Your Views: Two key Founding Fathers saved us from religious fanatics

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Monday, December 30, 2013

This is in response to the letter about defending the celebration of Christmas in our society (Dec. 21) by Don Helbig, Beloit.

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wanted to include separation of church and state in the U.S. Constitution and even wrote and submitted an amendment as part of the Bill of Rights, but the other Founders believed it was unnecessary. They just did not foresee a need to do so; that religious fanatics would try to impose their religion on government and other people.

Jefferson and Madison saw otherwise, and you have proven them correct. I do not much care what people say to me—happy holidays or merry Christmas—but it is inappropriate for public employees and private employees to say merry Christmas while on the job and dealing with the public.

What really galls me as a professional historian is when conservative and/or tea party Republicans mangle, misinterpret or try to rewrite the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights or what the Founders actually believed to fit their narrow-minded or warped views.



President, American Heritage Service

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