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My Birthday Wish For Thomas Jefferson: An End To The Religious Right’s Lies About Him

Today is Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, and my modest gift to him is to debunk the latest David Barton nonsense about our third president.

Barton, a Religious Right historical revisionist who promotes discredited “Christian nation” propaganda, has lately taken aim at one of Jefferson’s most famous projects: The so-called “Jefferson Bible.” As usual, Barton’s version has only a passing relationship with the truth. Read more

Baptist Bulwark: Virginia ‘Messengers’ Reaffirm Church-State Separation

When I read about some of things the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has done over the years – calling for boycotts of Disney parks and products, passing resolutions telling wives to be submissive to husbands, bashing gay people, etc. – I must remind myself that there are still plenty of good people who bear the Baptist name.

Some of them work with at the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty here in Washington. A host of others are across the Potomac River in Virginia. Read more

Presidential Proclamations: The Chief Executives On Religious Liberty

It’s Presidents' Day. In honor of the holiday, I thought it would be interesting to pull together some quotes by our chief executives on church-state separation and religious freedom.

Most people know that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were great champions of church-state separation. But did you know that James K. Polk had some interesting things to say, as did U.S. Grant?

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it provides some interesting food for thought. Enjoy! Read more

Mending Wall: A Reflection On Good Barriers And Bad Ones

In his poem "Mending Wall," poet Robert Frost wrote, "Before I built a wall I'd ask to know what I was walling in or walling out."

Today, on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, that's a point worth pondering. There are good walls and bad ones. Read more

Forgotten Founder?: Happy (Belated) Birthday, James Madison!

It has been surprisingly busy on the church-state front this week with a new flare-up in the South Carolina license plate case and the stories about President Barack Obama's religious advisors.

But I didn't want the week to go by without wishing James Madison a happy birthday – admittedly belated. Madison was born on March 16, 1751. Most Americans don't know that, which is a shame. Read more