The term, "Separation of Church and State.." was used by then President Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association. This was in a response to a letter they wrote to him. You can view both letters here.
The people that use the term, just show their ignorance. Frankly, it is a shame that people have not taken the time to read the U.S. Constitution.
I have read the U.S. Constitution from front to back, and I have not been able to find that statement ANYWHERE in it. Now, I understand that "some" people misinterpret the 1st amendment, or more likely, have heard other people use the term, those people having read Jefferson's letter. The EXACT wording of the 1st Amendment is as follows:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."As you can see, it says NOTHING about "Separation of Church and State." It does say that Congress shall make no law that would establish a "State religion." But, in case you haven't noticed, there are some people trying to do just that. Or should I say, there are people who are trying to establish a group of "State approved religions." Those who go around spouting the misnomer of "Judeo-Christian Ethics." THERE AIN'T NO SUCH THING!!!!!
And there AIN'T no such thing as "Separation of Church and State." At least, there shouldn't be, not legally since there is no legal statement for it. All there is, is interpretation. And IF that interpretation is based on Jefferson's letter, it's WRONG.
Now, if the term had been made part of the Constitution, there'd be no argument. Well, other than how much the statement should apply. In other words, if we assume for the moment that the term does apply, do we apply it to a father going to school to see his son, IF that father is also an ordained minister? If we do that, are we not trampling on HIS Civil Rights?
My PERSONAL opinion is, I think we can have SOME separation of Church and State, but I don't think we can completely separate religion from Government. "Why," you ask? Simple, the Government is made up of "THE PEOPLE," and "The People" are supposed to be free to worship or not in there own manner. IF we say you can not do this on government property, we are in essence violating THEIR Civil Rights. After all, if the U.S. Government is supposed to be a government by the people, of the people and for the people, then the Government property is actually PUBLIC Property. And guess what, WE are the PUBLIC!!!
I am willing to bet, if you polled the entire population of this country, you'd have a majority that would vote FOR allowing religious services on PUBLIC Property.
What do you think? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or comments.
Created: December 7, 1996
Last updated: October 14, 2005
This Web page is ©1997 Albert Lowe. All rights reserved.
The first two paragraphs in this were suggested by way of an email to the author, from "Mike.". Unfortunately, he was slightly wrong in his assumptions, and just as unfortunately, I didn't do enough research before I posted his response. But that has all been corrected as part of my ongoing effort to get the facts. I'd also like to thank Bob Harvey for pointing out my error.