edarrell at sbcglobal.net
Fri Jul 29 01:30:13 PDT 2005
Historically, one might draw a direct line from Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance, through the passage of Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom, in Virginia, through the writing of the Constitution a few months later, and to the First Amendment. Madison and Jefferson were much in agreement on these issues, with Madison perhaps a bit more miltantly leaning to the "wall of separation side.
Considering that, Jefferson's words about the Virginia law might be given more weight. In his autobiography Jefferson recounted the passage of the law : "Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word 'Jesus Christ,' so that it should read, 'a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;' the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo, and the Infidel of every denomination."
[See Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Modern Library, p. 46)]
Everybody's included, in Jefferson's view. Not toleration.
JMHACLJ at aol.com wrote:
In a message dated 7/28/2005 7:43:08 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, RJLipkin at aol.com writes:
I'm not sure why it is implied that one's oath to God is false or rather to a false God unless one's hand is on the Bible. How can a pluralist society take a stand on which God is the true God?
For constitutional and legal purposes, do you distinguish between pluralistic and tolerant societies? Are there features of particular significance in the Constitution that indicate to you that we are one, or the other, or both? Is this a distinction without a difference?
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