TO THE EDITOR: I’m weary of hearing the following nonsense, presented by the Religious Right as though it means something: “I don’t see ‘separation of church and state’ in the U.S. Constitution.”
I do. “U.S. Constitution Article VI Section 3: The senators and representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Note “oath or affirmation” and “but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Article VI is in the Constitution itself even before the First Amendment. It is an original part of the U.S. government as intended by the Founders.
It clearly and specifically forbids a right of any religious organization to control the government.
The First Amendment reinforces that principle.
By forbidding “establishment of a religion,” which had proved hateful to many Americans because it gave one religion the power to tax and make laws controlling members of other religions and persons not committed to any specific religion, the amendment made all religions free to practice equally under the law.
The Religious Right ignores that and claims the famous Jefferson quote is the “wall of separation.”
That’s called “a straw man,” something you set up because it’s easy to knock it down.
But, if you study the Constitution itself, rather than secondhand “quotes,” you find this nation was founded on a base that can rightfully be described as a “wall of separation between church and state.”
It’s called the Constitution.
TO THE EDITOR: The 1966-1969 Champlain Central School/St. Mary’s School class reunion will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at North Country Golf Course.
Classes of 1966 to 1969 will hold a joint class reunion for Champlain Central and St. Mary’s.
RSVP by June 30 to Kathy Guay, 569-7054; Gail Vanhoesen, 297-6164; Terry Rowe, 297-3955; Sue Favreau, 297-2564; or Meg Spiegel, 324-8000.