In 1802 President Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptists in response to their request for assistance. In his letter Jefferson wrote of a wall of separation. Jefferson relied on the Constitution and in this particular case relied on the First and Tenth Amendments, i.e., the Tenth Amendment supported powers reserved for the states prohibiting the federal government from religious establishment of religion, a government church like the Church of England. He stated this clearly in 1805:
In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the constitution independent of the powers of the general [i.e., federal] government. I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it; but have left them, as the constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of State or Church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies.
In 1947, Justice Hugo L. Black authored the opinion in Everson v. Board of Education using Jefferson's letter further stating that the wall of separation must be "high and impregnable." SCOTUS was wrong then to stretch Jefferson's metaphor while ignoring his actions and other writings because the decision was couched in terms to fit their desire.
I write about this because a number of pastors are challenging the government based on the First and Tenth Amendments as seen in the headline below.
Pastors Challenge Law, Endorse Candidates From Pulpit
What caught my eye in the article though, was another example of the media's ever growing use of "facts" to reinforce them subtly in the reader's mind.
The separation of church and state may be one of our democracy's most vaunted values, but its enforcement falls to one of our government's most derided institutions — the IRS.
Vaunted? Sorry, I have to call a BS here. I'll let go the fact that the moron who wrote this story doesn't know the difference between a republic and a democracy, but vaunted value of our country? Double BS. Jefferson never meant that there should be a complete separation and Justice Black knew this. Black and the court needed this interpretation so they could overturn or roll back state and local policies and programs with which they disagreed with.
I wonder if the SCOTUS will use the released correspondence of FDR to roll back the welfare state he built in the U.S.?