U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., believes the Constitution is rooted in Christianity.

“The church is supposed to run the government,” she said. “The government is not supposed to run the church. This is not the intention of our founding fathers. And I’m sick of this junk separation of church and state. It is not in the Constitution. »

Ugh! Here is the history:

In 1455, Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the movable-type printing press, published the Bible in German, thus allowing the (literate) masses to have access to it.

Amid growing literacy in 1517, Martin Luther’s “95 Theses” gained traction, condemning corruption in the Catholic Church, which ruled European politics and culture, and ushering in the Protestant Reformation.

Critical thinking spawned the Enlightenment of the 18th century, placing reason and science above blind faith.

The founding fathers were devotees of Enlightenment thinkers John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, David Hume, Adam Smith, Rene Descartes, Isaac Newton, Voltaire and Montesquieu whose “spirit of the laws” advocated three equal branches of government – the executive, legislative and judicial.

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Freedom of (and of) religion was based on a Virginia Religious Liberty Act – promoted by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison – prohibiting taxes supporting the state’s “official” Church of England, while discriminating against Presbyterians and Baptists.

As president, Jefferson wrote that government should not encroach on religion and vice versa: “Build a wall of separation between church and state.”

Now the United States is going pre-Reformation with six Catholic jurists (Neil Gorsuch also attends the Anglican Church) dictating social policy, starting with his recent decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito found no right to abortion in the Constitution, a document excluding women.

Yet abortion was commonplace and not illegal when it was enacted.

So Alito delved into the 17th century, quoting British jurist Matthew Hale, who also demystified marital rape because women were the property of their husbands, and Henry de Bracton, an English cleric and jurist in 1250, who believed, as the Washington Post reported, “Women are inferior to men.

I am neither an abortion absolutist nor anti-Catholic. I attended a Catholic law school, the University of San Diego, where we had vigorous arguments about abortion. Both sides made valid points. I got married in a Catholic church.

But I am suspicious of any government entity imposing religious orthodoxy.

Catholic politics is a religious exception that opposes “artificial” contraception, but is not alone in opposing same-sex marriages. Both may be in the court’s crosshairs, as with its abortion ruling, defying popular opinion.

The majority of the court – largely appointed by two presidents who lost the popular vote – is an outgrowth of the politically savvy “Christian nationalism” movement. Yet a 2017 study from Baylor University found that one in five Americans agreed that the United States is a “Christian nation,” up from one in four in 2007.

As the great Baptist preacher John Leland, a contemporary of the Founding Fathers, said, “Stifle the first bud of intrusion into your Constitution. …Never promote men who seek a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny, the worst of despotisms.

Saul Shapiro is the retired editor of the Courier, living in Cedar Falls.


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