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LGBT PopWrapped | LGBT

George Takei On Kim Davis And The First Amendment

Ashley Perna | PopWrapped Author

Ashley Perna

09/16/2015 9:29 am
PopWrapped | LGBT
George Takei On Kim Davis And The First Amendment | Takei
Media Courtesy of The Celebrity Cafe

George Takei is taking his readers back to high school civics class, providing a much-needed lesson about the First Amendment. While Kim Davis and her countless defenders are relying on the First Amendment to support their bigotry, Takei points out that they are forgetting a pretty important clause fundamental to that right. 

The First Amendment is made up of two different, but completely equal, components. The first is the Freedom to Worship clause - the clause that guarantees citizens the right to worship whatever religion or faith they may individually choose without government intervention. As Takei puts it, "the government can't do anything to stop you or anyone else from worshipping God or Buddha or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, if that's what your conscience or faith tells you". This is the clause that is commonly sited and brought out when First Amendment issues are raised. In the case of Davis, she believes her First Amendment right to worship her God is being violated as a result of a federal court, or government, ruling. 

Takei points out that her "argument falls apart, however, once you take into account the other, less commonly understood clause". This would be what is referred to as the Establishment Clause. This particular clause prevents the government or its representatives (including elected officials like Davis) from engaging in any "actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion". "Father of the Constitution" James Madison said that the point of the Establishment Clause was to prevent a particular religion from "establish[ing] a religion to which they would compel others to conform" or from "enforc[ing] the legal observation of [a particular faith] by law". Basically, the Establishment Clause was created to prevent the government and government officials (such as employees and those elected into office) from imposing their own religious beliefs onto a secular society. Davis, and those who defend her actions, is actually in violation of the First Amendment by forcing her interpretation of one branch of Christianity onto others. 

This does raise an interesting question: if American citizens have the right to Freedom of Worship, but must still comply with the Establishment Clause, how far do their Freedom of Worship rights go? Takei has the perfect answer:

The simplest way to think about this is to agree that all of us have a right to worship, but that right ends at the tips of our noses. That is, we have a right to our beliefs, but we don't have the right to impose our views on other members of the public. Everyone's perfectly free to worship as they please, but this freedom also includes not having other people's beliefs interfere with our participation in civil society. 


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