Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School
This is getting ridiculous. There is a vast movement out there that is hiding under the anthem of separation of church and state. They want nothing more than to remove all reference to God from out society. It has nothing to do with church and state and everything to do with the promotion of atheism. Ironically, by removing all references to God they are attempting to impose their atheist beliefs on us.
Separation of church and state precludes a state sanctioned church to prevent the abuses the forefathers saw in the Church of England. It is not a principle which they intended to be used to remove God from our culture. The term itself does not even appear in our constitution. Many people falsely believe it is part of the first ammendment which reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;...
I'll get back to the origin of "separation" in just a sec, this is important. The first ammendment ensures that congress will not establish a National Church, as well that it will make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Handing out copies of the Declaration of Independence in a classroom does not create a government sponsored national church, and it does infringe on the free exercise of religion. Any question as to the intent of the first ammendment in this case can be answered simply by looking at the Declaration and the Consitution; the founding fathers had no problem invoking God in either of these documents. It is clear to anyone without an agenda that the intent of the consitution was to provide tolerance not a totally secular nation.
Where did the concept of separation of church and state come from? It first appears in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut. The assiciation had heard rumors the Congregationalists were to become the national religion. Fearing the types of oppression suffered under the Church of England they were alarmed. Jefferson wrote:
I contemplate with solemn 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 and State.
The wording of "wall of separation" is clearly used in the context of confirming the first ammendment. Jefferson would be appalled by the twisting of his words to effectively remove the Declaration of Independence from our classrooms, the cross from the seals of our cities and states, and any religious monument from public lands.