The Myth of Separation of Church and State
by Paul Kramer
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Today, our culture groans under the weight of a catastrophic Supreme Court decision made years ago. Its tentacles reach into every sector of our lives, public and private. It is literally dividing us and tearing our nation and our heritage apart.
I am talking about the concept of the separation of Church and State as practiced in our country.
Many wonder how we got here when we see from our early history the intimate relationship between the Church and the government. In fact, early on in our history, we see pastors even setting up governmental and legal systems using Christian principles.
So what happened?
In 1947, a little known pivotal event occured that 60 years later would lead to an anti-Christian fervor and backlash never before seen in our country.
In that year in the case of Everson vs Board of Education, the Court made a curious ruling that the intent of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment was to build a "wall" that would separate the Church from the government.
This was the same Court that in 1892, 1932, and in 1947, after extensive review of founding documents, declared that this was a Christian nation.
But now the court overturned 150 years of decisions.
The court based this decision on an interpretation of an obscure letter from Thos Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Church. The Church staff was worried that the new Constitution might create a federal denomination. Of course, this was the very reason they had left Europe. Jefferson wrote back and said not to worry that the 1st Amenedment prohibited the government from interfering with the Church.
This Court misconstrued and twisted his words and the rest is history. Due to the diligence of several organizations, this concept has been forced down our collective throats.
There are many problems with this ruling. First the Establishment Clause never mentions separate, Church or State. It merely prohibits the government from establishing a national denomination and prohibits the federal government from interfering with the expression of religion anywhere.
Secondly, Jefferson should not be used as an expert on the Constitution as he neither helped draft it or signed it as he was in France at the time.
Further, he enacted a number of laws that united Church and State:
* Includsed prayer in his Inaugurals
* Signed bills appropriating government money to evangelize Indians
* Advocated that taxes go to support William and Mary college, a religious school.
* Added paid Chaplains to the federal payroll for Congress
So much for Jefferson's separation of Church and State beliefs!!
This heinous decision needs to be reevaluated by the Court and overturned.
In the meantime, as Christians we must redouble our efforts to do all we can to advance His Kingdom!
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