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Tearing Down The "Wall"
of Separation of Church and State
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
-- Ronald Reagan, Berlin, June 12, 1987
Of all the "separation of church and state" web sites we've seen, one stands out as the least belligerent and most systematic: The Separation of Church and State Home Page. Our purpose on this page is to link together the pages on that site with pages on ours which answer their claims.
The positive case for America as a Theocratic ("under God") "Christian nation" is found here. If you haven't already checked out that series of links, please do so now. That page makes it almost impossible to believe in the modern "separation of church and state" myth
This page is more negative; a rebuttal of a pro-separation site. On the left are links to the pages of the The Separation of Church and State Home Page. On the right are links to our answers. If there is no link we're working on it, but would appreciate your help.
"We are concerned that this principle is under attack by the religious right."
|Why did they REALLY create their home
The religious right does NOT attack the principle as it is defined by the Humanists; only the hidden agenda of the Secularists.
"[W]e think the religious right is wrong."
we, and why did we bother to rebut their home page?
We think the religious right is not Theocratic enough.
||What do they REALLY mean by "separation of church and state?"|
||The origin of the phrase is not nearly as important as the origin of the concept.|
|This is true. As Russell Kirk (The Roots of American Order,
"The First Amendment established no "wall of separation" between State and Church; that phrase and that concept appear nowhere in the Constitution, or in any other official national document. Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, wrote a letter to an assembly of Baptists in which he argued that the First Amendment was intended to construct "a wall of separation between Church and State." But though doubtless that is what Jefferson desired from the First Amendment, it is by no means what Congressand particularly the Senatehad in mind when it passed the Amendment in 1789; nor was the phrase "wall of separation" employed by Madison or any other notable advocate of the Amendment."
|Jefferson is virtually the only person that separationists ever cite, because he was an outspoken critic of corrupt clergy. His remarks are easily taken out of context. People like Benjamin Rush, Sam Adams, (the list goes on), are never cited by separationists, because their anti-separationist statements are so clear as to be impossible to misunderstand. Nevertheless, nobody in the Religious right disagrees with anything this separationist page quotes Jefferson as saying .|
||Does a firefighter want to eliminate fire from public buildings? Follow the siren here.|
||To impose a Secular Humanist agenda, what else?|
|The "Religious Right" has never said anything about forming a national church. They have spoken about becoming more consistent with our national motto, which says we are a nation that trusts God, and is "under God." Here we see the hidden agenda of the separationists: a war on God.|
|13||An overview of the debate.|
|24||The Case for Separation of Church and State|
|42||What the Founders believed about separation.|
||Why is George Washington missing from this list?
Why is Roger Sherman missing from this list?
Why has Charles Pinckney been added to this list?
|68||John Q. Adams|
|84||Answering the religious right.|
|85||1. The phrase "separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution.|
|86||2. Jefferson's "separation of church and state" letter was hastily written and does not accurately represent Jefferson's view of church and state.|
|89||3. Thomas Jefferson actually said that the wall of separation between Church and State is "one-directional."|
|91||4. Jefferson's Danbury letter was written mearly to assure Connecticut Baptists that the Constitution did not permit the establishment of a national denomination.|
|95||5. Jefferson's Danbury letter was written mearly to address the Danbury Baptists' fears that the First Amendment might be misinterpreted.|
|99||6. Jefferson's letter to Benjamin Rush shows that Jefferson was a non-preferentialist.|
|100||7. Thomas Jefferson supported Bible reading in school; this is proven by his service as the first president of the Washington D. C. public schools, which used the Bible and Watt's Hymns as textbooks for reading.|
|102||8. Federal officials take their oaths upon a Bible, and use the words "so help me God."|
|103||9. The Northwest Ordinance proves that the First Amendment did not separate church and state.|
|109||10. The Supreme Court has declared that the United States is a Christian nation.||Read the opinion of the Court|
|110||11. Depictions of Moses and the 10 Commandments are featured prominently in the Supreme Court Building; this proves that the founders had no intention of separating Church and State.|
|114||12. The Constitution is based on the Bible. This is proven by the frequency with which the founding fathers quote the Bible in their political writings.|
|115||13. Montesquieu based his theory of separation of powers on Isaiah 33:22 and Jeremiah 17:9.|
|116||14.As a general matter, the Constitution embodies the principles of Christianity and the 10 Commandments.|
|120||Misquoting by the religious right.|
|121||1. Did Madison ever say that our future is staked on the 10 commandments?|
|122||2. Did Madison ever say that religion is the foundation of government?|
|123||3. Did the Supreme Court of New York, in an 1811 decision, ever say that the First Amendment was "never meant to withdraw religion...from all consideration and notice of the law?"|
|124||4. Did Supreme Court justice and early legal historian Joseph Story every say that, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, there was near universal consensus that "christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state?"|
|125||5. Did John Quincy Adams ever say that the American Revolution "connected in one indissoluable bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity?"|
|126||An alleged case of misquoting by Separationists:|
|127||Does the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli say that "The Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion?"|
||School prayer is not legal; secret, "individual" prayer in schools might possibly be, unless a teacher rules it to be a "disruption." The Founders believed in public CORPORATE school prayer and national prayer, not just secret individual prayer. There is secret individual prayer in a Soviet Gulag.|
|129||1. What would a school prayer amendment do?|
|130||2. Is government-sponsored prayer needed?|
|136||3. Is government-sponsored prayer Constitutional?|
|137||4. Will a school prayer amendment work?|
|139||1. What are school vouchers?|
|140||2. Are school vouchers needed?|
|143||3. Are school vouchers constitutional (this is long, but well worth reading)|
|144||4. Will school vouchers work?|
|145||Important Establishment Clause cases.|
|Standards for adjudicating establishment clause cases:|
|146||Everson v. Board of Education|
|147||The Lemon Test|
|148||The Endorsement Test|
|149||pervasively sectarian institutions|
|150||indirect vs. direct aid|
|The establishment clause and education:|
|151||prayer in schools|
|153||A Table of Establishment Clause Cases Dealing with Public Education.|
|154||Some timely articles.|
|155||Patricia King has written a powerful article on legal discrimination still faced by non-believers in America. It's an interesting counterpoint to the claims of the religious right that non-belief is ascendent in the public square.|
|156||Have you ever wondered what can happen when a member of the religious right assumes a position of judicial authority? Deborah Arias found out firsthand when her New York divorce and custody case was assigned to a judge sympathetic to the religious right. Read about it in a essay I've entitled "A close encounter with the religious right."|
|157||Is Halloween an attempt to instill satanism in the schools? That's what some people in the religious right want you to believe. This article by W. J. Bethancourt looks at the content of some religious right literature on Halloween and exposes its historical and logical fallacies.|
|158||Charles Levendosky is an editorial writer for the Casper Wyoming Star-Tribune. This editorial is a scathing indictment of the religious equality amendment now circulating in Congress (he's promised to send us more on religious liberty themes when he writes about them).|
|Important separationist documents.|
|160||Historial separationist documents:|
|161||Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom|
|162||Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments|
|163||Benjamin F. Underwood's The Practical Separation of Church and State|
|164||Recent documents on religious liberty:|
|165||Religion and the Public Schools: A Joint Statement of Current Law.|
|166||Bill Clinton's memorandum on Religious Expression in the Public Schools (based on the Joint Statement, above; linked from the First Amendment Cyber-Tribune website).|
|167||A Parent's Guide to Religion in the Public Schools (linked from the First Amendment Cyber-Tribune website).|
|168||Religious Holidays in the Public Schools: Questions and Answers (linked from the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs website).|
|169||A collection of Articles on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (linked from the Christian Science Committee on Publication website)||RFRA is dead meat.|
|170||Some links of importance|
Was Reagan duped by "perestroika?"