“Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?” This was a question posed by Christine O’Donnell during a Senatorial debate. While some claim that she was speaking to the literal terms of the Constitution, the exact words are that “the government shall make no establishment of religion.”  However, even Thomas Jefferson was quoted as saying that there needs to be a separation between Church and State.

What Is The First Amendment?

The First Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights.  The amendment prohibits the making of any law “respecting an establishment of religion,” impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

Originally the First Amendment applied only to Congress; however the Supreme Court held that under the Fourteenth Amendment, the First Amendment would apply to the states.

Is Witchcraft Covered Under The First Amendment?

Christine O’Donnell claimed that when she was younger, she dabbled in witchcraft. O’Donnel stated that one of her first dates with a  witch was on a satanic alter, that there was some blood there and that she then went to a movie and had a little picnic on a satanic altar.   More than a little odd and potentially off-putting, this has led O’Donnell to put out an “I am not a witch” advertisement.

However, it is important to realize that under the First Amendment, a person is allowed to practice whatever type of religion they chose.  In the case of Dettmer v. Landon the United States Court of Appeals held that although Wicca was a religion, it was not a violation of the First Amendment to deny a prisoner access to ritual objects.

What do you think, was O’Donnell just joking?  Is she really a witch?  Watch do we do with “witches?”

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