I don't have a problem with this either. (As long as after the service, everyone is deported or shipped off to a concentration camp, of course. ) It's worth noting, however, that there weren't a lot of other options for places of worship in D.C. in Jefferson's day and that no single denomination had a monopoly on those services. (They were all Christian, of course, but lots of different kinds of preachers were invited to participate.)Igor wrote:Jefferson often attended church services held in the capitol building. He did not have a problem with this situation because the services were not compulsory.
Igor wrote:Well, it is pretty clear that most people seem to feel that Thomas Jefferson's feelings on the 1st amendment are the definitive word. Let's assume this is the case.
Actually, let's not assume that.
I am on record here on TDPF many times saying that the hero worship of the founding fathers is a mistake (and something they would never have supported). Which isn't to say I don't think Jefferson was a great American, a great thinker, and a great man in general. I do. But his opinions are not relevant (or at least shouldn't be) to how we choose to interpret the Consitution and enact laws in 2014. To be blunt, it is impossible for me to take seriously anyone who suggests the moral arbiter of our nation is someone who owned slaves. So while I think Jefferson's views on the 1st are interesting, the reason I believe there should be a separation of church and state is because I've thought about it in the light of the 20th and 21st centuries, not because Jefferson said so. (It's also worth noting that Jefferson had nothing to do with the writing of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, as he was in France at the time. So even if you want to argue from a position of what the Framers' intent was, Jefferson wasn't technically one of them.)
Sidenote to Igor: In case you didn't notice, I've started up the CD Project again. So please come on by -- it's awfully dead in there.