Christine O’Donnell on the Establishment Clause: ‘You’re Telling Me That’s in the First Amendment?
Yesterday, in a debate at Widener University Law School before an audience of legal scholars and law students, Christine O’Donnell reiterated her position that local public schools should teach young earth creationism in science classes.
Which is bad enough.
But in trying to support her ludicrous anti-science position, O’Donnell revealed her shocking ignorance of the US Constitution.
O’Donnell criticized Democratic nominee Chris Coons’ position that teaching creationism in public school would violate the First Amendment by promoting religious doctrine.
Coons said private and parochial schools are free to teach creationism but that “religious doctrine doesn’t belong in our public schools.”
“Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?” O’Donnell asked him.
When Coons responded that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, O’Donnell asked: “You’re telling me that’s in the First Amendment?”
Her comments, in a debate aired on radio station WDEL, generated a buzz in the audience.
“You actually audibly heard the crowd gasp,” Widener University political scientist Wesley Leckrone said after the debate, adding that it raised questions about O’Donnell’s grasp of the Constitution.
This is what happens when a person is raised by religious fanatics to believe nonsense, and this disturbing ignorance is by no means unique in the modern GOP; in fact, it’s nearly universal.