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Cain's Constitution: Nix the First Amendment

July 19. 2011 5:20PM

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain thinks it's OK to ban mosques because sometimes building a mosque in which to worship can be an "infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion." What?

Cain was asked during a Fox News interview on Sunday what he thought about the controversy over the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tenn., established in 1997, the members of which want a new building. Some locals have opposed it because, as a local pastor told ABC News, "We have a duty to investigate anyone under the banner of Islam."

Cain said the people have a First Amendment right to use the government to ban a religion from their community. "Our Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. Islam combines church and state. They're objecting to the fact that Islam is both a religion and a set of laws."

And Christians don't believe the Ten Commandments are "a set of laws?"

Cain's position is little different from England's Conventicle Act of 1662, which forbade Nonconformists from worshipping and under which William Penn was arrested for being a practicing Quaker. A few years later, Penn left for America, where he and his descendants could be free to worship as he pleased. At least, until the Cain administration.

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