Questions about the Constitution

Nov 2013
1,178
Iowa
I was wondering if you could clarify 2 things about the constitution. I constantly see people going on about gree speech and freedom of religion. The way I understand Freedom of speech it that the government can't arrest you for your opinion. But it doesn't protect you as far as your job is concerned. or pther repercussions. The Freedom of religion means that we will have no state religion and that no religion will get special treatment over another. it also means you can practice your religion how you want as long as it doesn't hurt other people. What I would like to know is. Does it protect you from religion?
 
Nov 2013
1,178
Iowa
What do you mean when you ask "Does it protect you from religion"?
Certain groups that want to impose their beliefs on people. I mean like making certain things illegal. I have also read about certain groups wanting to have a theocracy.
 

Edratman

Forum Staff
Feb 2009
6,713
Eastern PA
Nothing in the constitution protects a person from the "not illegal" actions of powerful people or groups, just as the constitution does not protect you from being a robbery victim.
 
May 2013
1,696
Colorado
It does not protect you from religion. Thus, Jews coming out of services for the High Holy Days might find on their cars (parked on a public street) pamphlets for them to convert to Christianity, and it doesn't prevent ministers from preaching damnation from a public sidewalk.

The Constitution only talks about the Federal government and religion, not the states. The various states passed similar legislation, but it took time. Connecticut did not get rid of the Congregational Church as the state church until 1818. Virginia did not end public support of religion in its entirety until it sold the final glebe lands in 1806 of Martin's Brandon Parish (Laws of Virginia, 1806, Chapter 40). (There are still roads in Virginia called Glebe Road, those use to be Episcopal Church lands and roads.)
 
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Nov 2013
588
US
Boudicca, you pretty much have the basic gist.

The 1st Amendment means the government cannot take action against you for free expression (within accordance to the law otherwise).

It does not, however, protect you in private (non-public) matters. The constitution does not protect you from being fired from your job, disciplined at school or being asked by the owner to leave their property.
 
Apr 2015
283
San Jose CA
The Constitution originally applied to only the Federal Government and the Bill of Rights afforded certain rights to citizens against the Federal Government. Private parties, such as employers, are not constitutionally forbidden for discriminating on the basis of viewpoint or religion. There are, however, Federal statutes and State statutes that prohibit viewpoint and lifestyle discrimination but it is a patchwork of laws that depends on where you're located.

The due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution passed in the 1860s the began to afford citizens most, but not all, of the rights in the Bill of Rights against the State governments. Prior to this, the states were not Constitutionally obligated to afford their citizens a number of basic rights. If my recollection is correct, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts required legislators be members of a particular church up into the 1820s.
 

EmperorTigerstar

Ad Honorem
Jun 2013
6,398
USA
Certain groups that want to impose their beliefs on people. I mean like making certain things illegal. I have also read about certain groups wanting to have a theocracy.
The government is not allowed to have an official religion or ban another in the United States according to the first ammendment.

First Ammendment: 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.
 

Tercios Espanoles

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
6,681
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
The government is not allowed to have an official religion or ban another in the United States according to the first ammendment.

First Ammendment: 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.
Until some interest group has the political power to amend the Constitution and remove those annoying hindrances - or just throw it out altogether. Religion has been creeping back into American politics for decades. I don't see that changing.