A July 14 guest column by Bob Garrett critical of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (“Group wants to strip away all public expressions of faith”) bears no relevance to whether the mayor of Augusta, together with a Jesuit priest, crossed the line with regard to the separation of church and state.
What we should be concerned with is whether our Constitution provides for the separation, and whether the language used was proselytizing and meant to present other views as irrelevant.
The concept of separation is present in the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This provision creates the separation.
James Madison said the separation of church and state is “strongly guarded” in our Constitution.
Thomas Jefferson insisted that the American people through the First Amendment have built “a wall of separation between church and state.”
The words “religious liberty” appear nowhere in our Constitution.
Those who attack this vital principle are primarily interested in using the power of the government to force their narrow understanding of religion onto everyone else.