Iowa Governor Signs Away Separation of Church and State

BranstadThere is apparently no separation of church and state in Iowa, at least according to Governor Terry E. Branstad (R), who signed a proclamation “in the name and by the authority of the State of Iowa,” inviting “all Iowans who choose to join in thoughtful prayer and humble repentance according to II Chronicles 7:14 in favor of our state and nation to come together on July 14, 2014.”

Of course, you can’t do that. But Branstad did it anyway:

It turns out that no matter what the United States Constitution promises, Republicans will ignore it at every opportunity, if not actively attempt to overturn it. And there isn’t much the federal government can do about it. If the federal government were to send the troops in every time a Republican governor or legislature got out of hand, we would have to bring all the boys and girls home from overseas. That’s how bad nullification efforts have gotten. And of course, you know you can’t count on the courts. Even if a lower court rules against the Republicans, they’ll take it to the Supreme Court and you know what that means.


Here is the proclamation if you want to peruse it:

Click here to view full size image.

Jeremy Hooper at Good as You, points out that this proclamation of Branstad’s derives from a group calling itself “Prayer 7-14-14.” As evidence, he presents their spin on what is needed on July 14, 2014:

HISTORY & PURPOSE of 7-14-14


This is not about a single day of prayer, fasting and true repentance, but it is about a lifestyle journey of letting our hearts awaken and allowing God’s very breath to fill us. It is understanding we have strayed from God, our first Love, and realizing the only way back is through true heart-felt repentance. Repentance that brings change and realizing that repentance has many depths to it. It’s about forgiving one another and not allowing the enemy to rule us through offenses. Realizing there is diversity in unity. It is about knowing who we are in Christ! That He first loved us and He still loves us and is pursuing us to come back to Him.

God is saying Blow the trumpet in America, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the people… (just as they did in Joel 2:15 in Zion)

Since 2011 God has been speaking to me through dreams, visions and His word about our Nation. Below I have referenced one dream and given two references, in scripture, that show God speaks through dreams and visions and tells us we need to be able to discern the times..

Acts 2:17-21
MATTHEW 16:1-4

ON 4-20-13 God spoke to me through a dream and His word…

In the dream I was writing on a red, white and blue shirt, “Something will start to churn in you today.” I wanted to change the word to move, but I heard a voice say “NO, it is churn.” I happened to be reading through Hosea again for the third, fourth or fifth time, and I was starting at Chapter 11 that day. When I got to verse 8, you can see below, it said His heart CHURNS (just like in the dream)within Him and His sympathy is stirred.

I knew God was is pursuing America to turn back….

In Hosea 11:8 it says…though they call to the Most High, none at all exalt Him…) How can I give you up, Ephraim? (America) How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart CHURNS within Me; My sympathy is stirred. I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim (America) For I am God, and not man, The Holy One in your midst; and I will not come with terror…

In the book of Acts

Believers were experiencing a profound dimension of spiritual unity.
They were of one heart, (in tune or in sync with one another)
Going the same way spiritually
Of one soul (one mind – breathing spiritually together)
Corporate prayers of God’s people crying out to Him together brought the unleashing of the power of the Holy Spirit!
In the book of Ezra

Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Lord
He called Israel to repentance and to turn from dead traditionalism and moral impurity – from an idolatrous lifestyle
Ezra 10:1 Now while Ezra was praying and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down before the house of God, a very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept very bitterly.

Through Ezra’s prayer and repentance for his nation the people began to realize they had moved away from God into idolatry. The word says a very large assembly gathered to him and wept very bitterly. They confessed they had trespassed against God and had taken pagan wives (were walking in idolatry), but realized there was still hope in spite of their sin. They made the decision to confess to the Lord and turn from their ways back to Him.

Imagine, one man’s prayers turning a Nation back to God. Imagine God’s people coming together to confess our sins and turning our Nation back to God.

In the Book of Hosea

Feeling the hurt from Gomer’s betrayal, Hosea begins to understand what God is doing. The pain he experiences when his wife is unfaithful is the same pain God experiences when His people are unfaithful, that is, when they seek relationships with other gods and forge alliances with foreign nations. This violates their covenant with God.



As you can see, these people have not even a passing familiarity with the origins and history of America. They have some vague notion of pilgrims, religious freedom and a City on a Hill. And as you can see, the governor is not much better informed, referring to John Hancock as president. As Hooper points out, it is possible they are referring to Hancock’s tenure as president of the Second Continental Congress May 24, 1775 to October 29, 1777 and then again 1785-6, but that is giving them too much credit. And George Washington’s proclamation was issued on October 3, not October 17. These matters aside, Branstad is right in saying we have had an overabundance of religion in our public sphere, but mistakes made yesterday do not obligate us to repeat them today.

This is just another reaction to the increasing diversity and plurality of our nation, not only demographically in terms of ethnicity, but also in terms of religiosity. People are turning away from organized religion in droves. And this comes at a time when ethnic nationalism is on the upswing, when conservative extremists are warning that “white Americans” will rise up over marriage equality, abortion, and their so-called “religious freedom,” which means their freedom to take your freedom away.

Matt Staver, reports Right Wing Watch, said the other day,

“We’re seeing the beginning groundswell of a potential new American Revolution,” Staver said, asserting that if the government continues to trample on religious liberty, the nation will soon “run into that decision point of persecution and/or revolution.”

And Rick Wiles also warns of a civil war:

I warned in 2008 that Barack Obama’s mission is to instigate a second Civil War in America. His regime is deliberately ripping the country apart and if the US Military doesn’t take action soon to arrest Barack Obama and remove him and his regime from the White House, there will be no country left for the military to defend. We are on the edge of collapse as a nation. Jesus Christ is America’s only hope. Let us pray that Almighty God delivers us from this very real tyranny that seeks to persecute the saints of God.

And a loony group called Operation American Spring has sent documents to Congress “demanding the resignations of six, top government officials, including Articles of Impeachment against President Obama, for violating their oath of office, and/or by committing high crimes against the state, and requiring Congress to enforce the demands, or be held accountable.”

Taken in context, the Brandstad Proclamation must be seen as just another aspect of the conservative knee-jerk reaction against their loss of privilege, and a stab at the religious (and other) liberties of all other Americans. This is “our” country, they are saying, “and you had better get used to that fact.” Payback is coming, they say. They use God’s name a lot but they are really thinking about their own vengeance, and how they will make the nonbelievers pay. Nationalism by itself can be scary enough, but ethnic nationalism, and worse, an ethnic nationalism fueled by religion, is a very real threat to American liberties. American would do well to take notice, and act accordingly.


152 Replies to “Iowa Governor Signs Away Separation of Church and State”

  1. The US is heading in to a stage of irrationality that is going to get harder and harder to reverse. It was this same irrationality, bravado, talk of impeachment, insurrection, nullification, arms build up, general shit disturbing by opportunistic pundits and politicians, a feeling of invincibility and being untouchable as well treating the law as if it’s only advisory that led to the first Civil War.

    There is a steady drift towards the conditions that lead to civil war that is going on now.

  2. Nothing surprises me when it comes to Iowa. The reason you ask.? Well, as a child my Uncle owned a resort in MN.. In the early spring after the planting season, the Iowa farmers were the fishermen that came. I remember well these farmers. When asked what they wanted for bait, the answer was, holding up a container of corn. That was their bait for fish. Even I, knew as a child this was not the bait to be used for the fish in lake Vermilion. Because of this memory, my opinion of Iowa has been very colored, all my life. So, again I say, Nothing surprises me when it comes to Iowa.

  3. We have a right to our religious beliefs. If the governor were in a church speaking as an individual, this may be fine. As a governor, doing his job he must uphold the Constitution and not pass illegal laws.

  4. These Theo-nationalists are a quite vocal minority, but a minority nonetheless. It is significant that the majority of this dissension simmers in the former Confederate States – but another Civil War, as stated elsewhere, will not serve them well, as they are in worse condition than they were 165 years ago – they are more closely tied to the Federal government, and since our economy is much more global than it was then, they can’t do much economic harm to the “North”. Much to the contrary of their fantasies, the military will never “revolt” against the government, but rather would be sent to dispel any local State uprisings – the neo-confederates would lose, big time, and the ensuing consequences might be quite terrible for all of us, but maybe give the country another 160 years or so before a new crop of fools takes another shot at it…..

  5. Actually, if they were keeping corn borers in that, those are excellent bait.

    (Born in Illinois, raised in Florida, but descended-on father’s side- from Corncobs)

  6. It’s getting to the point that every day the Right Wing provides yet another example of their complete and utter contempt for the United States Constitution. I used to think it was simply that they are low intelligence idiots and haven’t ever actually read it, but it becomes more obvious with each passing day that they don’t even WANT to know what it says.

    And they actually had the nerve to criticize the President when he called out the low capacity Right Wingers for “clinging to Gods and guns.”

  7. All that’s left is for them to make a proclamation telling you what branch of religion you must adhere to. Cause it aint none of the popular ones

  8. This particular flavor of Christianity is based on End Times beliefs. They should always be referred to as “End Times Christians” (imho) as a way of contextualizing their extreme positions. They have no interest what-so-ever in addressing anything other than how it relates to hastening the Second Coming.

  9. Heh, I was raised in Florida and moved to Illinois in ’98. Strange connection between the two vastly different states, no?

  10. Every day we wake up to some new bullshit passed by a Red State that is going to cost taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees. These idiots in state legislatures MUST PAY out of their pockets for UNCONSTITUTIONAL GARBAGE passed each session. We pay very high sales taxes in Tennessee to cover the costs of outside counsel for this crap – state AGs are not litigating these cases, the $650/hr X 10 lawyers are trying these cases at CITIZENS (TAXPAYERS) EXPENSE which is why Tennessee has NO MONEY – that, along with giving BILLIONAIRES like Bill Frist BILLIONS of TAXPAYER DOLLARS to move their corporate offices 5 miles up the road. $500 per employee is part of the deal and NOBODY is moving their residence. It is all religiosity and 1% SCAMS, but HELL NO, Billionaire Guv Bill Haslam will NOT expand TennCare for the poor of Tennessee and Bob Corker has proven Crooked with the UAW SCAM of NO UNIONS. Repigs make me want to vomit. INDICT THE CRIMINALS IN OFFICE.

  11. Shiva,

    Most of these Mega Churches are run by crooks and thieves who promote this type of hate and politick from the pulpit. is run by a FELON. They promote hate against the President and federal government. Look at their site. Half of my family attends this disgusting stadium of bullshit weekly, which is sitting on high dollar real estate in Nashville and that is one of many in Nashville. There is a church on every corner and any empty storefront. Yes, family knows I think they are fools.




  12. This governor has got to be a very stupid person. The separation of Church and State is the reason that all of the different faiths under the name of Christianity exist today. It’s what kept one bunch from taking over the others.

  13. Yeah there are tons of little churches here. Some ran out of a double wide. You have to know these are run by people crazing power over others by use of religion. Little pockets of hate and bigotry

  14. Someone needs to remind this governor that we base our laws on the Constitution, not old speeches, obscure letters of our founders nor the Bible.

  15. So does this mean that the state will be tithing to the church’s? This does not bode well for the USA

  16. Hubby texted me a photo yesterday afternoon of people protesting with IMPEACH OBAMA signs and tried to recruit him at a stop sign. This is in one of the upscale Nashville neighborhoods of Bellevue. He told them they were wrong and nuts and they called him an “N-lover”. He said it took every ounce of restraint not get out of his truck and knock the shit out of them. I blew up the photo of their homemade sign: they are LAROUCHE followers….I must post this photo on Twitter today. Typical Xtian EvangeliBagging hate and racism. Take a look at Twitter @Eykis – I operate on evidence!

  17. I have a sister who believes every word of this crap. Her and her family are Oathkeepers, the 3%, as they say. They live in a trailer in the middle of nowhere, Texas. Only drink their well water because water with fluoride in it is a mind control agent from, you guessed it the Federal Government. They home school their kids who happen to dumb as a box of rocks. They own about 25 guns. Their electricity comes from generators because electricity is some sort of plot against them.

    They believe Obama is the anti-christ and coming after their guns, blah, blah. End of days blah, blah. They’re defending the Constitution, blah, blah.

    We had it out at a wake for a relative. Her husband was talking that conspiracy crap and I couldn’t take it anymore. He wanted to throw that end of days and being a patriot skew. I told him if you pick a fight with the Federal Government that’s a fight you can’t win.

    These types are crazy. They really want a revolution. Good luck with that.

  18. Shiva,

    It is up! These people make me sick. He asked them what Obama had done to be Impeached and they were “speculating” he was going to take us to war in Iran or Syria and he was not following the Constitution, but they could name ZERO “crimes or misdemeanors” and decided it was easier to call a 61 yro white guy in a pick up truck names. I asked if they had a confederate flag and he said, “well of course”, they are COWARDS.

  19. If right wingers try to or succeed in illegally & forcibly removing Pres. Obama from office I will most definitely take up arms against them & we can have that Second Civil War many so desperately crave. The South will not rise again & the Confederate flag will not fly over America. If so, only over my dead body. Believe it.

  20. Shiva,

    Why, you are so incorrect! When you blow up the photo, the name of the “Democratic” nominee in the Texas senate primary is displayed: Kesha Rogers! A self-loathing imbecile against John Cornyn!

    Check out this Xtian Fewl who “snuck in” because people DO NOT PAY ATTENTION.

    Like that white supremacist moron Clayton from East Tennessee who ran against Corker in 2012.

  21. The governor needs to be replaced. His statement is insanity and against the Constitution. Republican types say life is hard right now because we’ve turned away from God. No, life is hard because people like him spout lies and use the bible to make life harder for everyone else while their pockets are being filled by other false prophets. I had a dream too – but it was more in line with Martin Luther King. The governor either has to take less or more drugs before he sleeps. When I read the article my first impression was ‘WTF?!!”

    Christianity is suppose to be about ‘Love your neighbor as you do yourself’ and the Beatitudes.

    EVERYONE go out and vote in 2014 – or America will be Russia – which I believe is what today’s Republicans prefer.

  22. Since when does this group of self-righteous mongers know a damn thing about “humble repentance”? Casting stones with nary a pause–that they know something about.

    More like imposing “humble repentance” on others.

  23. It’s in the Establishment clause, in the First Amendment of the Constitution. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. . . .”.

  24. The phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the Constitution.

    That said, you might want to read Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association (1802), as well as the cases Reynolds v. US and Everson v. Board of Education, among others, to see how the Court has used Jefferson’s letter to determine the intent meant with the First Amendment and how it is applicable to the states via the 14th.

  25. I’m just curious, if Iowans take a day off from work for fasting and religious navel-gazing, can they use this official decree if they’re fired and want to file an unemployment claim with the state of Iowa? Is there any legal meat on this? Or is it purely for pander?

  26. Unfortunately this civil war will not be geographical. It will be more like the Lebanese civil war. Block to block. The good news is that those who have robots will get to avoid the fight.

  27. It is neither legally binding nor pandering. If you were part of the traditional culture of the United States you would understand proclamations like this.

  28. This part is priceless: “Since 2011 God has been speaking to me through dreams, visions and His word about our Nation.”
    Usually people who talk like that are locked up, but if you say “GOD is speaking to me” – well, that’s just hunky-dory, no matter the message.
    Fkn kooks.

  29. LOL on governor in one state cannot override the constitution all it’ll take is one lawsuit and to go to the supreme court it’ll get struck down one more meaningless attempt at rewriting the constitution


  30. What the Constitution’s First Amendment does say is that government shall make no law “respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It is well to attend to the actual words of the Constitution (an admirable obsession of some Tea Party folks, like Ms. O’Donnell). Nowhere is this more important than with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment: forbidding an official establishment of religion is something quite different from the much looser, imprecise term “separation of church and state.” The Constitution only forbids government sponsorship and compulsion of religious exercise by individual citizens. It does not require hermetic “separation”—implying exclusion—of religion and religious persons from public affairs of state.

  31. John Hancock was President of the Continental Congress from 1775 – 1777.

    But, this whole proclamation is wrong headed.

  32. Shiva,

    I was teasing you about “incorrect”. I should have said Larouchies like Kesha Rogers also appear on the sign!

  33. Logic and Reason is what we’ll cling to. Something this Governor and the sheeple who want a theocracy similar to Iran’s have no concept of, and have no ability left in their brains to have a rational thought.

  34. Yes, there are groups like this throughout the country. People like Bachman who grew up in Iowa & started her political career with the support of people like this can climb to a certain level but usually not higher and likely stumble & fall (i.e., Joe McCarthy, Michelle Bachman). However, like many ‘true believers’ they will doggedly pursue their extreme views. A minority often led by flawed leaders who often are charlatans, con men, or just panderers desperate to hold onto elective positons or seeking money-they will continue to doggedly pursue their extremism – which is why we need to be aware of their ceaseless efforts to gain power&control. While they continue to gain attention-remember the last election where Romney&supporters were thinking they would win even on election night – President Obama actually won by a large margin. In the largest state – Obama received over 60% and Romney less than 40% of the vote. Iowa is not representative of the country-thankfully.

  35. Helena,

    I don’t know where you see hypocrisy. I am not the author of the post you reference.

  36. Samuel,

    Tell me if you’d feel the same if the governor had proclaimed an Islamic day of prayer, or a Heathen, or a Hindu? Or a Secular Day.

  37. “Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore is absolutely essential in a free society.” Thomas Jefferson

  38. History is going to repeat. Our forefathers left England because of religious persecution. English had a national religion. One of the many attacks on our country from the Religious Right is the claim that our country is a Christian Nation…not just that the majority of people are Christians, but that the country itself was founded by Christians, for Christians. However, a little research into American history will show that this statement is a lie. If the U.S. was founded on the Christian religion, the Constitution would clearly say so–but it does not. Nowhere does the Constitution say: “The United States is a Christian Nation”, or anything even close to that. In fact, the words “Jesus Christ, Christianity, Bible, Creator, Divine, and God” are never mentioned in the Constitution– not even once. Nowhere in the Constitution is religion mentioned, except in exclusionary terms. When the Founders wrote the nation’s Constitution, they specified that “no religious test shall ever be requ…

  39. Somehow this doesn’t surprise me any, especially since Governor Branstad seems to have become even wingnuttier in his old age. ;)

    But if Iowans are as smart as I think we are (although I hold out exactly ZERO hope for the people in Wingnut King’s district), then the turnout should be almost so low as to become nonexistent. (I can only hope)

  40. I am not sure that is true. Iowans as well as residents of other states pulling this c___p should leave, migrate to a state that is not yet insane. A state that loses its federal money, federal support, federal military might, its citizens, taxes and jobs, is untenable. It will collapse beneath its own weight, with no one left but extremes.

    Businesses owned by the “sinners” will be shut down, while businesses owned by the extremes will lose employees and customers. The state will lose employees, financial support, and will have a diminished tax base. Sure, they will have land that is left behind by the sinners, but what good is it if there is no one to sell it to, no one to till it, take care of it, make it productive?

    I submit to you, dear friends, that we must not allow ourselves to be taken in by the extremes, or by a fear of what we think they might be able to do. These extreme conservatives are a minority, the rest of us, at least 75%, are a majority.

  41. As a born and bred Iowan I can tell you with confidence that Gov. Braindead and his merry band of inbred loonies do not represent the majority of Iowans. Most Iowans are educated hardworking people who repsect other peple’s rights and views. This is extremely embarassing to me and other thinking people in Iowa. This mental zombie got reelected because of the amount of money pumped into the election and a little creative gerrymandering. As for those of you who label us as dumb hicks – I have been to 49 states and everywhere there are people just as dumb or worse.

  42. ” … ON 4-20-13 God spoke to me through a dream and His word…”

    – i can only imagine *what* he was doing on 4/20 to hear the “word of God” …

  43. I agree with Tom. I’ve lived in this state my entire life and I admit I’ve met my share of hicks, but what state doesn’t have its share of those? Most Iowans are good, rational, hard-working people. We have some of the fairest courts in the country and until recently, a decent legislative branch as well. The problem is people have become disillusioned here. Those looking for more liberal leadership in the government are hard-pressed to find it because the Dems haven’t put up anyone worth while. Voter turnout is horrible here, which leaves the elections wide open for the crackpots to vote their candidates in. Not that the Repubs have anyone better to offer, which is why they trotted out the old warhorse Brandstad, who basically won on name recognition alone. I can only hope that the disenfranchised in this state wake up and realize that the inmates are running the asylum before things get too much worse.

    Iowa’s not alone. The same thing is happening all over the U.S.

  44. i was born and bred in iowa..i do not live there now and even though i have family still there, i will not move to my home. i was once proud of iowa. proud of the education i received there and the intelligence that we shared.. somehow it disappeared. the wing nuts..tea baggers, religious righters, and political righters have taken over. they have managed to dumb down the state and feed cow leavings to the survivors..too bad . it was once a star in our it appears to be roach excrement on the flag. i will miss the memories of my home.

  45. Nothing surprises me with Gov. Braindead. The weak part about it is this one is mild by far in comparison to some of the stuff that has been going on lately. The extra weak part about it is that even though Braindead is a nut, he is actually moderate in comparison to some of the wingnuts out there. Which actually does more to prove how crazy or stupid or both a lot of people are.

    Gov. Terry “speedergate” Branstad/Braindead has been governor for way too long. God I hope Jack Hatch gets in for 2014.

  46. thank you! i agree! I’m utterly embarrassed by this.
    there is a healthy reason why we separated church and state. yes the term “separation of church and state” is not in the constitution, but its a simple explanation to those who don’t memorize the decree.
    it simply means, you are free to practice whatever religion you want, and no one can touch you. that government can not use religion in their laws. they must remain unbias.
    iowans today had a low blow.
    just as nevada is having theirs.
    what is wrong with this country?!

    embarrassed iowan.

  47. Governors and Presidents of both corporate shill parties declare these prayer days all year long. Bransted is hardly the first to do so. Demopublicans will continue to issue them long after he’s gone.

    What’s with the pearl clutching over this guy? Why haven’t the President’s actions been equally, if not more, reprehensible? After all, this Iowa guy’s prayer day only supposedly speaks on behalf of 3 million people, more or less. The President’s? It supposedly speaks on behalf of about 320 million. Yet you said nothing. Why is that?

  48. “Logic and Reason is what we’ll cling to. Something this Governor and the sheeple who want a theocracy similar to Iran’s have no concept of, and have no ability left in their brains to have a rational thought.”

    Kenny Nipp, you are right on point! No seperatoion between church and State gets you a theocracy no different from Iran, Iraq, and all the other Muslim states in the Middle East that proclaim that Islam is the State and the State is Islam!!!

  49. The words “Separation of church and state” do not appear in the Constitution. it has however appeared in a few writings by the Supreme Court.

  50. I don’t agree with what he did – I am strongly in favor of the separation of church and state – but that phrase is NOT in the constitution. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” – that has been abused over and over again whenever someone in the government does or says anything related to their faith. Like I said, I’m all for separation of church and state, but that isn’t the ‘law of the land’.

  51. As an Iowan who grew up with people using corn as bait, there’s a secret ingredient they soak that corn that makes it a potent bait for most panfish. It actually works well for channel cats, too.

  52. I live in Iowa…and I am not moving. Rather, I and a bunch of other like-minded folks, are just gonna vote this joker out of office. He was governor many years ago and got voted out. Then he reappeared after a good dozen or so years. And now all those people who didn’t remember him from before are seeing just what this clown is all about. Move? Oh, heck no. Vote? Oh, heck yeah!

  53. I’ve never understood what point people think they are making when they say the phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the constitution. I mean, so what?
    The separation of church and state” is a *description* of what the constitution specifies. And it is a very good description, because it is a phrase that is also in common use worldwide to describe the same constitutional principle as ours, although the specific wording may differ from country to country.

  54. I think he’s skirting right on the edges of the Separation Clause, but hasn’t quite gone over: it’s a “proclamation” rather than a law, and only invites those who choose to do so to take part in the proposed activities (i.e. you don’t have to if you don’t want to, and there are no penalties for non-compliance). He’d be on slightly firmer territory if he’d signed it in his own name rather than that of the State (i.e. personal endorsement, rather than state endorsement).

    However, by skirting so close to the line, it does raise the probability of him stepping over it in the future…

  55. More proof that the right-wingers who promote this nonsense not only haven’t a clue of the Bible but no clue about our history…

    We are a secular nation, not Christian or any other belief system.

  56. This will go to justice, one way or another.

    If the supreme court judge in favor, they will be creating a precedent saying it’s legally ok to change the constitution.

    Once the door to changing the constitution is open, the 2nd amendment could legally be challenged, leading to a potential gun prohibition in the future.

    The republicans would shoot themselves in the foot if they were allowing their constitution to be changed, risking their precious guns.

  57. As always, the religious reich will ignore any law, commonsense, human decency and tell any lie, no matter how ludicrous, to force their sick theology upon everyone else.

    I hope this Governor is impeached. He should be forcible removed by the best legal minds in the USA as a lesson that the Constitution is not, “Just a goddamned piece of paper.”

  58. Would you leave your home so easily? I’m from Iowa, and I love it here. I love it enough to fight for it. I’m not leaving my home, but I’m not going to let this dickweed ruin it either. You don’t abandon something you love. You fight for it.

  59. Very well said. I have been saying for years that if the Christian fundamentalists had the same carte blanche in the US that the Muslims have in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries, the result would be no difference at all. Quite possibly, it would be worse then them.

  60. Obama called for remembrance and acts of service. The headline calls it a day of “prayer” but Obama never uses that word. He does not make sectarian comments as found in the Iowa proclamation. Instead he calls for volunteering. I fault Obama for continuing the “National Prayer Breakfast” and if he did call for a day of prayer centered around end times theology I’d be the first to criticize him.

  61. So I supposed he realizes this means ALL religions/faiths and not simply the ones he or anyone else wants to have participate, right? Given there are so many varied faiths in this world and country, this could be logistically problematic… My faith has a long obligatory prayer that he and others might not appreciate but this refusal to abide by the Constitution of the United States and its mandate to separate church and state (the forefathers were obviously a LOT smarter than this guy and those supporting his foolishness). I do not want others/strangers essentially taking it upon themselves to teach my child MY faith and no one else should be that foolish or irresponsible either. It is a parent’s responsibility to teach their children their beliefs and stop foisting it off on a school teacher.

  62. Yes, Karen. Based on the fact that no evidence that any of your gods have ever existed, we can most certainly conclude that your god doesn’t exist.

    You may think that you can’t prove a negative; however, intelligent people use the skill of deduction. Those who lack that intellect worship your god.

  63. “Congress shall pass no law for the establishment of religion” … per the 1st. That is the only Constitutional limitation for religion, on the Federal Government. The States can do whatever they want …per the 10th

  64. Twerking = conservatives shaking their brain and smiling over their shoulder while looking at the camera. They are unsightly and disillusioned but they are sincere.

  65. Wrong. The Supreme court has has several decisions on this. For instance, teaching religion in public schools is a no no. The states cannot do whatever they want. If they could, Michigan, Florida and Wisconsin would be wastelands

  66. Wrong. The Supreme court has has several decisions on this. For instance, teaching religion in public schools is a no no. The states cannot do whatever they want. If they could, Michigan, Florida and Wisconsin would be wastelands

  67. Lunatic Fringe – in the twilight’s last gleaming
    This is open season, but you won’t get too far
    ‘Cause you got to blame someone for your own confusion
    We’re all on guard this time against the Final Solution
    all on guard this time

  68. That’s why I stay over here in the southeast corner along the river! The whackjobs are all over in the west.

  69. Mary:

    We didn’t vote him out, he RETIRED before the 1998 election. Tom Vilasck beat Jim Ross Lightfoot, which I thought was an upset because Lightfoot was Congressman and Vilsack was a little-known state Senator.

  70. Lunatic Fringe – in the twilight’s last gleaming
    This is open season, but you won’t get too far
    ‘Cause you got to blame someone for your own confusion
    We’re all on guard this time against the Final Solution
    all on guard this time

  71. “If the federal government were to send the troops in every time a Republican governor or legislature got out of hand, we would have to bring all the boys and girls home from overseas.” Great! Let’s do that! Sounds like a win-win to me. So Republicans, who clearly don’t give a $^%&*)() about real people, want to have a theocracy. Let them proclaim what they will; the public doesn’t care what they’re doing. But when elections come up, remember who the crazy ones are.

  72. Uhhh yes we are. I’m in Des Moines, and am beyond disgusted by Terry Braindead the soon to be ex ex Governor of Iowa. This is appalling and will cost us Iowa taxpayers a small fortune in law suites, as it should.

  73. As Hooper points out, it is possible they are referring to Hancock’s tenure as president of the Second Continental Congress May 24, 1775 to October 29, 1777 and then again 1785-6, but that is giving them too much credit.

  74. As a Christian, I’m somewhat appalled by this. Even in the bible, it clearly separates the distinction between God and government. The government should not be encouraging this..

  75. Luke 20:25

    He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

  76. I found nothing in the Des Moines Register that corroborates this story. I tend, therefore, to think it’s either a hoax or originates from a satirical website.

  77. Have you ever stopped to notice that nowhere in constitution does it say the words “separation of church and state.” Jefferson noted those things on the issue of the state controlling the church and the USSR used it in their constitution.

  78. There is no “separation of church and state” except in your imagination. It is nowhere in any official document of the United States.

  79. Karen Stone——God is not dead! That’s your assertion. When asked for proof your response was a logical fallacy “shifting the burden of proof” which isn’t intelligent discourse. And you wonder why you believer’s don’t get taken seriously. You erroneously think that it is someone else’s job to prove your assertion. You made the assertion that God is alive so the burden rests on you to prove the assertion correct. No one else has to prove that but you. Additionally, erroneously again you think that one can prove the “non existence” of something. This is not so. We can only prove the existence of things, we cannot prove the non existence of something. If you can point to it and say “that doesn’t exist” then you are pointing to something which means the something exists. That’s why it’s fallacious reasoning. Look up logical fallacy and educate yourself. Tip: you won’t find the definition in the bible but you will find a lot of fallacy in the bible.

  80. Wow, this is awesome, isn’t it? We sure are heading for a revolution if the progressive communists keep on trying to distort our God Blessed USA.

  81. Where did this God’s not dead thing come from? It isn’t even proper English, but then again “God’s” only alive in spirit, and unless you can fathom the idea of the holy trilogy “God’s” never lived. Lets keep religion in the church,where it belongs, government in the state houses and courts and well…WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER Y’ALL

  82. No it isnt. It is proof of your need for a creator.

    Now, which god do you choose? You have several thousand to choose from

  83. God blessed United States? Does it occurred to you that we are the #1 killer of foreigners in their own countries for well over 60 years in a row. We are currently the most hated country in the world. We are currently considered the most idiotic people in the whole world. God blessed us for being hypocrites, lecturing other countries on voting rights yet Republicans are actively purging and trampling on our voting rights. Look at Florida, they just banned the public restroom use during election. Look at Ohio,mother are actively re-districting the democrat lines, making it smaller which is illegal. Look at Texas’ voter ID, they literally turned away Democrat voters’ applications while push through Republicans’ applications.

    God bless us? I think we are the most cursed country other than North Korea.

  84. This whole things isn’t about if there is a God or not, it’s about what is right for the people of Iowa. This is completely wrong and I hope it doesn’t last long.

    It takes away the basic rights of people. Not everyone believes in God/religion or even in the same God/religion. Nobody should be forced to follow certain rules if it’s against what they believe (when it comes religion). Nobody is wrong or right when it comes to their beliefs and everyone should be respected. This sickness me along with other laws that take away basic rights of people. I would do a class action lawsuit against the state if I lived there. Best wishes to those who have to live through the garbage laws like that.

  85. You really need to read that article. You need to get beyond the headline and see what it actually says. I suspect you wont like it.

  86. They defy separation of church & state. Do whatever they feel like. The people standing around the gov are gloating. Look at their shit eating grins. They earn a gold star to heaven. No matter they’re probably hateful & judgemental everyday of their miserable lives.

  87. There’s a word for people who hear deities talking to them, and, until Reagan started turning them loose, there used to be places to put them.

  88. Absolutely wrong. The states cannot “do whatever they want,” per the 14th Amendment. Most (albeit not all) of the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment in its entirety, has been imputed to the states by the Supreme Court.

  89. I want to give a different perspective on this.

    I am from Washington state. Colorado and my state have ignored Federal Laws in legalizing Marijuana. I knew this would happen if the government didn’t step on our feet for doing this, then who’s to stop things like this from happening. I feel partial blame from Washington’s and Colorado’s success.

    If the government did do something about this. Then where’s the equality our government is supposed to have?

    Of course they have already shown inequality on this matter already and here’s why:

    My state’s governor was threaten with prison by breaking a Federal Law. Where’s Terry E. Branstad’s threat of being put in prison?

    Separation of Church and State is almost as old as this country. Marijuana laws weren’t applied until 1956.

    This isn’t an issue about God. This is a political issue. Please stop bringing up God, it’s a distraction.

  90. I never said Pot was. I said the act of my state breaking Federal Laws may have spread. Did you even fully read what I posted?

    And No… God has nothing to do with this law. I’d like to see you go to a judge or congress and convince them that God is BS so this law should stay.

    You think a lawyer will sit there in a court to defend SOCAS by saying that God is the basis of this law so there for we should uphold it?

    People who could do something about this and read this forum just wasted their time with the God posts.

    Non of it holds up in court = useless.

    and on top of it that law isn’t talking about God it’s talking about Religions in government.

    I have donated to American Atheist. I am and completely support Atheists. That’s why I am here. Please for the love of my left hand, stop bringing up God. It’s a waste of time.

  91. The comparisons you are making dont make sense nor are they petinent. I am an atheist as well, but the fact is, god is pertinent to this article and to the laws that may be being signed here. You dont have religions unless you have a god.

  92. That’s strange I can’t hit Reply on your new post. Even after refreshing. So I clicked on your earlier one.

    Thomas Jefferson is the one that wrote SOCAS. He believed in God but wasn’t apart of religion. There is a difference between God and Religion.

    This article maybe about God but I’m just saying it doesn’t really help.

    Atheist own the internet but it’s useless to argue for or against God in most case. The arguments (if any) should be religion or in this article’s case, this Bill. I’m not telling people what to do I’m suggesting this stuff.

    If you’re from Iowa, write your representatives or whoever. It wouldn’t help much from other people from other states. There can be good arguments presented even if that representative supports this bill and that goes out to those who support this bill too. If you really want this bill to stay then you better beat what’s coming.

  93. There is a reason why we in Iowa refer to this clown as Terry Braind3@d. Those of us who were here for the last round of his ridiculous policies know that the year he got hit in the face with a sled while sledding with his grandchildren and had to have his jaw wired shut was his most productive time in office ever.

    This man will be out of office some day, and when that day comes, and it very surely will, we will put things back to the way that it should be.

    Not everyone in Iowa is as backward as our Governor. Never forget that Iowa was one of the first states to legalize both interracial and same sex marriage. We have plenty in Iowa to be proud of. Unfortunately, Terry Branstead is often a source of international shame for us.

  94. He is a much better Governor than the last two before him. I also love the fact that this article bashes republicans, but I do not believe that democrats are any better. Look at our current president and the financial situation we are in as a country because of him. Our media is so one sided it makes me sick!

  95. Well thanks! Our financial condition as a nation has improved greatly under Obama. See the market? See the deficit has been cut in half? I like you!

  96. I’m more disturbed by his proclamation from April 10, 2014:
    2:30 p.m. Gov. Branstad signs National Safe Digging Month proclamation

    Seriously our planet cannot withstand any more digging!!! Come on people – we need to band together and make it known that this UNACCEPTABLE!

    You all need to worry about more important things in this country than what our governor is doing.

  97. Some how there is a argument about the existence of God going, so I will add my two cents. I believe in God, but not because I mindlessly shut the otherwise logical arguments of those who do not believe in God (I do not deny evolution). I watched the Curiosity episode “Does God Exist” Which made me question his existence, but I found it hard to deny the existence of God based on what I know. Here are some Links that may get you to understand where I’m coming from.

  98. That is certainly your right to think this. And no one should ever take that away from you

    But you would do well to not use free republic as a source

  99. Religion has not place in politics no matter what religion it is. I detest any politician who pushes his religous beliefs upon everyone around him, lets those beliefs dictate what laws he sets.
    The state of Iowa must have a governor who is not religiously motivated and does not represent either party period!
    And for the record all of you bible thumpers out there, your bible was all written by man and taken way out of context by man with no real evidence that the image you claim even existed. Now back to the idiocy that has taken place will be over ruled by the court and I encourage anyone to challenge this proclomation.

  100. I freaked out about this at first… and shared it with someone… his response “all it is… is they are making a day of prayer and they added “if you chose to” in there so its not enforced” and i was like “ohhhhhhhh that aint so bad”
    its still illegal since he only made it pertaining to a specific religion and the first amendment establishment clause means you cant favor one religion over the other.
    It is stupid but it could be legal if he made it a moment of peace and encouraged those of faith to take that moment to pray without adding it into the proclamation itself. But i honestly see it as no more than making a religious holiday.
    skimming through it i do believe hes loony but its still not something to hugely freak out over.

  101. Some people are freaking out saying that Iowa has become a theocracy, yet that is extreme and shows a severe lack of understanding of what a “proclaimation” is. Nothing about this is binding legally. I also would like to say that despite the fact that many are pointing to the fact that John Hancock is referred to as “President Hancock” in this and there is ensuing laughter, this is not inaccurate. Hancock was president of the Continental Congress, which preceded the existence of the United States. Don’t be stupid and/or willfully ignorant when you’re criticizing others. That often lowers you to their level.

    Again, this is not a law, merely a public statement by the Governor.

    That being said, it certainly is a slap in the face to the memory of our founding fathers, especially Thomas Jefferson, who believed so strongly in the separation of church and state, having seen the dangers of state sponsored religion firsthand.

  102. Well Iowa has re-elected Steve King so I guess they will be waiting for the rapture when the blood moon appears. At least that part of Iowa

  103. Wow…so you take an oath of office to protect and defend the constitution, and use that same office to shred it? The constitution might as well be written on Charmin. Do you even remotely understand the protected freedoms we enjoy in this country? What a disgrace to the office and the intention of our forefathers.

  104. That anyone would cheer for this is disturbing. While many Christians may applaud this effort, you are failing to realize that if a Christian governor can do this, so could a Muslim governor, a Hindu governor or any other governor. So enjoy the state being under a “Christian banner” while it lasts. I sincerely doubt you’ll be thrilled about being under a church state when you have to live in it under a religion you don’t believe in. Then you’ll be wishing, praying, and begging for separation of church and state.

  105. “Of course, you can’t do that.”

    Except that, it was done from the very start, with the first president ever elected and on the day of his election. And it was done again and again in times when the people had forgotten from whence their help comes from (Psalms 121). The de-spiritualization of this country has made this country sick and emaciated. Prayer is the medicine, humility is the nourishment.

    The author claims these people have no concept of history, but he himself is ignorant of history – he possesses a cleansed version of history to please the secularists.

  106. Honestly, do you people read and comprehend what you read? This is a proclamation (an announcement) for those who CHOOSE to pray to join in the prayer. What a bogus article. He is not doing away with the separation of church and state.

    This type of hype is why education is so important. Educated to reason and make sense of it all.

    And to answer the God question: There most definitely is a God. Look around you… everything created. That doesn’t just happen. Pick up the Bible and read it, if you doubt, ask God to open your eyes just a little. You will never understand it on your own. When we face the God Almighty there will be no excuse on how we’ve lived. Our only redemption is through Christ Jesus.

  107. Yes, I do believe there is a God. And you have that choice not to believe… free will, it’s in the Bible. However, YOU believe there are several thousand gods to choose from, that I don’t.

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