I find it strange that a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 would lead to the establishment clause, or the Separation of Church and State. It was not an official document, it was a letter. Much like the poem on the Statue of Liberty, somehow this became secular dogma.
Jefferson believed that our nation, unlike almost every other nation on earth, should not have an official church. His intention was to assure the Baptists that as the Constitution states, they have freedom OF religion. The government should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
To state that somehow Jefferson believed that faith was to be divorced from the person, or that public appeals to God were to be banished, is a gross misrepresentation. He used an appeal to our common faith in the Declaration of Independence, a document which, unlike his letter, is a foundational document agreed upon by the Continental Congress.
The battle over the concept of Freedom OF Religion vs. Freedom FROM Religion rages today. Does faith hold a place in public life? If faith is real, it is part of who they are on every level.
A person can separate their civic duties from their religious convictions. Any assumption otherwise, especially as people of faith and various denominations have demonstrated their civic convictions and abilities, reflects a tremendous bigotry.
It is these same bigots that scream the loudest about the separation of Church and State, who fight to remove God and faith from all public display. They are the same who applaud loudest when Obama moved to directly attack the faith of Roman Catholics with the weight of Federal mandate. The hypocrisy is glaringly clear.
Rick Santorum or any political figure can’t speak to his fellow believers on matters of a common faith without raising a red flag. He can’t hold personal religious convictions without having his faith ridiculed and being declared unfit, not because of his political stances, but because of his faith.
However, Obama can sit in a church with a black Father Flannery and misquote Jesus’ teachings on gifts to make a case for taxes, and there is no issue. He can directly attack fundamental beliefs of the largest religious denomination in the world, clearly violating the First Amendment and the separation of Church and State.
Our government bends over backward to apologize to Muslims, the same who are now killing our soldiers, but attacking the faith of most Americans is a non-issue. We can’t have the Ten Commandments displayed, or prayer in school, but we will consider Sharia Law, or allow Muslim prayer areas in public schools and universities.
Our media thinks twice before ridiculing Islam but regularly mocks Christianity.
83% of Americans identify themselves as Christian, but they are to have no rights and be pushed out of the public arena? Their psychology is to be questioned or their loyalty to our nation doubted.
We are told we are in the post-Christian era, that we are not a Christian nation.
I wonder what letter Jefferson would say today. I’m sure this was not his intent.