Representative Jamie Raskin was interviewed by Jen Psaki, who brought up the issue of Sphincter Jeebus Johnson’s Christan Nationalism and his agenda of forcing the entire country to follow his theology. Raskin, a Constitutional scholar in his own right, came back and explained how that would be unconstitutional and against the basic principles of the country:
PSAKI: So I want to ask you about Mike Johnson because you are a constitutional scholar. He is somebody who has said he believes the Bible comes first over the Constitution. I want to be clear, it’s not about being a person of faith. There are many people of faith in Congress, of Democrats and Republicans. But saying that the Bible comes first over the Constitution, how problematic is that? A position second in line for the president.
RASKIN: Well, let’s start with this. When we take our oath of office, we put our hand on the Bible and we swear to uphold the Constitution. We don’t put our hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.
The Constitution is the governing document of the country. And we, of course, have a multiplicity of faiths and people can choose their faith or no faith at all.
And that’s what Jefferson and Adams and Madison fought for with the American Revolution and the Declaration and the Constitution. I mean, the great breakthrough of the American Constitution was to rebel against centuries of religious conflict, the wars between the Catholics and the Protestants and Inquisition and Crusade and witchcraft trials and all of that. They said, we want to put government on a secular principle, which is no establishment of religion, no religious test for public office and free exercise.
Everybody can worship exactly as he or she pleases.
But I’ve got colleagues who get up – One got up not long ago and said the moral downfall of America was in 1962 with Engel versus Vitale, where the Supreme Court banned prayer in the public schools. And I had to remind him, no, the Supreme Court never banned prayer in the public schools. As long as there are pop math quizzes, there will be prayer in the public schools. All the Supreme Court said in Engel versus Vitale is that the government can’t compel you to pray according to a script that the government writes. And that case was from New York. The suit was brought by Catholic families saying that there was a Protestant prayer that was being imposed on everybody.
And of course, that’s the great argument or one of the great arguments for the separation of church and state and no establishment of religion. What happens is one church gets control of the governmental process and then imposes its theological orthodoxy and discipline on everybody else.
What makes Raskin’s lesson so very timely is the fact that just today I found an email from Johnson that totally flies in the face of the Constitution:
Can you even imagine what a nighmare we would be in if TFG and Johnson held office together? That thought alone should be all the motivation anyone needs to get to the polls next year.