The anti-American vision of Michael Flynn – New York Daily News

Gen. Michael Flynn, in his speech to the “ReAwaken America Tour,” said, “If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion. One nation under God and one religion under God.”
The Framers of our Constitution — particularly James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton — would be turning over in their graves to hear a retired general and former national security adviser trying to undercut the First Amendment, which unequivocally declares that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
Flynn would establish one religion — presumably his!
This is not the first time that religious zealots have tried to Christianize America. When the Constitution was ratified, critics called it “the Godless constitution.” The Declaration of Independence had invoked God, because it had to: There was no legal basis for revolting against Britain — only a moral or religious basis. During the Civil War, some Christian ministers predicted that the Union would lose unless they added Jesus to the Constitution.
All these efforts to Christianize our Constitution have failed.
The Constitution mentions religion only three times: 1) to preclude the establishment of religion, 2) to preclude any prohibition on the free exercise of religion, and 3) to preclude any religious test for holding office under the United States. At the time of the framing, nearly all Americans were Protestant Christians, but there was great conflict among Protestant sects. The Constitution forbid the Congress from picking and choosing among these sects to establish one religion.
There’s irony here that shouldn’t be lost on us. Flynn was raised as a Roman Catholic. At the time of the Constitution, Catholics were discriminated against in a number of states, including Massachusetts.
The First Amendment was designed to protest Catholics and Jews from becoming second-class citizens.
Some supporters of Flynn have claimed that the one religion he espouses is a broad and incisive one: “Judeo-Christianity,” but not broad enough to include Islam, Buddhism or the dozens of other faiths that have long been part of the American mosaic. Other religious fundamentalists will surely insist that their own brand of Christianity — say Evangelical Baptists — should be selected as the official national religion. Still others will say that each state should be able to establish its own official religion. None of these violations of the First Amendment would work as a matter of policy, even if the Constitution permitted them.
Consider Israel, which is the nation-state of the Jewish people. Under its basic laws, Muslims and Christians have equal rights, but plainly the Jewish religion has far greater influence in practice. But even in a so-called “Jewish state,” there is conflict among branches of Judaism: Haredi, Modern Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist.
In the United States, it would be far worse because of the enormous religious and cultural diversity within our population.
Most Republicans with whom I have spoken about the Flynn idea have rejected it categorically. They include even rabid Trump supporters and religious fundamentalists — some of whom backed the “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering” the country that Trump initially proposed as a candidate. It’s a bad and dangerous idea and should quickly be relegated to the wastebin of history. Flynn should, himself, apologize for further dividing an already divided nation. The last thing we need is a religious war, in which different sects vie with each other for dominance.
The United States is the envy of the world when it comes to religious freedom. Religious conflict — even warfare — is rampant in the Mideast and other regions. We should count our blessings for our Constitution. It ain’t broke, so don’t break it.
Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, emeritus, is the author most recently of “The Case for Color Blind Equality in the Age of Identity Politics,” and “The Case for Vaccine Mandates.”

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