Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Brayton on Me on Dean on Lynn on ID

Ed Brayton has weighed in with some further comments about the Darrick Dean blog entry I fisked in in this prior post. He says all the things I wish I had thought of on the separation of church and state. Here's an excerpt:

This is a common argument from the religious right, that support for strict separation of church and state makes one “anti-religion”, but the argument is patently false and betrays a far reaching ignorance of history. Leaving aside the fact that it seems rather idiotic to accuse Barry Lynn, a United Church of Christ minister, of being anti-religion, we can certainly ask the question of whether one must be against religion in order to be in favor of a strict separation of church and state. The answer to that question, if one knows anything at all about the roots of the idea in American history, is quite obviously no. The metaphor of a wall of separation between church and state was in fact invented by the devout Christian founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams. Thomas Jefferson borrowed the metaphor as a description of the first amendment, as did James Madison, neither of whom were “anti-religion” (though Jefferson was certainly against many aspects of religion, particularly Judaism and Christianity).

Go read the whole thing.


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