WILMINGTON, Del. – Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion.
The exchange came in a debate before an audience of legal scholars and law students at Widener University Law School, as O'Donnell criticized Democratic nominee Chris Coons' position that teaching creationism in public school would violate the First Amendment by promoting religious doctrine. Coons said private and parochial schools are free to teach creationism but that "religious doctrine doesn't belong in our public schools."
"Local schools do not have the right to teach what they feel?" O'Donnell said. "Talk about imposing your beliefs on the local schools." When O'Donnell cited "indispensable principles" of the Founding Fathers in her criticism of an overreaching federal government, Coons interrupted her to say, "One of those indispensable principles is the separation of church and state."
"The First Amendment establishes the separation, the fact that the federal government shall not establish religion," Coons said.
"The First Amendment does?" O'Donnell interrupted. "You're telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?"
When Coons summarized the amendment as saying government shall make no law establishing religion, O'Donnell interrupted again: "That's in the First Amendment?"
OK then. I would compare this election to the way people like Snooki and other so-called celebrities whose 15 minutes of fame is accompanied by some embarrassing moment that makes me wonder why they were ever in the public eye to begin with. There is a certain amount of what one calls "paying your dues" that people like O'Donnell and others do not have any acquaintance with, hence their problems when it comes to dealing with minor issues like determining what the first amendment of the Constitution says or whether or not they can behave themselves in public.
And who is Christine O'Donnell, you ask (you did, right?)
O'Donnell first became involved in politics in 1991 when she worked the polls for the College Republicans. She was a youth leader for the Bush-Quayle campaign and attended the 1992 Republican National Convention. The following year she worked for three months in Washington D.C for the anti-pornography organization, Enough is Enough. She then spent two years working in the communications office of the Republican National Committee in Washington D.C. Disappointed that the Republican Party had shifted its emphasis away from pro-life issues after the 1994 election, she quit the RNC and went to work for one year as a spokesperson for Concerned Women for America, a conservative Christian group that seeks to bring biblical principles into public policy and lobbies against abortion and against sex education in public schools.
That's a lot like being on "The Biggest Loser" or "American Idol." Oh - and she majored in theater at Fairleigh Dickinson University, but did not earn a degree, qualifying her for politics in America, I'd guess. The disputes over her alleged education are too exhaustive to pursue here. Suffice it to say, she's a fraud.
"You actually audibly heard the crowd gasp," Widener University political scientist Wesley Leckrone said after the debate, adding that it raised questions about O'Donnell's grasp of the Constitution.