Letter: Offers info on debateLast week, once again, a badly misinformed reader repeated the lie that has literally changed the face of America over the last 60 years, when he circuitously accused me of “forcing religious views on him.”
By: Meredith Berg, North Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
Last week, once again, a badly misinformed reader repeated the lie that has literally changed the face of America over the last 60 years, when he circuitously accused me of “forcing religious views on him.”
Because, while the “separation of church and state” has been bandied around since l947, when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black first used it in writing the majority opinion in Everson v. Board of Education, it is found nowhere in our Constitution, nor any other of America’s founding documents.
The term itself was first used by Thomas Jefferson in a personal letter to the Danbury, Conn., Baptist Church in l801, when he was responding to their concerns about state involvement in religion.
The people in this church were concerned that the government would mandate that everyone belong to a state-run church, as was the case in the Church of England at the time or as we see today in Norway and Iceland (Lutheranism) or Mexico (Roman Catholic).
His letter didn’t have anything to say about limiting the public expression of religious expression, but was very concerned about the government’s interference in the public’s expression of their faith!
The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion; or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…” It’s really quite clear, for those who chose to read it!
However, for secularists hostile to Christianity in any form, who wish to erase all religion from the public square, it’s been twisted beyond even common sense, as when the Gideons are forbidden to give free Bibles to Hudson school children or a display of the Ten Commandments cannot be allowed in public buildings!
Someone once said, “Repeat a lie often enough and soon it becomes ‘truth,’” which is what’s happened with this phrase. Those of us who believe in God and seek to live our lives according to his principles are negatively affected most.
For non-Christians to accuse me, or any other believer, of “forcing religious views on them” by wanting to see Christmas, Easter or Good Friday on a school calendar is just plain silly! Is acknowledging an historical day so threatening that you’re going to be harmed by this if you view those words?
As pop culture says, read the First Amendment, then “deal with it.”