Letter to WaPo: Wall of separation' vs the 'establishment clause'
Chicago Saturday PM 23 October 2010
Editors, The Washington Post
Washington Post writer Michael Gerson asks in his Friday, October 22 column “Christine O'Donnell's misconceptions of the Constitution” if the Delaware Republican Senate candidate denied “the existence of the establishment clause” in the United States Constitution. No, she asked her debate oponent Chris Coons where in the Constitution he finds the phrase “separation of church and state.”Mr. Coons could only answer by equating the phrase with the term 'establishment clause'.
Mr. Gerson's explanation of this seems to require using the word 'christian' ten times in a 700 word column, but leaving the connection to Ms. O'Donnell' conception of the Constitution entirely up to the reader.
Gerson eventually gets around to admitting that "separation of church and state" is no more than [Thomas] Jefferson's “gloss” of the first amendment , since its first use was by the founder in a January 1, 1802 letter addressing constituents' worries, not about the potential of the federal government forcing someone else's religion on them, but that they would interfere with the religion they already had.
Mr. Gerson seems to equate the recognition of the existance of God with a religion, which would be a big surprise to our first President, who made seven synonymical references to God (from 'Almighty Being who rules over the universe' to 'The benign Parent of the Human Race') in his first inaugural address.
I've lived in Detroit, St Louis, Kansas City, Pittsburgh PA, Marblehead MA. Worked as tech rep in Southern CA, Bay area, NYC, I've been to Europe a dozen times (Ireland, UK, Scotland, Sweden, Finland, Belgium.
Favorite restaurants are Gene & Georgetti's in Chicago, Roma Cafe in Detroit, Frankie and Johnie's in NYC, Rigazzi's on the hill in St. Louis (Also Charlie Gitto's, was Angelo's when I went there.)
For about a year I had small offices in Clayton MO, in the Country Club Plaza in KC. I rode a ten-speed bike around Lake Michigan (The bottom half in one week in June 1978, another week for the top half in 1980, used the Badger both times.
Don't get to travel much anymore, but still try to rent a car and go around the Lake in March every year. Sure, there's still snow, and it's not warm, OTOH there are no bugs and no toursts. Greatest little tavern in the world is Sherry's Port Bar in Garden UP MI