Upholding the Bible or the Constitution?

Jamie Raskin is a professor at American University running for the Maryland State Senate. He recently made a remark that’s been quoted all over the LGBTQ-friendly internet (this version is from a Baltimore Sun article reprinted on Raskin’s website:

Sen. Nancy Jacobs, a Republican who represents Harford and Cecil counties, engaged in an impassioned debate with Jamie Raskin, a constitutional law professor from American University, over the influence of the Bible on modern law.

“As I read Biblical principles, marriage was intended, ordained and started by God – that is my belief,” she said. “For me, this is an issue solely based on religious principals.”

Raskin shot back that the Bible was also used to uphold now-outlawed statutes banning interracial marriage, and that the constitution should instead be lawmakers’ guiding principle.

“People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution; they don’t put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible,” he said.

Maybe Josh can point this out to U.S. Senator George Allen when they next meet.

Meanwhile, I used to live in Maryland and I think I may send Raskin a contribution. And maybe something to Theocracy Watch, too.

By the way, I don’t begrudge religious conservatives their active participation in the political process. They set a great example for organizing and being involved. We religious and secular libertarians and liberals just need to get our act equally well together. As do all who want to do something about global warming, universal health insurance, and the horrifying, ever-expanding national debt.


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