Friday, March 01, 2013

Of Kings, Popes, Ecclesia and Mundus

The Love/Hate Relationship
Between Church and State

210 years ago today, on New Year's Day, 1802, President Thomas Jefferson penned a letter to a group of Connecticut Baptists who had been the unfortunate victims of religious persecution. At the time, Connecticut had established Congregationalism as the official religion of the state, and these Danbury Baptists had asked President Jefferson for aid. In what has become known as the Danbury Letter, President Jefferson responded to the Danbury Baptists by repeating the words of the First Amendment, which state that Congress shall "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." President Jefferson then added the words, "thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."


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