Sunday, May 01, 2005

Wall of seperation between church and state

The Seattle Times has an Editorial on the fight to make church and state one and the same. It got me thinking. I consider this to be the most important part.

And that means it's time to convince Americans that Thomas Jefferson, in a famous 1802 letter, was not really trying to curb religion when he endorsed "building a wall of separation between church and state." The high court invoked the phrase when it formally erected the wall in 1947.

In legal briefs filed in a pending Supreme Court case on the posting of the Ten Commandments, religious-right groups note (accurately) that Jefferson's phrase appears nowhere in the Bill of Rights or the Constitution and that Jefferson wrote the phrase merely as a show of support for Connecticut's Baptists, who were upset that the state government was officially favoring the Congregationalists. Independent scholars say the religious right also is correct about this.

But the briefs don't mention 1786, when young Jefferson authored a Virginia law separating church from state. This law is cited on his grave, at his request.


You can read the letter mentioned herein at 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association.

Of course, we should also look at the Constitution itself. (from www.usconstitution.net)

Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression.
Ratified 12/15/1791.
Note

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.


and

Article VI. - The United States

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

And from the Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Which was changed in a draft (thanks to Ben Franklin) from "We hold these rights to be sacred and undeniable..." Franklin did this to prevent even the air of a religious nature from being in the Constitution. And before you ask, "their Creator" is not a reference to any specific God, but to any God believed in by any person.

Let us also consider what I consider the Nail in the Coffin for any claim that this is a Chrisitian Nation, or that there isn't supposed to be a wall of seperation. Yes, the Treaty with Tripoli.

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
Authored by American diplomat Joel Barlow in 1796, the following treaty was sent to the floor of the Senate, June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved. John Adams, haven seen the treaty, signed it and proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.
Wait a second. It was read aloud and unanimously approved? Inconcievable! And in 1797, maybe some of the "Framers" were there. Surely they would have objected! Damn activist legislators. If I'm right, it was the sixth unanimous vote in Senate history.

Is there any doubt that we are meant to have a wall of seperation between church and state? Didn't think so. This is why courts will always rule in the favor of us "evil" secularists.

Now, anybody not understand why the GOP wants to own the judiciary?

by Robster @ 5/01/2005 07:34:00 PM PERMALink
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