Thursday, May 05, 2005

Debating America's Christian Character

NPR's Morning Edition had an excellent story on Debating America's Christian Character. The story tells how groups such as Wall Builders are spreading a false history of the founding of the United States to promote their support of increased government involvement in religion.

The story quotes political scientists and defenders of separation of church and state on the inaccuracy of the historical information spread by these groups. What makes the story especially powerful is the inteviews with religious individuals who also oppose these groups from the religious right, arguing for the importance of separation of church and state to maintain the indpendence of religion.
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State." -- Thomas Jefferson (letter to the Danbury, Conn. Baptist Association, January 1, 1802)


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