Wednesday, April 11, 2007

First, there is a little need here to remind people what matters as to history. Bob Shillingstad of Hayden, Idaho presents to the CDA Press his particularly biased opinion about history and the first amendment that left out a great deal in his particularly long letter.

Such as, Thomas Jefferson wasn't exactly the only individual to argue that government stay out of the business of religion. So did James Madison. In what are known of Madison's writings, Mr. Madison abhorred the idea that government should regulate private belief. That was man's personal duty to God. So, why would Shillingstad, alleged history teacher choose to leave out that fact? Or the fact that Madison opposed state laws mandating official religion and taxes being paid on the behalf of clergymen? That is as much a matter of history as Thomas Jefferson having an Indian problem that needed to be dealt with in the event that white settlers could desire to move in and live on ancestral Indian lands. Mr. Shillingstad may claim that Jefferson printed bibles for the Indian tribes that requested them. But, apparently only after they were forcibly converted by Christian missionaries. That is, when they weren't being slaughtered or driven off their lands wholesale. I too am a student of history, even that history that can't be easily white-washed. And incidentally, where the 6th amendment informs us that there can be no religious tests for public office; then no, there is no such thing as religion in the public square.
The founding fathers absolutely did not want a return to the bad old days of theocratic oppression and persecution.

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