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Rick Santorum Lyingly Claims Separation of Church and State is Communist and un-American

more from Hrafnkell Haraldsson
Tuesday, December, 2nd, 2014, 7:58 am

CrusaderSantorum
In a conference call posted online yesterday, Rick Santorum said separation of church and state is a Communist idea and has no place in our thinking. What started the Great Lie rolling was a caller’s comments:

[A] number of the things that the far left, a.k.a. the Democrat [sic] Party, and the president is pushing for and accomplishing actually accomplishes a number of the tenets of ‘The Communist Manifesto,’ including the amnesty, the elevation of pornography, homosexuality, gay marriage, voter fraud, open borders, mass self-importation of illegal immigrants and things of that nature. So I think that’s a huge cause for concern that would raise a number of red flags for any politician…

Obviously, pornography and homosexuality and gay marriage etc. are not in The Communist Manifesto. The word “homosexual” itself, while it is 19th century pathology, was not first used in print until 1869, twenty-one years after The Communist Manifesto was written. The caller had – in typical conservative fashion – not actually read the book he was complaining about, and Rick Santorum had likewise not read it, or – also in typical conservative fashion – was willing to pretend the book said something it did not say.

Whatever his reasons, Santorum told the caller,

“The words ‘separation of church and state’ is not in the U.S. Constitution, but it was in the constitution of the former Soviet Union. That’s where it very, very comfortably sat, not in ours.”

Take a listen courtesy of Right Wing Watch if you can’t endure the entire call via the link above:

No, the actual words “separation of church and state” are not there, but the separation is there by virtue of the First Amendment, which forbids the establishment of a state religion. If the state cannot “establish” religion, then of necessity, church and state are separate.

Thomas-JeffersonAnd then there is the not so small issue that the words “wall of separation between church and state” were used by Thomas Jefferson on January 1, 1802, in his famous letter to the Danbury Baptists:

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.

That is not the only time Jefferson wrote of church and state. He wrote to Charles Clay in 1815, of the “loathsome combination of church and state.”

James_Madison2And James Madison, who is known as the Father of the Constitution, wrote to Robert Walsh in 1819 that “the morality of the priesthood & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.”

In his essay, “Monopolies, Perpetuities, Corporations, Ecclesiastical Endowments,” which he wrote sometime between 1817 and 1832, Madison was more explicit:

Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.

Jefferson and Madison were both Americans. Neither was a Communist.

Jefferson was right to fear ecclesiastical bodies, as the Religious Right is now seeking to accomplish what the Founding Fathers fought so hard to prohibit.

We might look as well to Tunis Wortman, another American and non-Communist, who wrote in 1800 in his Solemn Address to Christians and Patriots, of the need for such separation with these prophetic words:

Religion and government are equally necessary, but their interests should be kept separate and distinct. No legitimate connection can ever subsist between them. Upon no plan, no system, can they become united, without endangering the purity and usefulness of both—the church will corrupt the state, and the state pollute the church. Christianity becomes no longer the religion of God—it becomes the religion of temporal craft and expediency and policy. Instead of being the sacred guide to lead mankind to heaven, it becomes the prostituted instrument of private cupidity and personal ambition.

In fact, far from being un-American, the separation of church and state is something quintessentially American. Americans invented the idea, after all, unlike mom, apple pie, and the flag. From America, it has spread to other nations.

And Communism? Modern Communism, the type Santorum is familiar with, came about as a result of the 1917 Russian Revolution. Before that, we could speak of the Bolsheviks, whom we can date to 1902. Before that we can talk about Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and The Communist Manifesto of 1848, which introduced to the world the idea that “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”

Obviously, Thomas Jefferson was unfamiliar with all this. Marx was 8 when Jefferson died in 1826.

It did not take atheistic Communism to banish religion from government. That was already accomplished by the Founding Fathers by way of Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution, which forbids religious tests for public office, and the Constitution’s First Amendment, which clearly forbids the establishment of a state religion. One might call the separation of church and state America’s contribution to the European Enlightenment.

The First Amendment’s wall of separation was, in a way, the final act severing the New World from the Old World’s long history of religious wars and oppression. And if anything here is un-American, it is Rick Santorum and the Religious Right which spawned him, for seeking to undo an essential component of that American recipe for religious freedom that is the Founders’ legacy not only to us, but the world.




Rick Santorum Lyingly Claims Separation of Church and State is Communist and un-American was written by Hrafnkell Haraldsson for PoliticusUSA.
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