first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Mr. Hughes also asserted that the Johnson Amendment empowers the federal government to “punish the clergy and their churches if they choose to speak out and guide their members in regard to choosing government representatives or to comment on legislation” and he urges churches “to permanently regain their guidance role in government affairs.”Thomas Jefferson stated: “History, I believe, furnishes no example of … a people maintaining a free civil government” in a society where clergy dominate and further stated that the clergyman, “In every country and in every age … has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”I believe it’s reasonable to conclude that the Founding Fathers attempted to build a “wall of separation between church and state,” with each institution functioning fully independently of one another, as part of their efforts to ensure the establishment of a sustainable democracy, rather than a theocracy.A February 2017 poll conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals — 89 percent of Evangelical leaders said they don’t think pastors should endorse politicians from the pulpit.Paul DeierleinSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Troopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stopSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positions Re Jan. 2 letter, “Let churches have freedom of speech”: Mr. Wallace Hughes begins by stating “The churches’ influence on our Constitution is obvious. U.S. Law is based on Judeo-Christian principles. Our democracy, Constitution, and Christian heritage eroded due to church muzzling legislation.”John Adams stated “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” The Constitution doesn’t include a single reference to “God,” “the Almighty,” nor any other moniker for a deity. Furthermore, the First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” In Thomas Jefferson’s words, adoption of this amendment “was meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohammedan, the Hindu and Infidel of every denomination.”last_img