August 6, 2002

THE KLAN'S MAN ON THE COURT (via Blithering Idiot):

Church, state 'wall' not idea of Jefferson (Larry Witham, 8/05/02, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)
New research on Thomas Jefferson's "wall of separation" between church and state shows that Jefferson never intended it to be the iron curtain of today, which instead was built on anti-Catholic legal views in the 1940s. [...]

"What we have today is not really Jefferson's wall, but Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black's wall," said American University professor Daniel Dreisbach, whose forthcoming book explores how Jefferson coined the "wall" metaphor.

Mr. Dreisbach's arguments parallel those of University of Chicago law professor Philip Hamburger, whose new book also says Justice Black's anti-Catholicism — learned in the Ku Klux Klan — influenced his 1947 ruling that the First Amendment created a "high and impregnable" wall between religion and government. [...]

"You can't understand the period when Justice Black was on the court without understanding the fear American elites had of Catholic influence and power," said Mr. Dreisbach, who is not a Catholic.

One can't help but savor the irony that the Court's "wall of separation" is a modern fabrication which is itself an attempt to disestablish one religion and a product of religious bigotry of precisely the type that the First Amendment was designed to guard against.
Posted by Orrin Judd at August 6, 2002 9:55 AM
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