Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Separation of Church and State - It Exists.

In light of the sudden rise to political prominence of candidates like Christine O’Donnell, it is more important than ever to be critically aware of basic facts about the country in which we live. At a recent debate with her Democratic opponent Chris Coons, O’Donnell seemed shocked to hear that the separation of church and state was guaranteed by the First Amendment; her campaign team afterwards claimed that she in fact knew what the First Amendment was but believed Coons was wrong in saying that it guaranteed the separation of church and state because that specific phrase doesn’t appear. Let’s make this clear once and for all: just because the phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear verbatim in the First Amendment does not mean that it is not ensured by it.

In a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists from January 1802, he highlighted the importance of the Constitution “Building a wall of separation between Church & State,” referencing the First Amendment specifically as the source of this wall. That one of the founders of the United States would stress that the First Amendment does indeed separate church and state should be enough for everyone, but apparently it’s not.

In that case, take a look at the Treaty of Tripoli from 1797 which was signed by President John Adams. Intended as a peace negotiation between the United States and Tripoli, this document clearly states in Article 11: “The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” Given that President Adams, who was a Christian, approved this document, he obviously had no problem with the statement that the United States is not a Christian nation by government – incidentally, it really seems like the only groups protesting the separation of church and state are Christian in nature, and yet here is a document signed by a founder of this country that says they have no right to implement their religious beliefs in government matters.

It is easy to see, then, that the United States of America guarantees the separation of church and state in the First Amendment. So to Ms. O’Donnell, Sarah Palin, and every other individual who believes that the United States is meant to be governed in a Christian manner or to pass laws that reflect religious ideology: Please, be aware of history before opening your mouth (For all of our sake).

No comments:

Post a Comment