As a result of the recent controversy over the dismissal of the President of the
by the Board of Visitors a member
of the faculty writing in the Washington Post has directed us to the minutes of what appear
to be the first formal meeting of the Board of Visitors of that eminent
institution of higher learning. The
minutes were written by Thomas Jefferson.
For those who argue that this nation was set out by the Founding Fathers
to be a Christian nation, there is this rebuttal by the Founding Father
himself. University of Virginia
In conformity with the principles of our Constitution, which places all sects of religion on an equal footing, with the jealousies of the different sects in guarding that equality from encroachment and surprise, and with the sentiments of the Legislature in favor of freedom of religion, manifested on former occasions, we have proposed no professor of divinity; and the rather as the proofs of the being of a God, the creator, preserver, and supreme ruler of the universe, the author of all the relations of morality, and of the laws and obligations these infer, will be within the province of the professor of ethics; to which adding the developments of these moral obligations, of those in which all sects agree, with a knowledge of the languages, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, a basis will be formed common to all sects. Proceeding thus far without offence to the Constitution, we have thought it proper at this point to leave every sect to provide, as they think fittest, the means of further instruction in their own peculiar tenets.
Does this mean that those who argue that the separation of church and state was never ever envisioned by those who set forth the principles that govern the
are completely wrong? Does it mean that those who promote the use of tax dollars to promote religion, religious education and to send children to religious private schools are in violation of the spirit of America. Yes, it does.