Columbia, SC — After reading about the Unitarian Universalist Congregation and its involvement with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (“Installation of new Unitarian pastor will recap weekend events,” Jan. 19), it struck me that this organization (which could not exist if it weren’t for the First Amendment) bases its entire existence on a false premise.
Its website displays Thomas Jefferson’s “wall between church and state” phrase, but what it doesn’t tell you (and what is now common knowledge) is that Jefferson wrote that phrase in a private letter, years after the Establishment Clause was written, to assuage the fears of a Baptist group that was concerned about the church being suppressed.
The mission of the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (which ironically holds its meetings in a church) is therefore based on something that was never a part of our Constitution. State and religion were never intended to be two foreign entities “where never the twain shall meet,” but were intended to coexist, as we were, after all, a divinely inspired nation.
Instead of trying to tear asunder what God has ordained, my humble advice to this church would be to celebrate your religious freedoms, which is what Jefferson was trying to make clear.