Thanks For Telling Us
About Gene Garman!
A short note of thanks for including the Gene Garman link on your website. There are many informative and interesting articles there by him and others.
Sarasota, Florida 34233
From: “Positive A
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: October 27, 2001 1:17 AM
Oh, you’re not kidding! He even shows how the best on our side of the argument still compromise and waffle on the issue.
I met Gene when we printed his piece on Justice Rehnquist’s brazen arrogance regarding the Constitution and of the state-church question (this man can’t be simply ignorant of the issues). Recently, we asked him to help us understand why the President is bound by the First Amendment (there was never a question in our minds as to whether the President is bound by this Amendment).
For example, since the day I first visited his website, I stopped using the phrase, “Separation of state and church” (which is what I had been saying since I realized that the state comes first, but even that’s not right). Instead, I now go with Garman’s recommendation of saying, “Separation of religion from government,” as this is the legal and constitutional language. It’s also a more precise goal than the other, which could be taken to refer to a state church, whereas the Constitution refers to religion itself, not just to a state church.
Another area in which our side waffles is in depending so much on the Lemon Test, as if this compromise was a step forward! Our Constitution prohibits the very establishment of any religion — not merely “excessive entanglement” with religion, and to accept protection against “excessive entanglement” is a concession that may have cost us dearly (as we are beginning to see during the George W. Bush administration).
In the course of a few short days of pouring through his material, Garman convinced me to go ahead and take the plunge to being a Constitutional purist when it comes to our Religious Liberty. After dealing with him in our publication of his piece on Justice Rehnquist, I realized that we have in Gene a kind and thoughtful ally who is willing to spend a few extra minutes answering any questions we may have (and with that storehouse between his ears, a few minutes is all it will ever take!).
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