posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 05:31 PM
A lot of religious conservatives oppose the separation of church and state. There are a number of reasons why this is a sinister development. For
one thing, it was Baptists and Protestants who wanted church and state to be separated so that the state would not control the church, and certain
churches would not control the state and persecute the others. Separation was solid Reformation tradition, going back to the thinking of Luther. The
Dissenters knew that once the separation of church and state is lifted the state will control the church, and demand of the church continued support
for the military and war. How oddly similar to today's reality!
Often religious Dominionists will point to the fact that church-state separation is not in the original Constitution. That is half correct. It is
not in the original document. However, the people would not accept the original document without a Bill of Rights, which explicitly separates church
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or
of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Jefferson and Madison specifically desired church-state separation. Their desire, once adopted through Amendment, supercedes the wishes of any other
Founder who might have had other wishes. That is an important point. Amendments supercede what came before. And, America would never accept the
Constitution without assurances of liberty, religious and otherwise. Madison was a political pluralist who strongly desired church-state separation,
and it was his wishes and those of the Jeffersonians that crafted the First Amendment.
Christians wanted church-state separation as much as Deists and others, because religious liberty protects everyone. Without the idea of a
separation, the state will control the church. As it is, there is a trend in that direction, with American flags and pro-military psyops in churches
and other religious bodies. Should not the Sanctuary be free of images and agendas?
Patrick Henry was allied to the Jeffersonians, and did seem to desire that people of wealth and substance support churches. When confronted by
Jeffersonians in Virginia about his plan to force support for churches, Henry stated that the wealthy could also support bodies of philosophical
discussion. The point was to elevate morality, which was seen as justified by a number of founders and often religious instruction would be harnessed
to that end. Early Christian Patriots were (generally) religious liberals who subordinated theology to morality. This was the bedrock of American
civil religion until Fundamentalists pointed out some inconsistencies in their position.
The last dominant white evangelical to be a leftist of the old civil religion variety was William Jennings Bryan. He was a socialist, a feminist, an
anti-war activist, and believed in Divinely Guided evolution as a possibility (read his testimony on the stand during the Scopes Trial!). After
Bryan, American Christianity moved rightward. African American Christianity continued in the old tradition. Now, as it is, it is very important to
separate church and state because the 1% seek to use both.
That last point may be the most pregnant.