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The Truth about Separation of Church and State
Alliance Defense Fund ^ | 11-24-2004 | Alliance Defense Fund

Posted on 11/24/2004 3:29:29 PM PST by RepCath

Contrary to popular opinion, the term “separation of church and state” is found nowhere in the United States Constitution. While the First Amendment clearly forbids the creation of a national denomination, it says nothing about the so-called “separation of church and state.”

The term “separation of church and state” was first used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1801, when he responded to their concerns about state involvement in religion. Jefferson’s letter had nothing to say about limiting public religious expression, but dealt with government’s interference in the public expression of faith. It was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black who first inserted the term “separation of church and state” into American jurisprudence in his majority opinion of Everson v. Board of Education (1947). He wrote: “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. The wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.” Black’s opinion was based on a previous misreading of Jefferson’s 1801 letter in the U.S. Supreme Court decision Reynolds v. United States (1878). Black also confused his history. In the opinion, he wrote that the Danbury letter was “almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the First Amendment.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: churchandstate; foundingdocuments; governments

1 posted on 11/24/2004 3:29:29 PM PST by RepCath
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To: RepCath

Ditto. The founding fathers were concerned only about ensuring a separation of the POWERS of CHURCH and STATE.

This means the elected or appointed officials , not the citizenry.

2 posted on 11/24/2004 3:43:39 PM PST by UCANSEE2
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To: RepCath

From article: "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” "

I think it's about time to petition the government for a redress of grievances - over the actions of the ACLU, the Illegals issue, allowing officials to break the laws, allowing companies to break the laws, allowing officials to tell other officials to break the laws - and the list goes on - (Plus the actions of the major media in politics)

Think the "new" S.C. should re-visit the issue - first chance they get - with all information found on the issue -

Thanks for the site - interesting information and it needs to be presented to put a stop to the insanity being put out by the government and the old major media - along with the ACLU

3 posted on 11/24/2004 3:48:16 PM PST by Pastnowfuturealpha
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To: RepCath
When I taught intro to poly sci, I *always* asked the following question:

Where does the phrase "separation of church and state" appear in the Constitution?

A. The 2nd Amendment

B. The 10th Amendment

C. Article I.

D. Nowhere

4 posted on 11/24/2004 4:03:44 PM PST by GoBucks2002
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Thanks, i justed printed the article and will carry it with me. Its amazing how many people (especially gen-X) thinks the phrase is actually in the constitution.

5 posted on 11/24/2004 4:11:58 PM PST by bella1 (red county, blue state)
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To: RepCath

First Inaugural Address
30 April 1789
City of New York

George Washington, in his official capacity as President, exclaimed in his First Inaugural Address that the success of the government depended on its connection with God. In the closing paragraph of his address, he said:

"I shall take my leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend."

Besides taking a reading of President Washington's historical record, a reading of our various other founding father's letters, diaries, and notes on their conversations, public announcements and speaches, joined with a reading of our early Republic's laws and proclamations, leaves no doubt of our Constitutional Framers' mind-set, beliefs, and hopes for the future of the country when they finally agreed upon the wording of the First Amendment in 1791. In the bright light of the Constitutional Framers' multitude of thoughts on the meaning behind the words of the First Amendment, it is with only with a good deal of tortured imagination that one can interpret the "anti-establishment" clause as a "firewall" separating state and faith.

When Fisher Ames, confabulators, and signers of the Bill of Rights finally agreed upon, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free expression thereof;" what they had in mind was exactly what it stated. And that is, on the one hand, that there would never be a state sponsored religion, and that the government would not be permitted to favor one religion over another, and on the other hand, that no authority could ever deny the freedom of religious expression, at any place, at any time, whether in the government, or in public institutions, or in the private sector.

The "anti-establishment" clause was never intended to be a firewall between government and religion, as has been propagated by the cult of pop culture and by some misguided federal judges. There can be no doubt that even the least religious of the Constitutional Framers did not envision the "anti-establishment" clause as a means of pulling down the basic Christian tenet that all of them felt was the underpinning of our nationhood.

The Signers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights never, not in their wildest dreams, would have dared conceive of a Godless Government and a Godless Nation. Expressions of God had, therefore, been woven into our Nation's consciousness, into its Motto, onto its money, into prayer by Congressional chaplains, used to justify our Declaration of Independence, Gettysburg Address, and other proclamations and declarations. To the present and through our expected future, oaths before God are taken by our new Presidents, and by those preparing to give testimony to Congress.

With but one grossly misunderstood and highly distorted exception (that of Thomas Jefferson, the self-professed desciple of Christ, who late in life said that the Second Amendment should be a wall between Church and State), it is historically proven that our founding fathers' ideas and writtings on the First Amendment prove that they never envisioned any kind of wall between faith and government. Based on their historical records, the founding brethern would certainly not have objected to Treasury Secretary Chase and Congress approving the motto of "In God We Trust" in 1837. Nor would they have objected to the inclusion of "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance during the Cold War. And very likely they would have appreciated the enriched Pledge of Allegiance, aka Pledge of Citizenship.

So, my dear countrymen and countrywomen, President George Washington and his nation-founding colleagues never intended that God be forced out of the lives of the people, or out of the Life of the Nation, or out of the implicit underpinning of government, but ought to be integral as voiced in his First Inaugual Address.

Your humble servants,

John E. Appleseed & Bette C. Ross

6 posted on 11/24/2004 4:19:41 PM PST by Mogollon
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To: RepCath the liberals credit, they are consistent...
seems like a small 'mis-reading' of the Constitution in Rove v Wade also....

7 posted on 11/24/2004 4:27:32 PM PST by Baytovin
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To: RepCath
Actually, I believe the founders' position was that it was not federal government's business to have its dog, as it were, in that fight. Is that what you were trying to say? It was an issue of jurisdiction, at least so I have been led to believe.

I am glad that "separation of church and state" is the new "battle cry of the left." The issue needs to be vetted in the marketplace of ideas, rather than used as a sledgehammer by the leftist propagandists. The Establishment clause needs to be talked about as well. I have lots to say about it, but I'm sure someone better equipped will come along before I get around to putting in my two cents.

8 posted on 11/24/2004 4:44:04 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (if a man lives long enough, he gets to see the same thing over and over.)
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To: RepCath

Though separation of church and state is not an element of the Constitution it's important to remember that it is an interpretation of the Constitution that appears in a handful of Supreme Court decisions (the first being in 1947). My point is that "church and state" is not a completely toothless argument, especially when it's addressed in the courts. Of course, ignorant liberals are usually unaware of these sorts of details.

9 posted on 11/24/2004 5:42:10 PM PST by Chris_Shugart
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To: RepCath

It needs to be noted that the Separation of Church and State may have been first mentioned by Thomas Jefferson in 1801, but the quote misleads as there are many references to the legal principle of the Separation between Church and State from the continental rationalists.

Correspondence between Queen Elizabeth and Lord Acton circa early 1500s emphasized the discernment of the separation of the Church (that body of Gentile believers who as believers in the Lord and Savior Christ Jesus fell under the laws of God) and the State (a Divine institution of nationality which presented legal systems to govern believers and unbelievers alike, as a method to control criminality as one example of State enforced law).

The Separation of Church and State recognized that both legal systems were divinely instituted, but that different believers became more sanctified and cognizant of Church laws over time, and that more advanced notions of Church Law were inappropriate to enforce upon those not yet in receipt of salvation as unbelievers.

Likewise, good men as devout to God generally didn't require the law of criminality as it was intended for those brutes who generally rejected any system of jurisprudence or justice in social orders, whether Church or State ordained.

It was further recognized that a man of good intent would attempt to obey both the laws of Church and the Laws of State, while the brute, as either a fallen believer or as a criminal would disobey one or the other, if not both.

Since the law of both Church and the law of State was originally intended to govern its subjects justly, the separation was established so that those concerned in the State, who might not be so advanced in the Church, would not prevent good men from obeying both the laws of the CHurch and the State,...while the Church would not impose more advanced legislation on believers in the State involved in the control of criminality of unbelievers.

The intent of the Separation of Church and State was NEVER a defense of unbelievers to gain more control over legitiamate authority in either the Church or the State.

10 posted on 11/24/2004 6:02:41 PM PST by Cvengr (;^))
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To: GoBucks2002
Where does the phrase "separation of church and state" appear in the Constitution?

      So, how many got it right?
11 posted on 11/24/2004 6:10:09 PM PST by Celtman (It's never right to do wrong to do right.)
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To: Celtman
So, how many got it right?

Most of them usually did. I should tell you that it was open-book. I always gave open-book on the tests involving the Constitution, because it was in the back of their textbooks, and this way they HAD to look things up. I also made the 2nd amendement and 10th amendment as possible choices to be sure that they read those!

I found that being an adjunct instructor gave me a wee bit more flexibility.

12 posted on 11/24/2004 7:43:34 PM PST by GoBucks2002
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To: RepCath

bump for later!

13 posted on 11/24/2004 10:01:33 PM PST by lainde
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To: Pastnowfuturealpha

Let's do this then.

14 posted on 11/25/2004 9:13:29 AM PST by RepCath (Take it like a mandate)
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To: Mogollon

Most excellent.

15 posted on 11/25/2004 9:14:23 AM PST by RepCath (Take it like a mandate)
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To: RepCath

I would have preferred you used "the facts" instead of "the truth" in your title.

Everyone is entitled to their own truth, but there's only one set of facts.

16 posted on 11/25/2004 9:17:38 AM PST by Beckwith (John Kerry is now a kept man . . .)
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