Re: Church-State -- some history

From: John W Burgeson <>
Date: Sat May 15 2004 - 18:35:33 EDT

When I wrote: ">>You may have heard in the news that a couple of Post
Offices in Texas
have been forced to take down small posters that say "IN GOD WE TRUST."
They claim that the law is being violated; something silly involving
"electioneering posters.">>

No -- the law that is being violated is the 1st amendment to the

George replied: "No, what is being violated is an extrapolation from the
1st Amendment.
"An establishment of religion" in 1790 meant an established church, such
the Church of England. It did not mean that congress could not favor
religion over no religion, use "God" language, &c."

I see your comment and mine saying exactly the same thing. The issue of
favoring or not favoring "religion" does not come into play here. The
Post Office posters clearly did favor one "brand" of religion (Theism,
and , by implication, Christianity) over all others.

George continues: "But my point here is simply that a strict reading of
the constitution doesn't rule it out, whatever some
courts have decided in recent years"

As I say above, I disagree. "Strict" reading or not, the posters are out
of bounds.

       George ends with: "Of course this argument is valid only to the
extent that one holds to (a) the original intent of framers of parts of
the constitution in question and (b) strict construction of the
constitution. I would argue for both."

I would probably oppose you on this. The constitution is not a dead
document; it is living. Just like scripture, we must approach it with our
thinking caps on.


Ubi Caritas

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Received on Sat May 15 18:37:57 2004

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