Unfaithful to the founders.

Author:Burrows, Ken
Position:Letters - Letter to the editor
 
FREE EXCERPT

Jim Metzger raises a cogent point in how the U.S. Supreme Court's Greece v. Galloway decision left essentially no place for the nonpraying citizen ("Why Justices Kagan and Breyer Didn't Go Far Enough," July/August 2014). It's equally pertinent to point out that Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion does not "faithfully reflect the understanding of the founding fathers" as Kennedy insisted.

James Madison, chief draftsman of the Constitution, and Thomas Jefferson, author of a pioneering and much emulated religious freedom law in Virginia, were arguably the two most influential architects of church-state relations. Madison recommended "a perfect separation" between ecclesiastical and civil matters and said "religion and government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together." Post-presidency he said members of government and other public officials cannot address the faith or consciences of the people because such actions "imply and certainly nourish the erroneous idea of a national religion."

For his part Jefferson said religion was a subject he considered to be "a matter between every man and his Maker, in which no other, and far less the public, has a right to intermingle," and he flatly...

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