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L.O.C. EXHIBIT (update)

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Aug 31, 2000, 12:14:18 PM8/31/00
to wrote:

>:|The fact that Buckeye thinks that the scholars at the library of congress responsible for the Religion >:|and the Founding exhibit
>:|are all right-wing cronies of Pat Robertson, is clear evidence that Buckeye is far more of a
>:|political hothead than a sober-minded historian interested in the facts of history.

[Mike Curtis comment to Gardiner's comments above:]
I've been to the exhibit in person and found a great many errors. As
with most things in Washington, D.C., there usually is an interest
group behind any display.

[My previous encounter with this topic and Gardiner]


Gardiner <> wrote:
>The Library of Congress has been exhibiting a similar claim
>:|(see Does that mean that
>:|all of the curators at the Library of Congress must be fundamentalist Christians?

[I responded]
I have seen the online presentation of the library of Congress, I also have
a copy of the companion book that goes with that exhibit and I can say that
it is extremely one sided and biased. The book and apparently the research
and planning of the of the exhibit was primarily under the head of James H.
Huston and from what I have seen thus far and read thus far I would say he
did or does have an agenda that is not neutral.

Now if you want to check out some other opinions on this subject I suggest
you check out:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, Copyright William Edelen


Tearing Down Jefferson's Oath, John Patrick Michael Murphy
Copyright 1998

They are short articles but gives you an alternative viewpoint, not that I
think you really want one.

[Gardiner wrote:]
>:|I think the following critics are simply not willing to face the facts of
>:|history. Their aversion to Christianity has caused them to deny historical
>:|data which is overwhelmingly evident.

[I replied]
You dost protest too much.

Provided by
Glen P.Goffin
Lt.Col. USAF (Ret)
First Amendment Scholars Challenge Library of Congress
Claims on Jefferson Letter Regarding "Wall"

(The above URL also has the letter the scholars wrote to the LOC, and the
list of scholars who signed off on it---Buckeye)

Religion and the Founding of the American Republic
Public Programs on
Religion and the Founding of the American Republic
The exhibition and related programs are made possible by generous grants
from The Pew Charitable Trusts, Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. (Bud) Smith, and the
Lilly Endowment Inc.
------ ------- ------- ------ ---------

The Pew Charitable Trusts,

Religion and the Public Square: Religious Grantmaking at The Pew Charitable

One of the three Exhibit sponsors has a primary aim in the field of
religion, " deepen and enrich the religious lives of American
Christians..." (Not exactly the most unifying aim in a pluralistic,
democratic, republic containing numerous non-Christian religions and many
with no religious faith beliefs at all.)
-------- -------- ------- --------
Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. (Bud) Smith,

Henry J. Smith, is Chairman Emeritus for Clark/Bardes, Inc. Dallas,
Texas. Clark/Bardes is an executive compensation firm with offices in most
major cities throughout the country. Clark/Bardes has client relationships
with over 150 major U.S. and international companies.

Smith graduated from University of New Mexico. He served in world
War II and the Korean War. Smith, has been committed to various civic,
religious and political activities. They are as follows:

Founding and Board Member of the Trinity Forum

(The Trinity Forum is a leadership academy that helps leaders engage the
key issues of their personal and public lives in the context of faith. ---- Buckeye)

Member of the James Madison National Council (Library of

Board Member of the National Center for Policy Analysis

Founding and Current Member of the International Forum

Vice Chairman and Board Member of the International
Linguistics Society

Member of the Dallas Roundtable for CSIS

Mr. Smith resides in Dallas, Texas. He has been married to the
former Jane Munns of Winnetka, Illinois since 1952.

The second of the three sponsors is also the founder and board
member of an organization "that helps leaders engage the key issues of
their personal and public lives in the context of faith." (It does not say
what that faith must be. Hardly non-discriminatory.) Additionally, this
nonprofit, nontaxed, organization "fosters strategic programs and
publications that further its mission: to contribute to the transformation
and renewal of society through the transformation and renewal of national
leaders." (But apparently only leaders of faith. And whose faith belief
might that be?) It was interesting to note that this same individual is
also a Member of the James Madison National Council-LOC
the Lilly Endowment Inc.

(The Lilly Endowment Inc. Created in 1937, Lilly Endowment Inc. is a
private philanthropic foundation based in Indianapolis, IN. It supports the
causes of religion, education, and community development, and it is
interested in initiatives that benefit youth, foster leadership education
among nonprofit institutions, and promote the causes of
philanthropy and volunteerism.
While the Endowment's grantmaking focuses primarily on
Indiana, it also provides funding for programs that are national
in scope. -- Buckeye)

In March, 1998, the Religious Freedom Amendment cleared the House
Judiciary Committee in a 16-11 vote, and was marked up for action by the
full House. It was a high water point in the efforts to overturn years of
state-church separation decisions, many of which continually cited
Jefferson's "wall of separation" reference in the Danbury letter. The
proposal would have eviscerated the First Amendment, particularly the
establishment clause, by legalizing a wide range of religious expression in
public schools, government meetings and other secular venues. It also would
have taken the giant step of qualifying faith-based groups for public
funding, by making it illegal to deny churches, mosques, temples and other
religious organizations a "benefit." The Religious Freedom Amendment was
soon scheduled for quick debate and a vote on or about June 4, 1998.

With the vote on the RFA looming, why was an academic curiosity
suddenly ignited into a national controversy, one linking Jefferson's
letter with the upcoming ballot on the Religious Freedom Amendment? Media
such as the "New York Times" and the "Washington Times" printed public
statements by Dr. James H. Hutson, Chief of the Manuscript Division at the
Library of Congress concerning the Danbury letter. Hutson noted that an
early draft of Jefferson's letter had sections crossed out with ink. What
was under the cross outs? Hutson wondered. After consulting with James
Billington, the Librarian of Congress, Hutson sent the draft over to the
FBI Forensics Laboratory, which had developed techniques of highlighting
inked-over sections on manuscripts. The technique had been employed
successfully earlier in examining diaries penned by President Theodore

The results of the FBI examination were interesting. An inked-over
portion revealed that Jefferson had made reference to a " wall of eternal
separation" between government and religion. The Library of Congress report
on this development, though, written by Hutson claimed that Jefferson
invented the "wall" analogy as a means of fending off political attacks by
his opponents. The news was gleefully reported in the "Washington Times,"
which quoted Hutson as claiming that two days after penning the Danbury
Baptist letter, Jefferson supposedly began attending weekly worship inside
the House of Representatives. "That phrase about the wall doesn't mean much
in light of his behavior, does it,?" Hutson remarked.

Coincident with the revelations about the Danbury letter, the
Library of Congress also opened an exhibit entitled "Religion and the
Founding of the American Republican."

Enter Pat Robertson & Co.

The revelations about the Danbury letter, and the questionable spin
reportedly made by Hutson, quickly attracted the interest of religious
right groups which were in the midst of a last-minute pitch to build
support for the Religious Freedom Amendment. Within 72 hours of the RFA
vote, Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition swung into action; executive
director Randy Tate issued a media statement claiming that the Library of
Congress had "skewered (sic) the wall of separation" reference made by
Jefferson. Tate also urged people to visit the Library's new exhibit on the
role played by religion in American history. In an interview with AANEWS,
Hutson expressed dismay that the Coalition was trying to capitalize on the
Jefferson letter finds for political gain, and denied any agenda to use the
Library of Congress in supporting the Religious Freedom Amendment. He also
noted that it was odd that Mr. Tate could be endorsing and describing the
exhibit, since it opened AFTER the Coalition press release was sent out.
But the RFA fared well in the House, gaining a majority of votes -- thought
still short of the necessary 2/3 margin for passage as a constitutional

Many thanks to
Glen P.Goffin
Lt.Col. USAF (Ret)
for providing the above information and URLs.


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Aug 31, 2000, 12:55:38 PM8/31/00
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