(21-Apr-2015 07:47 AM)Riotbeard Wrote:
(28-Feb-2014 10:37 PM)calitennis127 Wrote: And how is that wrong necessarily? Anyone with a brain knows that "separation of church and state" is impossible as a complete human social condition. Jefferson was making reference to a specific context in Connecticut, with overbearing Puritanical preachers. He was not saying that everywhere and anywhere, churches and governments were to be completely disconnected from each other. This is obviously impossible, because they deal with many of the same matters.
I just wanted to point out that Jefferson wrote a bill separating Church and State in Virginia in 1786...
An Act for Establishing Religious Freedom (1786)
Jefferson also wrote in to a bill in 1782 that the punishment for homosexuality in the state of Virginia should be dismemberment of a limb, so if he was alive today, you would probably consider him a religious fanatic and Rachel Maddow would be hosting segments about how this scary Thomas Jefferson guy was starting a menacing far-right movement in America.
Jefferson established the religious freedom provision because he himself did not like institutional Christianity and because he didn't want Virginia to be like the Puritan theocracies in the Northeast. His opinions on this were lofty but also quite naive and self-delusional, and he wasn't the most philosophical about it. You can't separate "church and state" in a totalistic way because morality and law are naturally intertwined. It's funny how when the Catholic bishops make public statements supporting social welfare programs, the leftist media praises them for their moral leadership, but then when they condemn abortion, for example, we are reminded of how "separation of church and state" is a basic American principle.
But I can easily take Jefferson's provision there and parse it in entirely a different way.
Here is Jefferson telling the anti-Indiana law people that they are tyrannical opponents of human freedom:
"and finally, that Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them: Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.
Here is Jefferson condemning the political correctness tyranny of American universities, American government, and the EU:
"Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern....."