Our Constitution on the First Amendment have very little to say about religion. What they do say, however, is enormous:
1. Article VI: “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
2. First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
What these two are saying is quite simple:
– Neither your faith, nor lack thereof, can be used to disqualify a person for any public position, either civil, military, or emergency services. The only caveat is that most voters will continue to vote for like-minded people.
– SCOTUS has extended the First Amendment’s scope to “under the United States,” same as Article VI. Put simply, the state cannot support religion, it cannot give preferential treatment to one religion over another, and it cannot interfere in any way with the free exercise of religion. Thus, banning prayer in schools is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. There is a limit, however, and it follows the “shouting ‘Fire!’ in a theater” rule. People can practice their religion right up to the point where it causes harm to others. The threat of force (assault) and use of force (battery) against others remains prohibited, along with a host of other illegal activities, such as coercion, extortion, etc. The key words are, “no harm.” If it’s not harming anyone, then it’s legal.
By the way, federal courts have repeatedly ruled that just because someone “feels” threatened, insulted, or offended” does necessarily constitute harm. I would walk down the street wearing a pro-military t-shirt which offends some people, insults others, while they or others “feel” threatened by my openly-carried firearm. The test is two-fold: Whether or not the activity is lawful (both pro-military t-shirts and OC are lawful in my state) and whether I was behaving in a manner which a “reasonable person” would consider threatening, intimidating, or otherwise unacceptable in polite society. For example, if I’m walking down the street minding my own business, that’s fine. If I’m going up to people while saying, “See this??? Huh? In your FACE!”, obviously, that’s not fine.
And now, we get down to brass tacks. Is Islam even a religion? Does it enjoy any of the protections under Constitutional and U.S. law?
Some claim Islam is a theocracy, “a form of government in which a deity is officially recognized as the civil Ruler and official policy is governed by officials regarded as divinely guided, or is pursuant to the doctrine of a particular religion or religious group.”
Despite abundant recognition of the Christian God in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution was carefully crafted to avoid any hint of a theocracy. Thus, the U.S. was indeed founded as a Christian nation in 1776, but when the Constitution was ratified in 1789 as the official, formal basis for the United States of America, we were no longer a theocracy. That doesn’t mean we can’t govern on the basis of Christian principles. We should indeed, as there’s no finer basis for law in the world. Indeed, the entire body of law which we borrowed from the English is based on Christian principles.
Islam, however, is indeed a theocracy. The moment Islam calls for “Sharia Law,” it crosses that line between religion and theocracy. The problem with Islam is that the concept of Sharia Law is integral to, and woven throughout the Qu’ran and the Hadith. You can’t have Islam without it.
Thus, Islam is a theocracy, a concept which both Article VI of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment reject. Article VI prohibits any religious test, and the First Amendment prohibits any preferential treatment or prohibition of any religion.
Our Constitution does NOT, however, provide any protection for a theocracy. The very fact that Islam is a theocracy puts it at odds with our system of law and government here in the U.S. The Constitution rejects theocracies, verbatim. Jan Morgan is entirely within her Constitutional right to do the same, especially if she, as the owner of a business, is responsible for the safety of her customers, and one specific, theocratic group of her customers have a clear history of violence against other human beings and a penchant for disrespecting, if not completely ignoring, females in authority.
Bottom line: Islam has no place here in the United States of America, or in any rational, intelligent group of people or nation.
Oh, and the myth of the tiny radical Muslim minority? It’s just that — a myth.