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The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State
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Study Guide: Problematical Religious Right Quotes And Arguments

Citing quotes to prove a point is tricky business. This study presents some pointers both for using quotes and for evaluating them when someone else uses them.

by Jim Allison


A list of flawed quotes.

What about quotations that appear to oppose separation?

Misquoting by the Religious Right

Did Supreme Court justice Joseph Story ever say that, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, there was near universal consensus that christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state?

Debunking David Barton

SEE:

Historically Inaccurate Quotes

Sects, Lies and Videotape: David Barton's Distorted History by Rob Boston

Consumer Alert!: Wallbuilders' Shoddy Workmanship by Rob Boston

An Index to Factual Information About David Barton And His Books

Critique of David Barton's America's Godly Heritage from the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs.

Thomas Jefferson supported Bible reading in school; this is proven by his service as the first president of the Washington, D.C. public schools, which used the Bible and Watt's Hymns as textbooks for reading.

Responding to the Religious Rights, the Basic Arguments:

Some thoughts on religion and law, with references to Barton's views.

Separation No Myth an article by Dr. Jim Spivey

Barton is famous for misrepresenting the facts of court cases, court decisions, meaning and impact of such court cases, etc. including the following cases:

State and U.S. Supreme Court Cases - 1799-1947

1799 MD Runkel v Winemiller, 4 Harris & McHenry 276

1799 MD John M'Creery's Lessee v Allender, 4 H & Mett. 259

1811 NY The People v Ruggles, 8 Johns 545

1815 PA The Commonwealth v Sharpless, 2 Serg & R. 91

1817 PA The Commonwealth v Wolf, 3 Serg. & R. 48

1824 PA Updegraph v Commonwealth, 11 Serg. & R. (Pa) 394

1838 MA Commonwealth v Abner Kneeland, 37 Mass. (20 Pick) 206

1844 U.S.Vidal v Girard's Executors, 2 How. 127

1846 SC City of Charleston v Benjamin, 2 Strob. 508

A look at two additional 20th century cases that are misrepresented in some of Barton's publications: Reed v. Van Hoven 237 F Supp.48 (W. D. Mich, 1965) and DeSpain v DeKalb County Community School District 255 F. Supp. 655 (N. D. Ill. 1966)

These articles deal with the Holy Trinity Case

1892 U.S. Church of the Holy Trinity v U.S., 143 U.S. 266

Holy Trinity and the Christian Nation Dicta

The Supreme Court has Declared that the United States is a Christian Nation.

Getting to Know Supreme Court Justice David J. Brewer

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