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Issue Position: First Amendment

Issue Position

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I strongly believe that the Founding Fathers did a remarkable job safeguarding our liberties through the Constitution of the United States, and I would do nothing to weaken the Bill of Rights. As you know, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits Congress (and the states) from making any laws "respecting establishment of religion." In recent years, however, judges and other government officials have interpreted the Establishment Clause in a manner that discourages or even disallows religious expression. For example, the Supreme Court has struck down prayers overlapping with a school activity, even "when observance on the part of the students is voluntary."

Not only does the First Amendment restrict the government's ability to impose religious beliefs on its citizens, but it also prohibits government from denying its citizens the right to observe their religious heritage. The First Amendment goes on to explicitly state that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." I believe an individual's right to freely practice his or her religion must be preserved and protected. Further, I believe that no one should be denied the right to observe his or her heritage, nor should anyone be forced to practice a religion they do not follow. Although I do not support policies and legislation which would attempt to force people to conform to the teachings and practices of Judeo-Christian authority, I do believe that moral teachings need to be instilled in our nation's youth in order to redirect our country to a future of moral growth and prosperity. During my terms in Congress, I have supported a variety of legislation aimed at promoting high morals and individual responsibility.

Specifically, I have voted in favor of legislation to protect religious practice from burdensome and unnecessary governmental interference and proposals to allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in schools and other public areas. In addition, I recently supported a constitutional Amendment that would define traditional marriage as a union between one man and one woman and have consistently opposed federal funding for abortion. Finally, in response to court decisions, I voted in favor of legislation that would limit the authority of federal courts by prohibiting them from hearing cases to decide the constitutionality of the acknowledgement of God by state and local governments, officials and/or individuals.


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