Friday, August 03, 2007

Obama on Separation of Church and State.

I found this quote from Barack Obama on the website for the Christian Broadcasting Network:

For my friends on the right, I think it would be helpful to remember the critical role that the separation of church and state has played in preserving not only our democracy but also our religious practice. Folks tend to forget that during our founding, it wasn't the atheists or the civil libertarians who were the most effective champions of the First Amendment. It was the persecuted minorities, it was Baptists like John Leland who didn't want the established churches to impose their views on folks who were getting happy out in the fields and teaching the scripture to slaves.

It was the forbearers of Evangelicals who were the most adamant about not mingling government with religious, because they didn't want state-sponsored religion hindering their ability to practice their faith as they understood it. Given this fact, I think that the right might worry a bit more about the dangers of sectarianism.
I am glad he's reminding evangelicals that they played a major part in the concept of separation of church and state, but the phrase, "getting happy out in the fields and teaching the scripture to slaves" is a very weird way to put it. Don't you think?
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