Skip to comments.How the KKK Got Its Way on Separation of Church and State
Posted on 12/19/2013 3:44:19 PM PST by NYer
The phrase Separation of Church and State is not in the language of the First Amendment, and the concept was not favored by any influential framer at the time the Bill of Rights was drafted. So how did it become part of the jurisprudence surrounding the First Amendment?
As Jim Lindgren, a law professor at Northwestern, explains, the Ku Klux Klan had something to do with it . . .
7. The first mainstream figures to favor separation after the first amendment was adopted were Jefferson supporters in the 1800 election, who were trying to silence Northern clergy critical of the immoral Jeffersonian slaveholders in the South.
8. After the Civil War, liberal Republicans proposed a constitutional amendment to add separation of church and state to the US Constitution by amendment, since it was not already there. After that effort failed, influential people began arguing that it was (magically) in the first amendment.
9. In the last part of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, nativists (including the KKK) popularized separation as an American constitutional principle, eventually leading to a near consensus supporting some form of separation.
10. Separation was a crucial part of the KKKs jurisprudential agenda. It was included in the Klansmans Creed (or was it the Klansmans Kreed?). Before he joined the Court, Justice Black was head of new members for the largest Klan cell in the South. New members of the KKK had to pledge their allegiance to the eternal separation of Church and State. In 1947, Black was the author of Everson, the first Supreme Court case to hold that the first amendments establishment clause requires separation of church & state. The suit in Everson was brought by an organization that at various times had ties to the KKK.
11. Until this term, the justices were moving away from the separation metaphor, often failing to mention it except in the titles of cited law review articles, but in the last term of the Court they fell back to using it again.
Read more . . .
Since Jefferson mentioned it in a letter, and he was elected president, I thought that was about as mainstream as you could get.
Jefferson’s letter asserted that he wanted the wall to prevent government from interfereing in religion, but wanted the morals of religion to penetrate into the government.
I thought it was the Baptists trying to convince Jefferson.
As Jesse Owens said about Adolf Hitler, “He’s gone. I’m still here.”
U.S. Constitution Online
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Jefferson’s Wall of Separation Letter
The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.
[Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.]
Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association assurances of my high respect & esteem.
(signed) Thomas Jefferson
The Baptists were first.
Originally, Baptists supported separation of church and state in England and America. Some important Baptist figures in the struggle were John Smyth, Thomas Helwys, Edward Wightman, Leonard Busher, Roger Williams (who was a Baptist for a short period but became a “Seeker”), John Clarke, Isaac Backus, and John Leland.
In 1612 John Smyth wrote, “the magistrate is not by virtue of his office to meddle with religion, or matters of conscience”. That same year, Thomas Helwys wrote that the King of England could “command what of man he will, and we are to obey it,” but, concerning the church “with this Kingdom, our lord the King hath nothing to do.” In 1614, Leonard Busher wrote what is believed to be the earliest Baptist treatise dealing exclusively with the subject of religious liberty.
The Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut sent a letter, dated October 7, 1801, to the newly elected President Thomas Jefferson, expressing concern over the lack in their state constitution of explicit protection of religious liberty, and against a government establishment of religion.
In their letter to the President, the Danbury Baptists affirmed that “Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor...”
As a religious minority in Connecticut, the Danbury Baptists were concerned that a religious majority might “reproach their chief Magistrate... because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ,” thus establishing a state religion at the cost of the liberties of religious minorities.
Wall of separation
Thomas Jefferson’s response, dated January 1, 1802, concurs with the Danbury Baptists’ views on religious liberty, and the accompanying separation of civil government from concerns of religious doctrine and practice.
The problem is that even a 4th or 5th grader should be able to read and understand that the first amendment is directed the Congress and not to the states.
The congress will take any power they can get so they will not go against these people and impeach the rascals.
We need to vote in to congress as many people as we can who are seen by the news media and other communists as radicals.
So many hard right voters are concerned with one or two issues, abortion being one of them so that guarantees that the liberals stay in power
I thought that jefferson coined the metaphoric phrase.
Don’t know that Baptists ever got to head up a state church.
The story is that John the Baptist was killed in part due to his criticism of the temporal authorities, but not for being a Baptist.
The 1st Amendment is currently one of the rights that is applied to the states due to the 14th Amendment.
Even without the 14th, a traveler to another state would be entitled to priviledges or immunities that he had in his home state.
I figure the Baptists were requesting Jefferson to protect them from oppression by their state and the state extablished church.
Jefferson refused to act to liberate them. He rather responded with his agreement to not have the federal government contribute to or join in their oppression.
Mass. still has an established church,
per Article III in its state constitution.
“Article III. As the happiness of a people and the good order and preservation of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion, and morality, and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community but by the institution of the public worship of God and of the public instructions in piety, religion, and morality: Therefore, To promote their happiness and to secure the good order and preservation of their government, the people of this commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require, and the legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies-politic or religious societies to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.”
I sure don’t know what that was about, or how it related to American history.
I was trying to suggest that Baptists might be a bit more suspicious of government power than most sects, since the guy after whom they were named came to an untimely end due to arbitrary government power.
I bet they don’t like platters or strippers either.
Platters or strippers, Baptists in the present tense, I don’t know what you are on about.
I was merely pointing out a little more on the connection of the Baptists and Jefferson, and early America.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
In 1942, 24-year-old Byrd joined the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), whose parades in Matoaka, West Virginia, he had witnessed in his childhood. He was unanimously elected Exalted Cyclops, or leader, of his local chapter.
Byrd, in his autobiography, attributed the beginnings of his political career to this incident, although he lamented that they involved the Klan. According to Byrd, a KKK official told him "You have a talent for leadership, Bob... The country needs young men like you in the leadership of the nation." Byrd recalls that "suddenly lights flashed in my mind! Someone important had recognized my abilities! I was only 23 or 24 years old, and the thought of a political career had never really hit me. But strike me that night, it did." He participated in the KKK during World War II, holding the titles Kleagle (recruiter) and Exalted Cyclops [the top officer in the local Klan unit]. He did not serve in the military during the war, working instead as a welder in a Baltimore, Maryland shipyard, where he helped build warships.
Byrd commented on the 1945 controversy about racially integrating the military. Byrd, when he was 28 years old, wrote to segregationist Senator Theodore Bilbo, of Mississippi, vowing never to serve in such a military:
"Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."
He had earlier written "I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side".
From the Washington Post:
"Byrd said in the Dec. 11, 1945, letter -- which would not become public for 42 more years with the publication of a book on blacks in the military during World War II by author Graham Smith -- that he would never fight in the armed forces "with a Negro by my side." Byrd added that, "Rather I should die a thousand times, and see old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.."..."
"during the general election campaign, Byrd's GOP opponent uncovered a letter Byrd had handwritten to Green, the KKK Imperial Wizard, recommending a friend as a Kleagle and urging promotion of the Klan throughout the country. The letter was dated 1946 -- long after the time Byrd claimed he had lost interest in the Klan. "The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia," Byrd wrote, according to newspaper accounts of that period. Byrd makes no mention of the letter in his new book."
Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, Ex-Klansman
by Michelle Malkin (March 8, 2001)
Ex-Klansman Robert Byrd, the senior senator from West Virginia, casually used the phrase "white nigger" twice on national TV this weekend. Enraged civil rights groups organized a protest campaign against Sen. Byrd and demanded that he undergo sensitivity training ... not.
The ex-Klansman, you see, is a Democrat. Democrats can join hate groups and utter the ugliest racial slurs and get away with it because they are Democrats. They belong to the party of racial tolerance and understanding. They're paragons of virtue, and the rest of us are bigoted rubes.
The ex-Klansman showed his true colors when asked by Fox News Sunday morning talk show host Tony Snow about the state of race relations in America. Sen. Byrd warned: "There are white niggers. I've seen a lot of white niggers in my time. I'm going to use that word. We just need to work together to make our country a better country, and I'd just as soon quit talking about it so much."
John the Baptist’s head was removed from his body and placed on a platter.
That was because of a promise given by local king when he was enthused by the strip tease attributed to Salome, his wife’s daughter.
Hence a heightened Baptist suspicion of platters, strippers, and local kings.
Yeah, I’ve heard of him, I just don’t know why you want to spend so much time on him in regards to my post.
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
The wording separation of Church and state is not to keep the Church safe from the state but to finally weed out the people who believe in God out of Government.
It is for the express purpose of getting God out of government.
So the wording, separation of Church is just as phoney with or with out the 14th amendment.
It sprung from the modernists in the Catholic church that had survived Pope St. Pius X's purge. The understudies of those same modernists now occupy the Vatican.
The Klan founded in 1915 was, however, very anti-Catholic. In fact, Catholics were its chief target during the KKK's heyday--the 1920's.
The Supreme Court building has a representation of Moses with the 10 Commandments.
The Supreme Court building has a representation of Moses with the 10 Commandments.