Blogs by Leland Waldrip
Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) quote
2/27/2006 5:29:30 AM
"The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man." — Letter to Jeremiah Moor, 1800.
"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes." — Letter to Alexander von Humboldt, 1813.
The United States founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson chief among them, believed that the wall of separation of church and state was requisite for freedom of religion. That was a tough stance in their time in the face of expectations of religious expansion into every facet of life, and it is a tough stance to uphold now in the face of the same misguided forces we see pushing pious agendas into public arenas every day.
Madison and Jefferson, etc. were wise men to take the position they did. Wise men and women of today and tomorrow should continue the traditions established by them and continue to patch, repair and brace that wall of separation, the greatest protection of religious freedom ever devised.
If there is any doubt that the administration’s “faith based initiative” is leading in the wrong direction check out this item from this week’s news:
WASHINGTON -- The I.R.S. said yesterday that it saw a sharp increase in prohibited political activity by charities and churches in the last election cycle, a trend that it aims to reverse as the country heads into the midterm elections. IRS exams found nearly three out of four churches, charities and other civic groups suspected of having violated restraints on political activity in the 2004 election actually did so, the agency said Friday. In three cases, the IRS uncovered violations egregious enough to recommend revoking the groups' tax-exempt status. The examinations found a "disturbing" amount of political intervention in the 2004 elections, IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said.
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