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December 3, 2005
In my email this morning:
I will miss him a great deal–I already do.
In late 1999 or early 2000 I met USAF Lt. Col (ret) Glen P. Goffin via email. He had put in 20+ years in the Air Force, was a B-52 pilot. He was a atheist. He was a fellow warrior in the battle to maintain strict church state separation. He frequently would join in discussions on the infidel discussion boards as "buffman."
We met as a result of his running across our "Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State" web site being impressed with it and contacting me as a result of finding it. He was always promoting and recommending this web site to any and all who would listen. The same can be said for me as well.
We exchanged many an email after that initial note. He lived in Florida. We never physically met, but we met and connected via email.
Glen was a whiz at online research and helped me many times in finding something on line.
He was a stickler for accuracy, would never cut corners in that area and wouldn't let me take any shortcuts in that area either.
He contributed to a number of posts I have posted over the years as well as to some articles on this web site. He helped with some of the research on "so help me God" that Mike Newdow and I were doing back in February of this year.
Here was one of the things he had a lot to do with
L.O.C. Exhibit Update
Here is a list of posts to which he contributed.
He continued to carry on the struggle posting on his favorite forum where he had been posting since 2000, posting over 3000 posts and replies there and continued doing research on church state topics.
Over 3000 posts may not sound like a lot over 5 years but you have to remember that Glen was meticulous in his research. He was "obsessed" about getting the facts right and being accurate . He might spend days or even a week or more researching the facts before composing on reply to someone.
He also wrote numerous letters to the editors of a number of newspapers, corresponded with historians at colleges and universities, the LOC, national archives, etc.
One example: The theocrats like to claim that George Washington was such a good Christian. On the other hand our side likes to claim the opposite. One claim our side makes is that in all of Washington's writings he never uses the words Jesus or Jesus Christ.
Glen spent a good deal of time trying to discover if that was true or not and discovered one letter where the words Jesus Christ does appear.
Accuracy on either side was of upmost importance for Glen. He despised the other side for lying, for misrepresenting, for being less than honest or informed. He felt much the same way with those on our side who did the same.
In addition to the above he was a contributor or source of the idea, or inspiration, or helped with the research for several articles that appear on our Constitutional Principle web site.
...remarks during an appearance on the 700 Club during the summer of 2002 sparked the following email I received from Glen Goffin. The 700 Club transcript of those remarks can be reviewed at "David Barton on the Foundations of American...
This article was actually his brainchild and he did much of the early research
He wanted to do a second article doing in depth bios of the various major players in this saga and particularly connections between some of them and Timothy Dwight and some other well documented theocrats of the early and mid 1800s.
I will undertake that project in Glen's honor and memory.
Some of his posts to various newsgroups can be located Here .
This post entitled L.O.C. Exhibit (Update) includes research contributed by Glen.
Glen was 70 years old. In 2004, he learned that his son had been found dead in a park in Norway.
His health, though not perfect (he never mentioned anything in particular being wrong other than tiring easily when doing yard work), had gone down as a result of the shock of the death of his son and at least one, maybe two trips back and forth across the Atlantic. The reelection of "Baby Teflon" Bush was a shock to him as well and rather deflating.
He never really got over the loss of his son. However, he had seemed to bottom out in recent months and begun showing more and more resemblances to his old self.
My last email from him which I hadn't answered yet: