There are some things in this world that you can always count on. The sun will rise in the East and set in the West, the line at a Starbucks drive-thru will always be long, and Eric Swalwell will rise to the occasion to provide unintentional humor.
The latest example of Mr. Swalwell’s depth of ignorance comes from attempted sarcastic tweets meant to attack the Democratic Party’s new boogeyman, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Proving that civics is an under-appreciated school topic, Mr. Swalwell falsely asserted that “separation of church and state” is in the Bill of Rights.
The best part of this assertion is he made it on Twitter for the glory of the Twittersphere to pounce on. And boy did they ever.
Who lost against Swalwell?
Does CA choose candidates based on musical chairs?
Who LOST to Swalwell.
— Chad Felix Greene (@chadfelixg) August 22, 2022
A Poorly-Taken Opportunity
While campaigning for fellow Republicans, Governor DeSantis said at an event:
“We have a responsibility to make sure that the students that come out of our school system understand what it means to be an American. They need to understand that our rights come from God, not from the government.”
To which Mr. Swalwell tweeted:
“It’s not like separation of church & state is in the Bill of Rights or anything…”
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He really did; take a look for yourself.
It’s not like separation of church & state is in the Bill of Rights or anything … https://t.co/mB9P0wFO2x
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) August 22, 2022
Oh, Eric. Much like the fart heard ’round the world, this tweet prompted quite the responses.
“The origin of rights (God/Nature, not government) isn’t a religious notion, you dope.”
My favorite comes from The Federalist senior editor David Harsanyi, who tweeted:
“It’s not, of course…but this comment is telling. Those who believe constitutional rights are man-made tend to treat them like a pliable set of guidelines that can be bent accommodate the vagaries of contemporary politics. Ppl who believe they are inalienable, do not.”
But did that deter Mr. Swalwell? Oh no, he thought he’d be even more clever by doubling down.
The Establishment Clause
To, I guess, prove how much brighter he is than we give him credit for, Mr. Swalwell tweeted the following:
The meltdown happening on the right over this is both predictable and also hilarious.
Let’s keep it going shall we… pic.twitter.com/xMY1epTx8O
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) August 23, 2022
Oh, Eric. I just can’t sometimes with you. If you go to the Cornell Law School website that he tweets, the description of the separation of church and state is about the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment, and doesn’t say that the phrase is in the Constitution.
Because it’s not.
The first clause in the Bill of Rights says that; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” So think Church of England style.
So, Congress can’t make a law forming a Church of America. Nor can they abridge your right to exercise your religion. Incredibly basic 4th grade civics stuff.
DeSantis vs. Swalwell
I find it humorous that someone like Mr. Swalwell thinks they could go toe to toe against someone like Governor DeSantis. The man who, many on the left fear, may run for President has gotten a lot of practice fending off naysayers and political attackers.
Why does DeSantis irritate the left so much? He’s elevated himself as the parental rights and education reform warrior with his ‘Stop Woke’ act and the Parental Rights in Education Act, dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ act by the left, which is also coincidentally not found anywhere in the actual act.
What is Swalwell known for? First, the gastro-intestinal release that was heard while on MSNBC’s ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews’ incident. Nothing to be ashamed of there if you ask me. My daughter stress farts; it happens.
However, there was also the alleged relationship with a suspected Chinese spy. Perhaps more frustrating is that he kept his seat on the House Intelligence Committee. However, he doesn’t bring much to the table in the intelligence department.
Separation of church and state is in the Constitution the same way abortion rights are in the Constitution: NOWHERE.
— Jenna Ellis 🍊🦅 (@JennaEllisEsq) August 23, 2022
So, Where Does This Argument Stem From?
Swalwell didn’t create this narrative that separation of church and state is in the Constitution. While I’m not a big Boebert fan, her frustration when she proclaimed, “I’m tired of this separation of church and state stuff” resonated.
Not very eloquent. However, I get her point. So, where did it come from? The phrase originates from a letter written by my favorite Founder, Thomas Jefferson.
He wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut:
“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
For English speakers, you can clearly see Jefferson was in no way advocating for the eradication of any mention of religion from public life.
This hardly means that the founders intended for the eradication of church or faith to be better put in governance. One merely has to read the words of our #1 POTUS George Washington in his farewell address to understand the importance:
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
The Founders didn’t intend for faith and God to be erased from our country; they intended for faith and God to be freely exercised in this country.
Separation of church and states is not in the Bill of Rights.
It's in the private correspondence of Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association.
Ask Fang Fang. Perhaps she can hold your attention long enough for you to understand. pic.twitter.com/x38o5wGQOT
— ProfessorPublius (@ProffesorPubli1) August 22, 2022
A Convenient Argument
The left loves to pull out the argument of separation of church and state. This summer, they reached a fever pitch after the Supreme Court made some critical religious liberty decisions.
“Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse republic – whether those expressions take place in a sanctuary or on a field. Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance doubly protected.”
So while the Court used actual verbiage in the documents that are the foundation of our country, the left prefers to pull a line out of context from a letter to support their positions. And still, others like Swalwell, either knowingly or unknowingly (hard to know which is worse), try to claim the line is in the Constitution.
it literally is not
— Nate Hochman (@njhochman) August 22, 2022
As Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld once said:
“If Swalwell got any dumber, a box of hammers might sue him for stolen valor.”
It makes me wonder how he got elected in the first place.
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