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Thu Aug 16, 2012, 04:14 AM

Excellent Read: "5 People Who Bravely Fought Christian Takeover of America" [View all]


By Rob Boston

5 People Who Bravely Fought Christian Takeover of America
At crucial points when the church-state wall was most threatened in America, there were people who rose up to defend it.

August 14, 2012 |

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Here are five unsung heroes of church-state separation:

1. Charles Pinckney: It was difficult to be a religious dissenter in colonial America. Prejudice ran rampant. Many state constitutions limited public office to Christians or even certain types of Christians, such as “Trinitarian Protestants.” Such “religious tests” were seen as a way of ensuring that the men who held public office were of sound morals.

After the Revolution, when the federal Constitution was being drafted, a delegate from South Carolina named Charles Pinckney decided that there should be no such religious qualifications for federal office. He added a line to the end of Article VI – a provision that makes it clear that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and that judges and elected representatives are bound to follow it – that read, “[N]o religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

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2. Joel Barlow: During the early years of the American republic, U.S. ships traveling near north Africa were frequently attacked by pirates operating out of Algiers and Tripoli. Many American sailors were kidnapped and held for ransom. The pirates, who were Muslim, often taunted the sailors for their Christian beliefs.

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3. Gulian C. Verplanck: The year was 1832, and a cholera epidemic was ravaging the countryside. Doctors at the time where helpless, as there was no reliable treatment against the dreaded disease. As bodies piled up, Congress decided to appeal for divine intervention, and a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer was proposed.

President Andrew Jackson was skeptical. Asked if he would issue such a proclamation, Jackson said no. Advising people to pray, Jackson asserted, fell outside of his job description.

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4. Ulysses S. Grant: U.S. Grant is best known for being a hard fighting (and hard drinking) Civil War general and later a scandal-plagued president. His advocacy of church-state separation is less well known.


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Reply Excellent Read: "5 People Who Bravely Fought Christian Takeover of America" [View all]
Hissyspit Aug 2012 OP
Selatius Aug 2012 #1
no_hypocrisy Aug 2012 #2
hobbit709 Aug 2012 #3
surrealAmerican Aug 2012 #4
GoneOffShore Aug 2012 #5