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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions May 28, 2016

2/28/2012 1:01:00 PM
Letter: Church and State ‘opinion’ still haunts us today


In 1796, George Washington in his farewell address stated, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”

For over 150 years, our country prospered and achieved greatness.

In 1947, a very liberal Supreme Court, appointed by FDR, issued a ruling that has done more damage to our country than any Pearl Harbor. Justice Hugo Black was a former member of the KKK and had a distinct hatred for those of the Catholic faith. In the case of Everson v. Board of Education he ruled that the First Amendment erected a wall between church and state and that the Court could not approve the slightest breach.

This ruling was made without any legal precedent.

There is no such rule mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. This was a classic example of a judge mandating an opinion. The ACLU to this date is using this ruling to remove all forms of religion from our public domain.

Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 1985, frustrated by the consequences of this ruling, made the following comment: “The wall of separation between church and state” is a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.”

Take a look around at our society. It is a mess. It can be fixed. If the Supreme Court would revisit the decision made by Justice Black, that no doubt would improve the situation. A letter to your Congressman or to the Chief Justice would also be very helpful.

Les Thompson


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2012
Article comment by: John A. Bond

Dear Verde Citizen:

I agree with you. That is why I say "Throw da bums out" [recall the Cottonwood City Council members who gave a 12% "merit" raise to an already fully compensated City Manager].

America needs a genuine third party that represents the American people NOT the 1% that currently controls both major parties in America.

As for "my letter", I prophesy that the wisdom inherent in it will eventual penetrate your closed mind, opening your heart and bringing you into a state of self-realization that will truly amaze you.

Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2012
Article comment by: Verde Citizen

Wow!!! Between this and the Bond letter Im kinda shocked. Im all for straight talk and vision, But this is delusion. Yes, society is a mess in some ways. But, there are many good points to say the least. Separation of fanatics from Our Government is mandatory. Our common statement "In god we trust" is all that is needed. I am concerned of the decisions by the current supreme court judges. Corporations and Religions should not be allowed to influence our elections, laws or Government. Period. I am sick and tired of cpac's, religious zealots, power hungry, greed and their insanity. America and Americans must remove these nutcases from elected and appointed office and kick them off the soapbox.

Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and 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 and State. ~Thomas Jefferson

Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Article comment by: Peter, Yavapai County

Les, I pray that we keep our religions in our churches. If we don't separate the state from religion, we'll have a much bigger mess than the one you see.

Imagine how much school work would get done if every faith had a presence in the public curriculum. Imagine how many bad statues engraved with religious text would grace every government building. In an effort to be fair to all - all would come to a screeching halt while we constantly showed respect for each other's religious faiths.

Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Article comment by: Translation, Les?

First off, wow...pretty excellent move done, there, back in 1947, by that KKK member...the all-inclusive positive effects for everyone being entirely unintentional on their part, I'll bet, seeing as I doubt it came from anywhere but their own prejudice against Catholics, if what you say is true. Funny how even an ignorant, violent mindset can come up with a gesture that serves wisdom! The Divine works in mysterious ways, yes indeed...

But Les...I'm sure you realize that where things currently stand, all people in this country DO have the freedom to choose and exercise their own choice of faith, yes? For themselves, within their family groups, within their places of worship? So, tell me if I'm wrong, but a clearer translation of your letter would seem to indicate that you feel if the precepts and practices of one or another faith were interwoven into government and implemented from that level, into our everyday lives (as law?!), then the world would be a better place? Is that what you're really saying?

If my translation is correct, then which one faith would you elevate to that position, sir? Because you must realize that whether or not it's interpreted to be upheld by our Constitution, simple common sense and respect for humanity demands that we honor the faith/belief choices of every citizen! (Or are you actually taking issue with THAT?) So, how exactly would that be possible, if what you suggest should occur? If Christian Fundamentalism, of either the Catholic or Protestant variety, was adopted as the governmentally-sanctioned, legal "religion," what would happen to the rights of the Buddhists, Hindus, Islam to practice their own faith?

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding. If so, feel free to set me right. But at face value, all you appear to be saying, in a roundabout way, is something like, "My religion should be implemented at the level of government and law, then society would improve for the better!" Please tell me that's not what you mean...

Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Article comment by: Envino Veritas

I bet you wouldn't mind it if the court mandated putting the ten commandments on classroom walls. I bet you wouldn't mind it if the court mandated nativity scenes and crucifixes on government buildings.
Freedom FROM religion is the cornerstone of a free society.

Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Article comment by: Ryan Jensen

I don't understand how our postal service can seriously dangle a 50-cents per-stamp cost out there when it took them this long to deliver Les' letter (written and presumably posted, I'd say, in about 1955) from Cornville to the Verde Independent. C'mon!

Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Article comment by: Carl Nye - Jerome

Please be more clear about your casual use of the term "public domain". Since I can't be sure what you envision the term means, let me say that the ACLU does not work to "remove all forms of religion" from anything but the government, strictly in accordance with the first amendment. (disclosure: I am a member of the ACLU.) In fact, the ACLU has supported the expression of religion in many legal cases. If you would bother to go to the ACLU's website and click on their religion link, you would see the truth of the matter. The ACLU is only interested in prohibiting the government from supporting any religion. If today's crop of theocracy-leaning candidates for president (or Congress) should gain any traction with amending the laws of the land, you may be sure the ACLU will have their hands full.

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