The purpose of Our Conscience weblog is to facilitate a greater discussion and understanding of church and state separation in our community and in others. Underlying this is the value that each individual should be allowed to follow the dictates of his or her own conscience without influence, coercion, or direction from the State when it comes to matters of religion.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Garman: Jefferson’s letter

Our Conscience

A July 17 letter (“Phrase misused”) abused the court opinion in Reynolds v. U.S. That 1879 court unanimously declared that President Thomas Jefferson’s 1801 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut was acceptable as a “declaration of the scope and effect” of the First Amendment, which is why the court chose to use it.

No one who has done their homework says the words “church and state” are in the Constitution. However, it cannot be denied the word “religion” is in the Constitution, and it is a distortion to suggest “religion” does not include church.

Nevertheless, the Founding Father and member of the First Congress who personally helped write the First Amendment did use proper terminology when he wrote: “Strongly guarded ... is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States” (James Madison, “Detached Memoranda,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3:555).

Go to a university library and read it, or search for “Detached Memoranda” on the Internet.

Gene Garman

Pittsburg, Kan.

2 Comments:

Blogger haroldsr04ednelson said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:33 AM  
Blogger Seth said...

A bit off topic?

7:29 AM  

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