Originally Posted by HolyHandgernade
Excellent. So we have:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Congress shall make no law: this is the prefix for each clause, so each clause can be rewritten as such:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion
Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof
The word "thereof" is a reference back to another word in the first clause - "religion", therefore it could be rewritten thus:
Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion
That would mean the first clause is your freedom FROM religion and the second clause is your freedom OF religion. You can't logically have one without the other. Are we still in agreement?
EDIT sorry, I got the two backwards
Okay, I think you took my "Freedom from religion" comment a little to literally. It was a figure of speech intended to imply that it seems that we are getting to the point where we are trashing religion from a legal aspect at every turn and therefore are actually violating the Constitution.