Labeled by an ACT For America press release as a “Christian conservative attorney from Greeneville who argued our case against same-sex marriage proposal before [the General Assembly] in Nashville,” Jeff Cobble shined a unique light on the First Amendment recently.
“You’re about to get a dose of truth that I will be surprised if you’ve heard anywhere else, ever. ... Our judges don’t understand what I’m about to say tonight; most attorneys do not understand,” Cobble said as AFA featured speaker at its Thursday, Oct. 26, meeting in Don Delfis Pancake House and Restaurant.
“... It’s a misunderstanding of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. ... We were states before we were a nation,” he added. “... The people came first, the states came next and the federal goverment came last, and the power is in that order. ... The states delegated limited powers to the federal government.”
As a result, Cobble said state constitutions should override federal jurisdictions beyond those “19 or 20 limited powers.”
For example, “The Department of Education, no constitutional authority,” he said. “... There’s a Preamble to the Bill of Rights, and it says at the time of the passing of the Constitution it was promised to the states that the federal government would not tread on their rights.
“... Nowhere in the text of the Fiirst Amendment do you see the separation of church and state. It’s a false notion, it’s a lie,” Cobble added.
Moreover, Cobble said “the First Amendment is not addressing the people, it’s not addressing the states, it’s not addressing churches, it’s not addressing the president, it’s not addressing the Supreme Court — it’s addressing Congress.
“‘Shall make no law,’ this is the main phrase for the entire First Amendment,” he added. “It is a negative statement — it is a prohibition of the national government’s law-making power.”
Therefore, “The courts have no case to hear. ... There’s no authority to hear First Amendment cases,” Cobble said.
“This is common sense.”
Cobble also made a point to remind his audience, “The First Amendment does not guarantee us religious liberty. If I would have asked you that question [at the beginning of his address] almost everybody would have said, ‘yeah it does,’” he said
“No it doesn’t. ... It simply says, ‘Congress shall make no law.’ ... Congress has no role in religion,” Cobble added. “The national government has no role, either positive or negative, in creating rules about religion or stopping citizens from practicing any system of worship of God.”
However, “The states pre-date the federal government ... The doctrines of Christianity are incorporated into all the [13 original] state constitutions,” Cobble said about the states’ intended power.
He proceded to read sections from the constitutions of all 13 original states, which also were flashed onto a screen, to illustrate his point.
In the Massachusetts Constitution, for example, various levels of that state government would be required to provide “suitable provision, at their own expense, for the instituion of the public worship, and for the support and maintenance of public, Protestant teachers ...,” Cobble read to the audience.
ACT For America’s November featured speaker is Dr. Salman Hasan, “Who was raised Muslim and became a dynamic Christian. For decades he has been reaching multitudes of Muslims with the Gospel,” an AFA press release stated.
With the meeting held a week earlier than normal due to Thanksgiving, Hasan’s address is set to begin around 6:30 p.m., tonight, Thursday, Nov. 16, at Don Delfis.