Founders had 'opinions' regarding church, state separation
Wednesday , May 09, 2012 - 12:42 PM
My thanks to Homer "Tex" Beauchamp for saying that Thomas Jefferson's personal interpretation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence did not include the words "separation between church and state" (March 24, '"...Thus building a wall of separation'"). Jefferson's opinion on the subject holds no force of power. This he points out, was also Justice Black's opinion, without force.
Again he presents President Adams' interpretation on the subject. But, that too has no force. Again, President James Madison is quoted that he, "always regarded the practical distinction between religion and civil government as essential to the purity of both" is both a calm and reasoned opinion," which holds no legal force. We can all interpret and offer opinion on any document, but we don't expect that opinion to allow alteration of the document.
Nevertheless, I would thank Mr. Beauchamp to tell us who concluded that "they meant Christianity to be the only religion to have a say in government?" Or, who wants, "the far right to force their rigid beliefs on the rest of us?" Moreover, any of us with impunity can respectfully "reject the writings of our second, third and fourth presidents, the 1947 Supreme court and the 1707 U.S. Senate," but without force.
There are quite simply those of us who would like the government to stop legislating religious beliefs and stop giving us the bill to pay for them such as contraception.
Dorothea E. Masur