Myths about the U.S. Constitution
The 1st Amendment protects my
right to free speech and no federal, state, or local government has legal
authority to take that away.
"Separation of Church and State" is
guaranteed by the Constitution.
This country was set up as a true
Any other myths you'd like to see discussed here, feel
1. The 1st
Amendment protects my right to free speech and no federal, state, or local
government has legal authority to take that away.
False. Like all other amendments, the interpretation
of the specified restrictions on government is left in the hands of seated
1st Amendment - "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."
Therefore a state or local official's authority to
prohibit your free exercise of speech is actually governed by the the
state's constitution or local law, as long as a higher court does not rule
it unconstitutional. Under the U.S. Constitution every one of
the 50 states has full legal authority to declare a new law that disallows
any type of speech they wish to declare illegal. If they want to
prohibit you from passing out religious pamphlets, campaign buttons, or
even newspapers at the local mall, the Constitution has no authority over
them. What the Constitution says is that there can be no
federal law prohibiting speech.
Also keep in mind that these 1st Amendment rights only
exist on public property. Private property restrictions are
generally left up to the property/deed owners, neighborhood associations,
zoning laws, etc.
2. "Separation of Church and
State" is guaranteed by the Constitution.
False. This is the most common myth today. How many times
is "Separation of Church and State" mentioned in the Constitution?
Zero! This was a term created in the middle of the 20th
Century in an attempt to coerce people into thinking that the government
and the church should have no relationship whatsoever. The 1st
Amendment does not guarantee a separation of the church and the
government. On the contrary, the 1st Amendment says that the U.S.
Congress has no legal authority to make laws concerning religion.
The key word here is "laws". This means that they can't make a
federal law prohibiting the worship of Buddha, nor can
they make a law that someone must worship Buddha.
What it does not say is that the U.S. Congress cannot recognize
a religion. It does NOT say that the state government can't
make new laws about religion. It does NOT say that a public school
funded by local taxpayers cannot conduct daily prayers at school or school
events (i.e. football games).
3. This country was set up as a
False. How may times is the word "democracy" included in the
Constitution? Zero! This country was set up as a republic, not
a democracy. A republic is a hierarchical political system
with elected and appointed officials that govern the land and
create/abolish the laws as either whole bodies, committees, or
individuals. A democracy is a system set up with minimal
representation where the majority ALWAYS rules and most decisions are made
by popular vote.
Don't believe me? If we all voted RIGHT NOW to abolish the 2nd
Amendment and make all guns illegal, would it happen? I seriously
doubt it. The Constitution was not set up to be changed on the whim
of the populace. That's why we have elected representation.
Those officials must decide through an exhaustive system of checks and
balances which laws and amendments must be created and abolished.
Yes, the 2nd Amendment can be abolished legally, but it cannot be done by
a "popular vote".