WHY WE CANNOT SEPARATE STATE FROM CHURCH — A FEW MORE THOUGHTS

As one might expect, because WHY WE CANNOT SEPARATE STATE FROM CHURCH  was politically incorrect, it drew a few comments. Instead of a wall of separation that protects Church from State, the politically correct insisted that State must have absolutely nothing to do with Church and that Church should have absolutely nothing to do with State. What is curious, however, is that the comments of the politically correct had next to nothing to do with the post. Instead, they referred Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists. Since it is not that long, here it is.

Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists
The Final Letter, as Sent

To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802

Note that Jefferson wrote to assure the Baptists that the State would stay out of the business of religion. His intent is even more clear in the draft of that letter.

Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists
The Draft and Recently Discovered Text

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem & approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and, in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more & more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” thus building a wall of eternal separation between Church & State. Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect,

[Jefferson first wrote: “confining myself therefore to the duties of my station, which are merely temporal, be assured that your religious rights shall never be infringed by any act of mine and that.” These lines he crossed out and then wrote: “concurring with“; having crossed out these two words, he wrote: “Adhering to this great act of national legislation in behalf of the rights of conscience“; next he crossed out these words and wrote: “Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience I shall see with friendly dispositions the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced that he has no natural rights in opposition to his social duties.“]

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & the Danbury Baptist [your religious] association assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802.

What Jefferson wanted is to keep the State out of the business of religion. Jefferson wanted to avoid the extremes. Because our religious beliefs positively affects our view of what the State exists to do, we do not want to entirely keep the Church from affecting the State. What we can do — what a free People must do — is keep the State from being used by a Church (or coalition of churches) to force its beliefs on the People. Thus, Jefferson supported and participated in religion, even doing so on government property (See ‘A Wall of Separation’.), but he would not use the State to propagate religious belief. 

We get distracted by the small stuff. When people want to display crosses and holy scripture on government property, the Secularists pound their chests and scream bloody murder. If someone actually prays on government property or at what Secularist consider a State function, they wail war cries. Yet if the State were not such a humongous part of our country, none of that stuff would be particularly important.

Consider that the modern American State owns great swaths of land and spends a spectacularly large portion of our national wealth. Compared to the State, the Church is a shrinking pigmy. Compare the Total Government Revenue (spending is here) in 2005 with charitable giving in 2005. The State is slowly driving the Church out of the “business” of providing charity and health care for poor. The State has a monopoly on educational services for the young. And what has the State accomplished. The State has steadily turned activities that individual citizens once considered their Christian and civic duties into sterile, heartless, coldly calculated programs driven solely by political calculation.

Comments are closed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

The Curmudgeon

Not afraid to offend

Lines By Liming

Reflections And Thoughts Of A Fortunate Man

Faithful Steward Ministries and FSM Women's Outreach

Christian Outreach Ministry to those Incarcerated, with Addictions and our Military

On the Pilgrim Road

“If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.” - Fulton Sheen

Jesus Quotes and God Thoughts

“God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes.” ~Apostle Paul

We gathered life only to find...

...'Twas just the willow-wisp of time

The Lions Den

"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture, while adding some gracious ferocity.”

cookiecrumbstoliveby

Life through the eyes of "cookie"

Rudy u Martinka

What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom. We are the masters of our own disasters.

Theo-Logis

Supplying the Light of Love

The Recovering Legalist

Living a Life of Grace

Write Side of the Road

writing my way through motherhood

Freedom Through Empowerment

Taking ownership of your life brings power to make needed changes. True freedom begins with reliance on God to guide this process and provide what you need.

In My Father's House

"...that where I am you may be also." Jn.14:3

TLP

Finding Clear and Simple Faith

Amatopia

Author Alexander Hellene - Pulp with Style

John Branyan

the funny thing about the truth

Because The Bible Wasn't Written In English

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Victory Girls Blog

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Through Ink & Image

...Pursuing a God Inspired Life

D. Patrick Collins

liberating christian thought

Conservative Government

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Night Wind

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine

SGM

Faithful servants never retire. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God. – Rick Warren

Pilgrims of Christ

“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest." Luke 10:2

All Along the Watchtower

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you ... John 13:34

Always On Watch: Semper Vigilans

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Luis C. Almeida, Ph. D.

College Professor

praythroughhistory

Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future.

Lillie-Put

The place where you can find out what Lillie thinks

He Hath Said

is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort; let it dwell in you richly, as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life

quotes and notes and opinions

from a Biblical perspective

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

nebraskaenergyobserver

The view from the Anglosphere

bluebird of bitterness

The opinions expressed are those of the author. You go get your own opinions.

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

atimetoshare.me

My Walk, His Way - daily inspiration

Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Kingdom Pastor

Living Freely In God's Kingdom

%d bloggers like this: