Friday, December 8, 2006

Church, state seperation began in different context

I don't mind the Register editing my letter, but for crying out loud when they edit they need to make sure it looks cleaner than when they received it. Two sentences that were shortened, had words left in that should have been edited out. I don't know if this their attempt to make those who disagree with their editorials look like they mangle the English language, but it is in poor taste.

Regarding your Nov. 27 editorial, "Constitution Is missing words":
James Madison indicated in his notes from a speech he gave in 1789, introducing the Bill of Rights, that he was opposed to Congress establishing a national religion that it would provide financial and legal support to exclusively.

Thomas Jefferson, in his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association on in 1802, responds to their letter of concern that their religious freedom would not be protected. It was then that Jefferson made his comment about the "wall of separation of church and state" was made.

Jefferson and Madison meant this to protect religious liberty, not to push religion out of the public square - as this phrase is often taken to mean.

Consider that both Jefferson and Madison attended Sunday worship services that took place in the House of Representatives. Jefferson allowed worship services to be held in executive branch buildings and the Gospel was even preached in the Supreme Court chambers.

I think history shows that what you mean by establishment, and what the founding fathers meant are not one in the same.

- Shane Vander Hart,
Pleasant Hill.


No comments: