Letter to the Editor

Church and state in America

Texas education officials recently proposed teaching that "slavery" was really "involuntary relocation." Others claim that slavery was not the cause of the civil war despite the fact that the confederate president, vice president and various articles of secession stated the reason as slavery.

During a worship service in Colorado, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert told the congregation she was "tired of this separation of church and state junk" and that "the church is supposed to direct the government."

Acceptance of such falsehoods suggests either ignorance of American history or willingness to mimic totalitarian dictators who routinely create their own versions of history for propaganda purposes. The founding fathers called slavery by its name and also witnessed firsthand the disastrous consequences of mixing church and state in European countries where bloody warfare between governments dominated by different religious interests raged for centuries. Religious factions in Europe were de facto political parties. In the American colonies, one religious denomination usually governed while others were persecuted. Indeed, the earliest clamor for separation of church and state came from churches.

The constitutional convention of 1787 was well documented by James Madison whose notes should be required reading for all public officials, especially those as misinformed as Rep. Boebert. While the founders were religious men, they had little in common with modern fundamentalists such as Boebert. Religion was not on the convention's agenda and was hardly discussed. The emphasis was on establishing a civil government patterned after the republics of ancient Rome and Greece and avoiding Europe's mistakes.