On Sunday, two days before her primary election, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) campaigned during a religious service in Colorado. She said:
The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it. I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk that’s not in the Constitution. It was in a stinking letter, and it means nothing like what they say it does.
The “stinking letter” Boebert refers to is apparently a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association. In it, he explains the part of the First Amendment about religion (i.e., “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of Religion.”)
I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
So how can Boebert claim that this is not what the Founding Fathers intended? Does she think that the person who wrote the Declaration of Independence and was one of the main proponents of the Bill of Rights, isn’t one of the Founders of this nation?
I don’t think Boebert is stupid. She says these things because that’s what her base wants to hear. However, it seems she believes her base is somewhat stupid.
Does Boebert really think that “the church” should “direct the government”? If so, which church? Even if we only consider abortion, there is no clear consensus position. Many religions either support abortion rights or have no opinion about it, including Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism. The main religion that opposes abortion is Hinduism! Shall we follow Hindu law?
You may be asking, what about Christians? Well, that is a mess. Catholics and Mormons oppose abortion, but Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Unitarians, and members of the United Church of Christ support abortion rights. Even Catholics are not unified against abortion, after all, Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are Catholics (and Pelosi just met with Pope Francis and received Communion during a papal mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, despite her position in support of abortion rights).
Even if we limit ourselves to Evangelical faiths, things are still a mess. For example, the National Baptist Convention supports abortion rights, while the Southern Baptist Convention opposes abortion.
And yet, a majority of our Supreme Court is acting like the Taliban, overturning “settled law” in favor of religion (and – ironically – guns). Not only did they reverse Roe v. Wade, they struck down a century old New York gun law that placed restrictions on carrying concealed handguns outside the home, compelled Maine to provide tuition assistance to religious schools (yes, taxpayers are going to support religious education), and finally in another reversal – despite the fact that in 1962, the Supreme Court banned organized school prayer – they somehow decided that a religious coach in a public school had the right to organize prayer sessions with players on the football field after each game.
And incidentally, Boebert won her primary yesterday. I guess that means that her base is pretty stupid.