Eroding the ‘wall of separation’ between church and state

To the Editor:

As a retired superintendent of schools in Salem, Connecticut, I followed our district policy not to pay tuition to parochial schools.

My namesake Thomas Jefferson wrote many years ago about a “wall of separation” between church and state and the Supreme Court affirmed this tenet in 1833, 1879, 1947, 1963, 1985 and other cases.

However, more recently schools became required to pay for transportation, books and other services in religious schools.

The new Supreme Court is inclined to change history and prepared to hold precedent (stare decisis) less rigidly than has been the court tradition. 

Church officials meanwhile are increasingly engaged in political activity. “Render under Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is God’s,” has become blurred from historic Bible teachings. 

The court has just tossed a lot of balls into the air as a harbinger of things to come. In this new world suddenly upon us we need to start imposing income and property taxes on the church if they are going to take funds from our public schools.

Oh, one other thing: Churches need to start following state and federal laws, i.e. special education, Title IX equal access to sports for women, compliance and financial audit reviews, professional administration and teacher certification, health and nutrition requirements, fire and building codes, and all the rest.

Jefferson Prestridge


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