f The Wittenberg Door: Thought of the Day: Separation of Church and State

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thought of the Day: Separation of Church and State

If we are to use the term “separation between Church & State,” we must do so honestly, remaining faithful to the original context: Thomas Jefferson was writing to Baptists who were being persecuted by an officially Congregationalist state government. Thus, he was not calling for a wall that protected the government from the church, but the church from the government. Something to keep in mind when discussing this issue.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Dr. James Willingham said...

As a descendant and successor to Baptists who were the ones more than any one else responsible for freedom of religion, I feel a great deal of trepidation at the thought of our political leaders talking about freedom to worship rather than freedom of religion. The author has astutely noted where the wall was placed and, by implication, where it was displaced by the Supreme Court years ago. The end result could be be more costly than we ever imagined.

2:10 PM  
Blogger The Wittenberg Door said...

Good point, Dr. Willingham. Something else to consider is that we should use the Constitutionally-faithful phrase "non-establishment clause." By using it instead of "separation of church and state" we keep clear of the modern notion of "separation" and set the groundwork to talk about what the Founding Fathers had in mind: that congress may not establish a state church, nor infringe upon the citizens' right to excercise their relgious freedoms as they see fit.

3:29 PM  

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