Las Vegas Sun

July 5, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Founders believed in tolerance

In response to the letter from Jules Greenberg about Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum needing a history lesson, it is important to remember that the Constitution does not call for a wall between the federal government and religion. The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

In his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “... I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State”

What is forbidden by the First Amendment is a state-established religion. The authors of the Constitution were not saying that the United States of America was not a religious nation, but that it was best to keep the government out of religion. What the authors were striving for is tolerance, not elimination of religion.

The author is the chairman of the Clark County Independent Party.

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