The Herald Bulletin

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Letters

May 18, 2013

Letter to the editor: Constitution not a Christian document

If a Christian document had been the goal of the framers, that sentiment would have been explicitly included in the Constitution.

Once again, letter writer Michael Imhof is wrong! The opposite is our history. The framers wrote the Constitution as a secular document because they did not want to imply that the federal government would have any authority to meddle in religion.

Imhof incorrectly claims that “established religion” was a fact in all “13 states”. Not so! Due to word count, I’ll focus on only Rhode Island, the only colony in which all Christian sects enjoyed “liberty in religious concernments,” as the charter put it, including the liberty to vote, whether a church member or not (Pennsylvania, too).

Contrary to Imhof’s claim, it is entirely appropriate to speak of the constitutional principle of church-state separation since that phrase summarizes what the First Amendment’s religion clauses really do — they separate church and state — not because Christ made it possible to do so (but not necessary to do so), but because the framers rejected Catholic political philosophy. They chose John Locke, and he required separation of church-state to avoid wars of religion by taking the edge off politics.

The Supreme Court got it right in 1879; that is, Thomas Jefferson had it right, so they decided. And in 1947, the court actually used the phrase “separation of church and state,” upholding the 1879 precedent.

The most orthodox Christian framers are not counted among the famous founders. Like today, they were considered too heterodox back then.

Bill J. Paschal

Muncie

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Letters
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    April 23, 2014

  • Viewpoint: Politicians creating instability in public schools

    I will begin this correspondence by stating I have known hundreds of educators from across the state of Indiana. There are a couple of fibers that commonly run through the character of most of these great people, educators truly care about kids, and they do not fear a fair and equitable evaluation.

    April 23, 2014

  • Viewpoint: Academic standards process a model for other states

    The State Board of Education is scheduled to adopt Indiana College and Career Ready standards at a special meeting on April 28.

    April 22, 2014

  • Viewpoint: Resources are available to prevent child abuse The word "courage" is often associated with the fight against child abuse. Front line victim advocates have long recognized the need for courage in order to protect victims. Behind the scene advocates need courage to fight for funding and attention to the cause.

    April 19, 2014

  • Viewpoint: Tree City USA distinction laughable I thoroughly enjoyed your April Fools' editorial announcing that the city of Anderson had received the Tree City USA distinction. Had I not realized it was a joke, I would have choked on my coffee. I was a little concerned that you did not announce to some of the less enlightened readers that it was an April Fools' joke.

    April 19, 2014

  • Letter: Local business gives valued aid to Girl Scouts The Girl Scouts of Central Madison County would like to thank the local Coca-Cola Distribution Center for their wonderful support.

    April 16, 2014

  • Letter: American people still don't know the full truth I think the last presidential election may have been the most corrupt one in the history of this nation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Letter: Public should get informed about fracking The League of Women Voters recently offered the viewing of "Gasland part 11" at the library. There were eight people there including myself.

    April 16, 2014

  • Letter: Indianapolis will be the winner with reservoir There have been many articles in The Herald Bulletin both pro and con about the proposed Mounds Lake reservoir. Let me put my two cents worth in, and I am sure that is how some will take it.

    April 16, 2014

  • Letter: American Right makes Left turn The American Right has suddenly made a Left turn on government surveillance after several years supporting George W. Bush's program to eavesdrop on telephone calls and read emails of American citizens without warrants.

    April 16, 2014

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