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Southern Baptist chides Herman Cain: Muslims have rights, too


Speaking on C-SPAN, Southern Baptist leader Dr. Richard Land chided presidential candidate Herman Cain for disregarding the constitutional rights of U.S. Muslims.

Dr. Land reminded Cain that as a Christian and an African-American, Cain should have a special interest in the enforcement of the constitution in all communities, not just approving ones.





Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, addressed the businessman turned presidential candidate in a Monday broadcast saying, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bath, Mr. Cain.”

Cain is also an associate pastor at a Baptist. Last week, he told reporters that the plan to build the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in Rutherford County, Tennessee, is “an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion.” He sided with community members who have protested the center saying the center is “another way to gradually sneak Sharia law into our laws.”

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mordred08

    Dr. Land is smarter than Cain. He realizes a town that can ban mosques can also ban churches.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Larry L. Clifton

    Cain got it right…Land got it wrong.
    The U.S. Constitution was ratified with the assurance that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” In context, the Constitution says what the federal government cannot do; it does not provide a nationwide right of religious freedom.
    The states are not prohibited by the Constitution from either establishing religion or prohibiting free exercise. In fact, during the period when the individual states ratified the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, most had their own official state religions. Many states endorsed the Christian religion well into the mid-20th century.
    In 1808, President Thomas Jefferson broke from his two predecessors and decided against issuing a national proclamation for religious exercise. Jefferson did so because of our federalist system of government created by the Constitution.
    Explaining his position by letter to Samuel Miller, Jefferson wrote that his decision:
    …results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment, or free exercise, or religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the US. Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the general [federal] government.
    Jefferson concludes his letter to Miller by noting the practice of his predecessors. But had they examined the issue of federal jurisdiction, they “would have discovered that what might be a right in a state government, was a violation of that right when assumed by another.”
    The individual states have retained the power under the Constitution to regulate religion, including the right to ban mosques based on safety concerns — or, for that matter, for any reason. Just as some Muslim countries ban or regulate the building of churches, the individual states have retained sovereignty over such matters.
    Under the actual Constitution, one state may vote to ban all mosques while another may promote and fund mosques. In areas of retained sovereignty, the states are subject only to their own constitutions. The federal government is powerless to ban or to establish or to interfere with the powers of the states. That’s how the country was founded. It’s called constitutional federalism. It’s a system which allows for diversity among the states.
    Of course, the problem is that the First Amendment itself was amended — not by the legal process of a constitutional amendment, but by unilateral decree of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Religion Clause of the First Amendment, ratified by the states to control the power of the federal government, is now used against the very states it was meant to protect. And the federal government made itself the referee regarding what the states may and may not do.
    Legal commentary and court precedent was unanimous for approximately the first 150 years of our country’s constitutional history on the fact that the Bill of Rights limits the power of the federal government, not the states.
    Then, in the early 20th century (1925), judicial activists on the Supreme Court got clever. Since the 14th Amendment (1868) controls the power of the states — in context of ending slavery and granting rights to the former slaves — why not use it against the states in ways never imagined?
    Never mind that the 14th Amendment does not mention the Bill of Rights and has nothing to do with applying those “Rights” against the states. But since the 14th speaks of “liberty” interests, why not “incorporate” some of the restrictions on the federal government from the Bill of Rights into the 14th and apply them against the states?
    It was dishonest to the core — but oh, so brilliant.
    Because the Court acted mildly at first and incrementally, it got away with its crime against the Constitution.
    In short, that’s how “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” morphed into “local school districts everywhere shall cease in their time-honored religious traditions and exercises.”
    What is taking place via the illegal doctrine of “incorporation” is pure federal tyranny.
    So, did Herman Cain get it right?
    Probably not if you believe the U.S. Supreme Court has power to amend the Constitution without the amendment process. And if you believe that central control over the states via turning the Bill of Rights on its head is valid, then Herman Cain is outrageously out of touch.
    But if you believe that we must set aside decades of illegal precedent and get back to the actual Constitution and the system that made America great, then, absolutely, the Hermanator nailed it.
    Note: Above, Mr. Cain bases his position on the view that Islam is not always practiced as a valid religion, not on the view that the current state of the law is an affront to the Constitution.
    Monte Kuligowski is the author of “Does the Declaration of Independence Pass the Lemon Test?”
    Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. ~George Orwell

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