(Episode 12) 1st Amd. (Part 1/3): The Hammer-Pants Devil, Cake, and the First Amendment

Welcome to the First Amendment, Part 1 of 3, listeners! In the course of the next few episodes, we'll address the various rights protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. A lot of people know it as "freedom of speech," but it's much more extensive than that: it protects five different rights. Can you name them? If you can't, you're not alone - 37% of people can't name any of them.

In Episode 12, we address the first two clause of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." These religion clauses were paramount to the Founders, who moved to the colonies largely to escape religious persecution. This is where you get the idea of "separation of church and state," one of the many catchphrases/sound-bytes that people love to use but don't fully understand. We're here to help you understand it better.

To be clear, the Framers didn't want to create a religious government or to force a religion on American citizens. The Framers were influenced by religion and belief, and they thought religion was important to society; they didn't create a "Christian nation" or any other type of religious nation. Instead, they wanted to protect the ability of a person to choose his or her own religion and to exercise that religion as that person saw fit (within certain limitations).

Join us for episode 12 while we explore the history of Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause, and we bring it back to a modern-day discussion of the Satanic Temple's holiday display and wedding cakes.

Some additional sources we used include:

-SCOTUS's decision that reimbursing parents for travel costs to get kids to parochial schools is a-okay;
-SCOTUS's Lemon test, which it kind of sort of uses sometimes;
-The Ten Commandments and Baphomet (i.e., the Hammer-pants devil) in a State courthouse;
-Marci A. Hamilton's The Establishment Clause: A Check on Religious Tyranny;
-Michael McConnell's The Establishment Clause: Co-Guarantor of Religious Freedom;
-Hamilton & McConnell's The Establishment Clause;
-The oral argument transcript in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case (bonus: you can read this to prepare for our freedom of speech segment!)

An additional note from Zack: Throughout this episode, I regularly confused the Church of Satan and the Satanic Temple. Please accept my apologies.