Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More of Jefferson's Actions

I often point to actions of Jefferson for one simple reason. His metaphor, separation of church and state, has been used very often in the last 50-60 years to put limits on religious activity if it in any way touches or is touched by the government at any level.

Consider Jefferson's actions as President of the United States. These acts would no doubt be found unconstitutional by current thinking and interpretation, which is supposedly based on the very words that Jefferson penned.

On April 26, 1802, Jefferson extended a 1787 act of Congress where lands were designated "...For the sole use of Christian Indians and the Moravian Brethren missionaries for civilizing the Indians and promoting Christianity."

And on Dec. 3, 1803, Congress ratified Jefferson's treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians, which stated:

"Whereas the greater part of the said tribe have been baptized and received into the Catholic Church ... the United States will give annually, for seven years, one hundred dollars toward the support of a priest of that religion, who will engage to perform for said tribe the duties of his office, and also to instruct as many of their children as possible. ... And the United States will further give the sum of three hundred dollars, to assist the said tribe in the erection of a church."

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