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-Senator Claims First Amendment Doesn’t Apply to Individuals?

by Dr. D ~ July 7th, 2015

The Supreme Court recently redefined marriage and in the aftermath those who would like to limit freedom of religion and redefine the First Amendment are continuing their efforts and kicking it up notch.

Here the junior Senator from Wisconsin blatantly claims that individuals have no Constitutional right to freedom of religion but only ‘religious institutions.’  From Mediatrackers .org:

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) says the 1st Amendment’s religious liberty protections don’t apply to individuals. On MSNBC last week, Wisconsin’s junior Senator claimed that the Constitution’s protection of the free exercise of religion extends only to religious institutions, and that individual’s do not have a right to the free exercise of their own religion.

…Baldwin appeared clueless to the fact that the free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment has already been found to apply to individuals – not just churches, synagogues, mosques or other institutions of faith and worship.  …

The relevant portion of Baldwin’s MSNBC appearance transcript reads:

“Certainly the First Amendment says that in institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe deeply held religious beliefs. But I don’t think it extends far beyond that. . . . [I]n this context, they’re talking about expanding this far beyond our churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country. I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: There are many voices in America today proclaiming that the First Amendment right to freedom of religion is limited and now trumped by LGBT civil rights. Many others like President Obama are in the process of trying to redefine freedom of religion as ‘freedom to worship’ within the four walls of an official church or place of worship.

Sen. Baldwin is another voice proclaiming that the freedom of religion is merely ‘freedom of worship’ but takes it one step further proclaiming it as a fait accompli that the First Amendment never really applied to the religious practices of individuals but only to what happens in churches and synagogues.

Fact is the First amendment does not mention ‘institutions of faith’ at all:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Taking her line of thought then freedom of speech also does not apply to individuals? Scary considering that she is one of only a hundred lawmakers in the prestigious American Senate. Fortunately she is not in the federal judiciary.            *Top

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2 Responses to -Senator Claims First Amendment Doesn’t Apply to Individuals?

  1. Brian

    I fear this was a trial balloon – party insiders asked a junior senator to make a remark, just to judge the reaction from the media and the public.

  2. Dr. D

    Brian, you may be right since she is not up for re-election till 2018.

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