A New Book Explains How Jefferson’s “Wall of Separation” Became a State’s Policy August 30, 2020

A New Book Explains How Jefferson’s “Wall of Separation” Became a State’s Policy

For many years now, Chris Rodda has been writing about the lies of the Religious Right. As the Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, she has a first-hand view of how Christian Nationalism works, and she’s written extensively on the lies of the Religious Right and Christian pseudo-historian David Barton in particular.

Her latest book stems from the infamous letter written by Thomas Jefferson in which he coined the idea of a wall of “separation between church and state.” Rather than going over the history of that single document, though, she looks at how Jefferson party put that idea into action, working to defeat the Federalists and turn Connecticut from a “protestant popedom” into a state that guaranteed religious freedom for everyone.

From Theocracy To Religious Liberty accomplishes this by examining the newspapers of that time, taking us on a journey through the political abyss of the time. Turns out there are a lot of comparisons to the present day:

One party were the conservatives, the party that believed the rich should rule, feared that more people being able to vote would put them out of power, regarded immigrants with contempt, and hypocritically boasted of having “all the religion.” Their clergy preached that it was a religious duty to vote for this party. They raised alarms that religion was in danger from the other party, and claimed that this other party would even try to undermine the institution of marriage. They spread a plethora of the craziest conspiracy theories, and predicted that all manner of anarchy and vice would result if the other party got into power, proclaiming themselves the party of law and order.

No, not today’s Republicans; but the Federalist party of the early 1800s in New England, and particularly in their stronghold of Connecticut.

If history is your thing, you’re really going to enjoy this one. You can get a copy here.

(Featured image via Shutterstock)

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