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The author of the recent letter to the editor “Church and state separation is myth” repeats an old claim: that because the phrase is not found in the Constitution, it is not definitive.

But in the 1878 case Reynolds v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court discussed the term "separation between church and state" in this way: “Coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure (Thomas Jefferson), it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the (First) Amendment thus secured."

If being in the Constitution is so critical, then why is God not mentioned in the Constitution? Yet for decades some Christians have argued that ours is a Christian nation.

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Actually, as the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Supreme Court have made clear again and again that the First Amendment goes far beyond the letter’s claim that it "merely provides for the protection of religious practices and prohibits government from adopting a state-sponsored religion." It also prohibits government from forcing taxpayers to support any religion and religious practices.

By the way, Christianity and other religions have flourished under this system.

Rev. Roger Brooks, Madison

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