Among all the other rubbish to be heard in the MSM, certain errors stand out wth regard to the US Constitution.
One of them is the statement that since the constitution forbids "an establishment of religion," citizens should not include someone's religion among the factors that influence a decision with regard to choosing a candidate.
Another old saw, this one much favored by Democrats is to imply that the phrase "to form a more perfect union" was intended to set the stage for an effort to create an earthly paradise.
Both of these thing are wrong.
The framers of the constitution sought to create a federal government that would function more effectively and efficiently. That is what they meant by "a more perfect union." Read about the drafting of the document. All will be made clear.
As for the establishment clause, the phrase must be understood in the context of the purpose of the whole document.
The US Constitution is about the structure, powers and lack of powers of the federal government and eventually through various amendments, the powers and limitations of the state governments. Everything in the constitution deals with government, what it may do and what it may not do. Where the line of demarcation between these two things lies has been and will continue to be the business of endless amendment and litigation.
Some things in the constitution appear, at first consideration, to be concerned with the behavior of individuals but on closer examination, they are not.
- The 14th Amendment gurantees equal rights before the law across the union. The impression is that the amendment itself forbade people engaged in business from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, etc. In fact this amendment required the federal and then the state governments to create law to implement the amendment. The amendment itself does not directly affect individuals.
- The 16th Amendment allowed the federal government to enact law establishing an income tax on individuals. By implication it allowed states to do the same thing. Some have and some have not.
- The 2nd Amendment established a basic right among the citizenry for individuals to own and bear arms. SCOTUS has recently ruled that all governments have a very limited (still unsettled as to extent) ability to interfere with that right.
- The 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, assembly and religion. These provisions are all limits on the power of government to control individual behavior.
- Article Six clearly states that there shall never be "a religious test for office" under the US Government.
Nothing in Article Six or the 1st Amendment forbids a citizen casting his or her vote on the basis of religion or voting against someone on the basis of religion or any other basis. race, etc. Let's be careful about what we say concerning things like this. You may be unhappy that someone would vote on the basis of religion (as would I) but you do not have the constitution behind you in asserting or implying that such behavior is somehow illegitimate. pl