Some Historical Context on the Prayer Banner Controversy

My overall analysis is that the real problem we have right now in Rhode Island is not that the Cranston Schools had a banner hanging in an auditorium that had a prayer on it. The real problem is that our economy is sagging big time, and we need to figure out how to turn that around. But the prayer banner controversy does define an important distinction about what government can and cannot do. The thoughts of Oswald Krell also serve to give more historical context to the discussion:

[...]To begin: any sentence that contains “the founding fathers believed/thought/said/wanted/intended/were, etc is necessarily wrong.

Yes. wrong.

The founding fathers were not a monolithic bunch. Exactly the opposite. They were a group of men, many of whom had long years of experience in politics in some form. As such, as a group and for the most part, they understood the necessity of compromise. Not all of them; there were some doctrinaire ideologues, especially in the earlier days, but they were weeded out as time passed.

A great example of this is Sam Adams–whose father was a brewer, by the way. He played a major role in the early days of the protests that led up to the outbreak of fighting, but he did not have the political chops to play any role in congress during the war.

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One response

  1. The people who are trying to get the majority religion to stake out a bit of the public space should read more history. Puritans left England because they were the wrong kind of Christian, they hanged Quakers in the Mass Bay Colony, mobs burned Catholic churches because they weren’t ‘real’ Christians. You even hear crazy talk today about Mitt Romney’s religion, as if his politics wasn’t sufficient reason not to vote for him.
    We take our religious freedom so much for granted, that some people would throw it away just for a short term boost to their own group.

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