomination, which had been the case across much of Europe at the time the Constitution was written.

Signer of the Constitution Richard Dobbs Spaight likewise affirmed:

As to the subject of religion. . . . [n]o power is given to the general [federal] government to interfere with it at all. . . . No sect [denomination] is preferred to another. Every man has a right to worship the Supreme Being in the manner he thinks proper. No test is required. All men of equal capacity and integrity are equally eligible to offices.

The religious test clause of the U.S. Constitution applies only to those holding a federal office.

Whether or not Syrian Muslim refugees should be accepted into America is still to be determined, but contrary to what President Obama claims, Article VI of the Constitution has absolutely nothing to do with the debate.

 

(This blog was used with permission of David Barton and Wallbuilders.com)

David Barton Author of numerous best selling books and Founder and President of WallBuilders More Articles SHOW COMMENTS
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