I meant to give the final tally and discuss last week's Dakota Voice poll (or "quiz" for those sensitive about the word "poll") last night, but I picked up a nasty bug sitting in the cold Friday while my children enjoyed some ice skating.
Also had a grueling day yesterday with some unexpected and unpleasant developments that had me running from about 1:30 am for something like 18 hours, with just a few pauses and a couple of cat-naps in there.
The question was:
The phrase that in America there should be a “wall of separation” between church and state appears in:
Most got it right, but there were a few very misinformed answers, especially those who thought it was in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.
Here's how the answers broke out:
George Washington’s Farewell Address (1%)
the Mayflower Compact (4%)
the Constitution (6%)
the Declaration of Independence (3%)
Thomas Jefferson’s letters (84%)
Indeed. "Separation of church and state" appears only in Thomas Jefferson's letters, specifically a letter to some Baptists in Danbury who were concerned about erosion of religious liberty.
Jefferson's letter, dated January 1, 1802, said in part:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, 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 & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.
Interesting that secularists and God-haters should use a letter intended to assure a group of Christians of religious liberty should be perverted to attack the very religious liberty the letter defended.
Even more interesting (and sad) that the First Amendment, which prohibits government interference in the free exercise of religion, has been perverted to quash free exercise of religion.
All the more proof that free people must be diligent and alert people, if they want to maintain that freedom. In a fallen world, there is never a shortage of evil men on the lookout to diminish freedom.
The new poll/quiz is up: What does the Tenth Amendment provide?