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Separation of Church and State an Invention of the KKK, not Jefferson

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Many people cite Jefferson for the “wall of separation” doctrine regarding religious matters and its relationship to the state. This interpretation is novel and interesting, but unconvincing. (At the founding the official state church of Massachusetts was Puritanism and that was A-OK). The real development of this doctrine was in the 1940s as a part of sweeping anti-Catholic bias of the KKK (they didn’t just go after blacks, after all).

The phrase found its first use in the opinion of the court written by Klansman Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in Everson v. the Board of Education. This ruling specifically targeted Catholic schools as he was worried about a coup from Catholics.

I wonder if the ACLU realizes that they generally defend a KKK invented legal doctrine that was used as a part of religious discrimination.

From Ravings of John C. A. Bambenek

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About John Bambenek

John Bambenek is a political activist and computer security expert. He has his own company Bambenek Consulting in Champaign, IL that specializes in digital forensics and computer security investigations.
  • wahoo

    “wall of seperation”?

    No.

    “wall of separation”

    Proper spelling is important.

  • Maurice

    If you think that is funny (odd) read the “Pink Swastika”.

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Let me ask a serious question here. We tend to demonize the KKK for their inherent bigotry and machine of hate. But truth be told, have we in America come that far? Are we truly a blind society when it comes to race? It seems to me that we’re great at talking the talk but when it comes to walking the walk, we suck. I honestly believe that we need to look at ourselves as a society and face facts. We haven’t evolved all that much when it comes to racial tolerance. Instead of demonizing the ACLU for defending the KKK’s right to spew hate, we should be looking at ourselves.

    Jefferson had a very interesting approach to Christianity. Once again, Americans deify their forefathers without looking at the whole picture. Jefferson was a slave owner, misogynist and overall chauvinist. That being said, he was a typical American in his day except when it came to the matter of Christ. Instead of interpreting the Bible as the absolute Truth, he focused more on Christ’s words and parables.

  • Nancy

    All of the Jefferson & Randolph clans were superior at mental gymnastics. Look at Cousin John R…made Tom look like a piker.

  • http://www.thebmrant.com Matt

    John–have you taken the time to read Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, where the term “separation of church and state” is derived from? Jefferson makes a clear link between the constitution and separation of church and state. Take some time to think out your ideas for more than 2 minutes after they hit you, instead of some ill-conceived, hit and run, half post. Calling it a KKK invented legal doctrine shows how ill-deserving your work is of respect.

    Here is the letter–

    “Gentlemen, ? 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, and 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 and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and 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 and State. 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 and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.”

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    So. Did Jefferson expressly say that a prayer could not be said at a public function? I’m playing Devil’s advocate here. The Constitution states, �make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.� Does saying a common prayer at a public gathering establish a religion? Does the prohibition of a public school student from singing a religious hymn in a school variety show constitute a violation of his/her Constitutional rights in freely exercising his/her religion?

    There is such a thing as common sense and that cannot be legislated. There can never be the establishment of a state Church. That we are guaranteed. But we are not prohibited from expressing our religious beliefs so long as it does not infringe on the right of another individual. We’ve become a society that’s so busy parsing words that we’ve lost all sense of reason. Have we devolved to the point where we have to have nine men and women dressed in black robes decide every issue for us?

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Unbolding thread.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    Silas – the govt is constantly trying to legislate common sense…you know helmet laws…seat belt laws…

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    How can the government legislate that which its officials fail to possess? For that matter how can we elect officials with common sense when we don’t even use it when casting our votes?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    Fair enough Silas!

  • HW Saxton

    Nancy, What exactly is a “Piker”? I’ve have heard the term used many times in books.Mainly used in hard boiled crime novels from the 30’s and 40’s ?

  • Nancy

    Good grief! I must be outdated. I’ve always heard it used to describe someone (it’s always been used in my hearing in ref. to persons, not things) looking like a amateur when compared with someone extremely talented or outrageously brazen in something, OR it can mean someone who mooches, borrows money & doesn’t pay it back, stiffs people, etc. – but in a minor way. My sister promised to let me wear her sweater, but she reneged; she’s such a piker.

  • HW Saxton

    You’re probably not outdated Nancy. It’s
    just a regional slang thang most likely.
    I appreciate the answer all the same.

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    Even if the rule of separation of Church and State does stem from the KKK like John claims, this doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a good idea in its current usage. Just because something might have its roots in prejudice, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be transformed and used towards the public good. If anything, invoking separation of Church and State undermines the supposed original intentions that John claims, so it really ends up subverting the discrimination behind it rather than supporting it.

    Having said that, I still think this is a load of crap. I’ve seen plenty of evidence against John’s claim, but not very much for it except for this book, but who would trust a guy named Hamburger? Besides, his theories seem to be fairly off-base with what the majority of the intellectual population holds true. I’d have to read the book to really get a firm grasp of his ideas, but it seems to me more like right-wing religious fanaticism rather than real historical analysis. It seems to me that many “myth”-busting books like this (from either the far right or far left) already have a predetermined outcome in mind when beginning their research, so the results can always be twisted in the author’s favor.

  • http://www.thebmrant.com Matt

    Thanks Silas–I’m hoping my comment can be unbolded as well. Damn html.

    My issue is not with an absolute separation of church and state. I am fine with prayers being said at a public gathering. I am fine with “Under God”. My issue is with calling the desire to keep the 2 institutions from bleeding into each other some type of KKK policy.

  • Nancy

    Interestingly (at least for me), Alexis de Toqueville found in his travels & commentaries that strict separation of church & state actually made for a more flourishing religious scene.

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    […] Alexis de Toqueville found in his travels & commentaries that strict separation of church & state actually made for a more flourishing religious scene.

    This is interesting, and not all too surprising, really. I think what most Christians who battle against the wall of separation seem to forget is that interaction between Church and State can go both ways. The Church may infiltrate the State to some extent (Ten Commandments in Court Houses, prayer in school, etc.) but the State can also declare official State-sanctioned religions and ban the practice of those they disagree with. It seems to me that it would be worth giving up the whole Ten-Commandments-in-the-Courthouse battle in favor of complete relgious freedom, but then what do I know?

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    No Christian I know is battling against the wall. We’d just like to be able to practice our religion.

    For instance, many schools ban KIDS from having Bible studies and such. That’s not state endorsement, that’s individual action.

    I’d like school vouchers, not because I want to fund religious schools, but because I’d like the freedom to choose what school I want to send my kids.

    We come from a Judeo-Christian heritage. Our entire jurisprudence comes from that. It’s evolved a long way, sure, but there are still portions of law that are taken almost verbatim out of Catholic texts. Judges were black robes because of that influence and the fact that most judges tended to be clerics back then.

    Is the Republic going to collapse because of a 10 Commandments display which is out of all THREE of the major monotheistic religions?

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    You might come from a Judeo-Christian heritage – I don’t – are you saying you’re a true American, and I’m not?

    The Republic has collapsed – it’s an Empire – didn’t you watch Episode III?:)

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    For instance, many schools ban KIDS from having Bible studies and such. That’s not state endorsement, that’s individual action.

    It is funny how we can say, ‘no religious groups doing their thing on publicly funded property and on the public dime’ and the athiests get it. The Jewish people get it. Muslims get it. Buddhists get it. EVERYBODY gets it but Christians who say ‘our faith is under attack! We cannot pray in publicly funded areas, we are being persecuted!’

    (and this is NOT being sarcastic but deadly serious).

    Kids are not having their faith supressed because they cannot pray in room 101 after school. They can go to the park and all sit under a shady tree and be even closer to God that way. Think about it. Duh.

    Not all Christians, but there are clearly millions of them who are just nutjobs.

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    No Christian I know is battling against the wall.

    Look at the title of your post:

    Separation of Church and State an Invention of the KKK

    This looks pretty much like an attempt to discredit or defame the Separation of Church and State doctrine to me. If that’s not “battling the wall,” I’m not sure what is. I have no problem with you practicing your religion. I also have no problem with you doing it in school. I think if schools are seriously banning kids from having Bible studies like you’re claiming, that’s wrong and should be stopped. My high school had a Christian group which was recognized by the school – it had a photo in the yearbook and everything – and I come from what would probably be considered a relatively liberal New England suburb. This same school, however, has no place putting up the Ten Commandments on the wall. It may not cause the Republic to collapse, but it has no place on public property.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Bryan –

    Let me rephrase, we aren’t trying to get rid of the wall and establish a theocracy much like some people seem to think.

    And it depends on why the 10 commandments are up there… as a teaching tool, probably not so good. But that’s why I think school choice solves that problem. You get a voucher, go wherever you want. Want a Christian-influenced school, that’s fine. Want a school that’s secular, that’s fine too. Then all the bitching back and forth stops.

    Aaman –

    This country was founded on those influences. That’s not to say we were founded on the Bible, but to pretend that there is no connection with Christianity and our culture is absurd. Do you work on Dec 25th? No? It isn’t some winter god pagan holiday we celebrate.

    Steve –

    Apparently you haven’t read the First Amendment… what part of the Amendment suggests the government has the authority to suppress the time and place people can practice their religion?

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    With all due respect, John:
    No Christian I know is battling against the wall. We’d just like to be able to practice our religion.

    Christians are free to practice their religion. Then the envelope gets pushed when one tries to outdo the other. I think that this supposed battle to eradicate God for all things secular would somehow lose its fire if all sides used a little common sense.

    For instance, many schools ban KIDS from having Bible studies and such. That’s not state endorsement, that’s individual action. I’d like school vouchers, not because I want to fund religious schools, but because I’d like the freedom to choose what school I want to send my kids.

    I don’t see a problem with kids having a Bible study class on their own time on school property so long as all children are allowed to have some type of time to do the same with respect to their own religion.

    I also believe strongly in a parent’s right to choose what school their child shall attend. That being said, however, I do not agree that parents should be reimbursed for having the good fortune to send their child to a private school. Public education is guaranteed for all children regardless of race, class, etc. Once a school district takes away from the public sector to assist a parent in sending their child to a private school, those families who are not in an economic position to make these decisions suffer. There has to be a level playing field. That’s fairness. That’s common sense.

    As I noted in my post about Senator Santorum, he had his children cyber schooled at a cost of $70,000 to the local school district. That’s the salary of a good teacher. That’s a lot of school supplies. That’s not fair to those who are unable to have the blessings he has. When you hear a politician talk about no child left behind or changing the education system, take a look where their children are schooled. It is the right of a parent to decide where his/her child should go to school. But it is also the right of the electorate to know what decisions candidates make with regard to their own family. Senator Santorum opened Pandora’s box, it’s time Pennsylvanians answered him at the ballot box.

    We come from a Judeo-Christian heritage. Our entire jurisprudence comes from that. It’s evolved a long way, sure, but there are still portions of law that are taken almost verbatim out of Catholic texts. Judges were black robes because of that influence and the fact that most judges tended to be clerics back then.

    Our jurisprudence is an amalgam of religion, religious revolt and a movement toward secularism. What fundamentalists are trying to do is turn back the hands of time to the 1600’s. This is a dangerous approach. Our soldiers are dying every day in a land where religious freedom is not enjoyed. To try and inflict religion on Americans is a direct rebuke of those fine men and women. Catholicism’s role in the development of English Law is subject to debate. The Magna Carta was forged because of opressive royal rule and a Vatican that was totally corrupt. The founding fathers were not papists so they had a vested interest in assuring that the Church would have no formal role in government. You see, John, the founding fathers didn’t suffer from sound bytes and short memories. They were still feeling the effects of an oppressive Church and royal Court.

    There are those Americans who insist on calling America a Christian Nation. I suggest that these people look toward Scripture to prove their contention. A country founded by extermination of natives, exploitation of slaves and a lust for greed is more the handy work of Satan than Christ. It’s time all of us, myself included, stepped down from the pulpit and started doing those things we need to do to put this country back on track.

    Is the Republic going to collapse because of a 10 Commandments display which is out of all THREE of the major monotheistic religions?

    No the republic won’t collapse over a bas relief on the walls of the Supreme Court. Our collapse will come about from something much simpler — our own false sense of entitlement.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    There is a difference between paying for any private school and school vouchers. Public schools would get the amount of the voucher like anyone else. But that amount is a fixed amount so if you want to send you kids to a posh school, you can.

    But the point is public schools do teach things that are at odds with what parents want, and there is CONSTANT fighting in almost every school in this country because some people simply don’t have a choice but to fight the schools if they don’t like what they are doing.

    Inner city schools are horrendously pisspoor. Those families can’t afford anything else without working 3 jobs. Many will do just that to avoid writing off their kids to imbecility because the schools refuse to teach.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    what part of the Amendment suggests the government has the authority to suppress the time and place people can practice their religion?

    what part of the entire American ideology says that I have to spend my taxpayer dollars for you to further your religion and feel closer to God?

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    You get a voucher, go wherever you want. Want a Christian-influenced school, that’s fine. Want a school that’s secular, that’s fine too.

    The jury is still out on vouchers for me. I understand the logic of what you’re saying, but I’m not sure how I feel about my tax dollars supporting a religious school. Why can’t public education just be improved across the board, reducing the benefits of private schools, and leave religious education to extra-curricular time? I have no problem with you wanting your kids to get a religious education, but it doesn’t feel like that education should be subsidized by the government.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Care to respond to #19, John – the first part, I mean

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    Aaman – he did respond.

    “This country was founded on those influences. That’s not to say we were founded on the Bible, but to pretend that there is no connection with Christianity and our culture is absurd. Do you work on Dec 25th? No? It isn’t some winter god pagan holiday we celebrate.”

    It was contained in the cluster of a few responses a ways back, so I can understand how you missed it.

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    Oh, never mind, I got you…

    Now I feel dumb.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Ah – that’s ok

    It is a winter god pagan holiday, though:)

  • ClubhouseCancer

    Mr. Bambanek’s post’s contention, that the separation doctrine comes from the KKK, not from Jefferson, has been thoroughly disproven (Comment 5).
    Mr. Bambanek has since made two posts about a different, albiet related topic.
    I’d like to see him retract his title contention explicitly or offer some countering evidence rather than change the subject. Otherwise, to me, he has no credibility on the topic.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    apparently credibility runs second to promoting agenda.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Outright falsehood in a blowhard’s headline?

    Where have we seen this before?

    Distortion and lying is no better from right-wing blowhards than from left-wing blowhards.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    who’s the left wing Victor? You linked to yet another right winger’s falsehood.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Yes, I know. Both examples are right-wingers. I didn’t say the other example was from the left wing. Just that these examples give these right-wingers little cause to celebrate their claimed moral superiority over the hypothetical left-wing liars they enjoy railing against.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Steve-

    What part of praying during lunch has to do with your tax dollars?

    Aaman-

    I’m not going to acknowledge your troll.

    Clubhouse –

    The first time the phrase was used in the courts as it is used today was by a Klansman. That is true.

    Bryan-

    The problem is accountability. The public schools have no incentive to change. Their funding has gone up well above inflation for the past 50 years and the results have been declining standards. The solution of throwing more money at it isn’t working. Competition surely will. Deliver results or close down.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    What part of praying during lunch has to do with your tax dollars?

    If a person sits there silently and has a conversation with their God? Nothing.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    John,

    You’re the one who’s trolling here – making blanket statements and assertions then failing to back them up.

    Snort!

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    I realize that without some sort of motivation – whether from external or internal souces – is necessary to get the public school system into shape. As a public school survivor myself, I know as well as anybody that our education system is in a sorry state. The problem I have, however, is if the competition comes from a religious school that is treated with the same degree of funding as a public school. The State shouldn’t be sponsoring religious education.

  • wahoo

    I can personally attest that public schools were far superior at educating when the school day began with a prayer right out of the New Testament and readings right out of both the Old Testament and New Testament.

    Unfortunately, too many prefer mediocre education to any religious involvement in the process.

    It was predicted in 1964 that taking prayer out of public schools would have a negative impact — and it did.

    Happy?

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    I refuse to believe that a prayer at the beginning of the day had an impact on the quality of education. I’d ask for some sort of empirical data to back up that absurdity, but I doubt you have any.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S (subbing for Tinkerbell)

    I refuse to believe that a prayer at the beginning of the day had an impact on the quality of education

    just clap your hands together and say I believe! Anything is possible if you just believe!

  • wahoo

    How about — it was predicted in 1964 that — whether coincidental or not — taking prayer out of public schools would have a negative impact — and it did.

    The empirical data to back up that absurdity is all around you — just look for it.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    up to the one that Postulates an axiom to prove it

    you want ot evangelize, do your own homework

    Excelsior!

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    Who made this prediction? I’d like to see some citations here. Not to mention the fact that there are so many confounding variables that the removal of prayer from the classroom could probably never be singled out statistically as a major cause of the decline in the public school system. More reasonable arguments might be overcrowding, teacher shortages, increased reliance on standardized testing, poor funding for inner city schools, and the recent “no child left behind” act.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Our educational system has improved greatly since the 1960s when our literacy rate was about 60%. Contrast that with today’s 97% literacy rate.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    yeah, let me guess what agenda that 3% is out trying to promote.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    I don’t know about that 3%, but I have studied 20th century American history extensively and simply cannot abide it when some folks insist that we are worse off today than we were 40-50 years ago.

    Why is it that so many people believe that we are a nation in decline when we haven’t even gotten close to the peak of our ascendency yet?

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    because they see it as their faith is in decline and they cannot make a distinction between the two?

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    I didn’t mean to make the assumption that the school system has declined. Not having been around in the 1960s, I certainly don’t have the benefit of comparison. Having been in a public school recently, however, I’ll be the first to tell you that they’re pretty flawed. This doesn’t mean they aren’t better than the education available in most of the world, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work towards higher standards. I was simply trying to argue that prayer in schools had no marked benefit on the public school system. I don’t have the data to argue anything else.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    This article is now a conscious lie. Before comments #5, #31, and #36, it was possible to explain its falsehood away by claiming simple ignorance on the part of its author. Now that the author has been informed of its falsehood, and continues to claim it is true, it cannot be described as anything less than a deliberate lie.

    Of course Jefferson did not write any citation of the principle as it appears in twentieth century legal precedents. That’s because Jefferson died in the nineteenth century. And of course Jefferson did not write it into any opinions for Supreme Court decisions, because Jefferson was never a Supreme Court justice.

    With these lame excuses utterly demolished by the facts of history, Thomas Jefferson emerges as a prominent figure who praised the concept of “a wall of separation between church and state” more than a century prior to the so-called “invention” of it claimed in Bambenek’s deliberately false and misleading article.

    The truth is the exact opposite of what this article claims.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    If only the truth would stop more ravings…

  • wahoo

    The so-called “wall of separation between church and state” — is a wall of hot air that came into existence 200 years after the wall supposedly was built.

    Some “wall.”

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Victor, have you not read John’s posts before? This is his modus operandi.

    Look at his article about Media Bias where he illustrates the unfairness when one article identifies a Mass. Democrat by his party once and in a longer article by a different reporter for a different news service identifies Tom DeLay as a Republican twice. He failed to deal with any legitimate questions raised.

    I’m not sure why it’s acceptable other than it’s too much work for an editor to keep track of, but if you feel so strongly, I recommend you register your complaint with the proper BC authorities.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    wahoo, scroll up and read the Jefferson quote in comment #5

    then try again

    Excelsior!

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Thomas Jefferson disagrees with you, “wahoo.” He saw the wall between church and state as an inherent component of the first amendment to our constitution.

    And for all his human flaws, I find Jefferson a more credible source on that subject than you can ever hope to be.

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    I can personally attest that public schools were far superior at educating when the school day began with a prayer right out of the New Testament and readings right out of both the Old Testament and New Testament.

    And I can personally attest that prayer in school had absolutely no bearing on the quality (or lack therof) of the education I received, and I attended school during both time periods.

    I have no idea what state you were educated in, wahoo, but I’ve never heard of a school where they did actual Bible readings in class. Where I come from, we said the Lord’s prayer, and that was it. The Catholic kids ended it after the “deliver us from evil” part, the Protestant kids went on to do the “thine is the kingdom” part, and the one Jewish kid in my school was left wondering what the hell we were all doing. The educational experience was either good or mediocre depending on the teacher and seemed to have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not a prayer was said.

    If prayer is an important way for some to begin the day, why don’t families pray together in the morning? And if families are doing that, why do kids need to pray again when they get to school? And if kids want to pray, what in the world is preventing them from praying silently to themselves?

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Steve, some people might relate their feelings of their faith being in decline — when it is not, really — with the whole of society. But this is yet another pessimistic myth of modern society because over 70% of Americans identify themselves as Christians and church attendance has been up lately.

    Except for how it is becoming increasingly difficult for folks of average or better intelligence to maintain a sincere belief in a literal interpretation of the Scriptures without the intentional avoidance of new knowledge, I simply do not see any evidence of a decline in faith — especially when there is so much evidence to the contrary.

    Bryan, I was actually responding to wahoo’s comment #40, “It was predicted in 1964 that taking prayer out of public schools would have a negative impact — and it did.”

    Indeed, our school system has its flaws, but we do have a 97% literacy rate, which is way up from the 60% literacy rate of the 1960s. However, I do agree that this is no reason to become complacent as there is still much room for improvement.

    Now everyone, I am curious about why some people are so insistent that a separation between church and state does not exist (personally, I believe that it does and it is a very good thing) and why they think it would be a such bad thing if it did.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    ..:::silently thanks Bog and JuJu that Margaret is back:::..

    Excelsior!

  • wahoo

    Gonzo:

    If Jefferson was so adamant about having a “wall of separation” — why did these words not get into the Constitution?

    Could it be that he was not the only one involved in its creation — and that a “wall of separation” was not acceptable to the other signers?

    I don’t know what the others had to say at the time — but I do know what all agreed to and signed — and there is no “wall”.

    “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.”

    I don’t see a “wall”.

    Gonzo — Do you see a “wall”?

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    yep, i do

    “establishment of religion”

    sez so right on the label

    if you place ANY religion within an Institution of the Government, you are “establishing” it

    Jefferson > wahoo

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • wahoo

    Jefferson was not the only signer of the US Constitution.

    And note that the US Constitution was signed in the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven.

    The year of our Lord?

    Which Lord might that be?

    Can that be the Christian Lord?

    No, No — the “wall” would keep him out.

    The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
    done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,
    GO WASHINGTON–President. and deputy from Virginia
    [Signed also by the deputies of twelve States.]
    Delaware
    Geo: Read
    Gunning Bedford jun
    John Dickinson
    Richard Bassett
    Jaco: Broom
    Maryland
    James MCHenry
    Dan of ST ThoS. Jenifer
    DanL Carroll.
    Virginia
    John Blair–
    James Madison Jr.
    North Carolina
    WM Blount
    RichD. Dobbs Spaight.
    Hu Williamson
    South Carolina
    J. Rutledge
    Charles 1ACotesworth Pinckney
    Charles Pinckney
    Pierce Butler.
    Georgia
    William Few
    Abr Baldwin
    New Hampshire
    John Langdon
    Nicholas Gilman
    Massachusetts
    Nathaniel Gorham
    Rufus King
    Connecticut
    WM. SamL. Johnson
    Roger Sherman
    New York
    Alexander Hamilton
    New Jersey
    Wil: Livingston
    David Brearley.
    WM. Paterson.
    Jona: Dayton
    Pennsylvania
    B Franklin
    Thomas Mifflin
    RobT Morris
    Geo. Clymer
    ThoS. FitzSimons
    Jared Ingersoll
    James Wilson.
    Gouv Morris
    Attest William Jackson Secretary

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    again, your point?

    do you have some Quote from ANY of these men that denies that there is such a separation?

    here’s an Idea..click on Margaret’s name and scoep out her blog..i’m fairly certain she gets into this exact topic much better than i can

    yet she does it from the side of a devout Christian and utilizes a Logic so sharp it would make a Jesuit blush

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • wahoo

    Quotes from other signers is clearly shown in the final wording of the Constitution.

    So gonzo thinks “wall of separation” is the same as “establishment of religion”.

    No so. The “establishment of religion” was intended to keep the Church of England from remaining as the official church in the new country. It is manifestly obvious that there was no intent by the signers of the Constitution to deny such practices as prayer in public schools.

    The “wall of separation” — a phrase which atheists and fellow travelers have latched onto to bolster their cause, as been misconstrued — but it is all they have to hang onto.

    Sorry that’s all you have.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    sorry, i have much more

    my Argument also has the law of the land as ruled on by the Supreme Court

    so, wrong again

    wahoo sez..
    *It is manifestly obvious*

    wrong again

    who are you trying to convnice with the whole “atheist and fellow traveler” bit?

    JuJu, may the Light of Reason glow form his mighty tusks, is a very nice “god” and i am far from the kind of “communist” you seem to be attempting to imply with the “fellow traveler” bit

    wrong twice more

    but you keep trying your dittohead tactics…i’m fairly certain you are amusing someone out there

    but i don’t think you are convinceing anyone

    nuff said

    Excelsior!

  • Nick Jones

    “Do you work on Dec 25th? No? It isn’t some winter god pagan holiday we celebrate.”

    Actually, it was, and still is for Wiccans. Not that exact date, but whichever day the Winter Solstice fell on. It was a celebration of when the days stopped getting shoter and began to grow longer. It was co-opted by the Church, just as Easter (Ostara) was.

    This thread reminds me very much of what a critic wrote about the book published in the last year or so by David Limbaugh (brother of Rush), that claimed that Christians were being discriminated against in the US (“Victimology: it’s not just for minorities any more!). The critic wrote that if everything in the book were true, it never would have gotten published.

  • wahoo

    I feel so victimized that I must retire and get my daily rest

    Stay tuned.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Maybe some time away will help us all realize we’d be better off to stop feeding the trolls.

  • Marcia L. Neil

    Actually I believe that a body of water is involved, and the same way that the Gulf of Mexico continues to have the shape of a human head, Martha’s Vineyard is slowly being separated from the mainland.

  • Nick Jones

    Actually, the Gulf of Mexico has the outline of a large, crashed meteorite.

    O, uh, never mind…

  • Anonymous

    Not a single source, and not a single word of rebuttal to the FACT that Thomas Jefferson DID mention separation of church and state.