David Gately

Facebook Like: Wall of separation

In 2012 presidential election, Church & State, Danbury Baptist Association, Politics and religion, Religion, Religion and politics, Separate but not equal, Thomas Jefferson on July 29, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I recently became the 52,756 person to “like” a Facebook page of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. It was a proud moment.

My decision to do so was a culmination of years sitting by — slothful and penitential I’m ashamed to admit — as religion has crept further and further into American politics. I’ve been coveting enlightenment and solace with compatriots. Church and State, contrary to more and more political rhetoric in American politics over the past 30 years, is not an intersection on Main Street.

Regardless of whether or not I believe in God (as folklore) or a higher power (I do) or the benefits of organized religion (minimal), I do believe in the “wall of separation” that Thomas Jefferson put forth in 1802 when he wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association:

“…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.”

Americans United is a non-partisan, non-sectarian DC-based organization founded in 1947 dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans. Jefferson said, “I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.”

So here’s to TJ’s infinite wisdom and to religion staying out of U.S. politics as we head this fall into another divinely flawed American presidential election cycle.

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