Judge Jones' "true religion" speech contradicted again
. . . .this much is very clear. The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry. At bottom then, this core set of beliefs led the Founders, who constantly engaged and questioned things, to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state.
Ironically, Judge Jones gave the speech while standing behind the Dickinson College seal, designed by USA Founders John Dickinson and Benjamin Rush, which contains a picture of a open bible and the college motto, "Religion and learning, the bulwark of liberty," in Latin.
A Wall Street Journal article about James Madison, widely regarded as the father of the Constitution, said,
He believed that the main reason to have separation of church and state was to help religion. He came to this view in part because of an unusual but crucial alliance he built with evangelical Christians of his day. That's right. At that time, the evangelical Christians were the leading supporters of separation of church and state, and Madison was one of their greatest champions. They believed that not only was government repression bad but so was government help. Madison agreed and worked hand in hand with the evangelicals to press this point. In a crucial document called the Memorial and Remonstrance, Madison integrated the arguments of the Enlightenment intellectuals with the arguments of the evangelicals to create something much greater. Separating church and state would be better for both state and church.
This may be a concept that's a bit jarring to modern culture warriors. We've come to think that if you're pro religion you must surely want government to play a greater role in promoting religion. And if you're in favor of separation of church and state that you must want to reduce religion's role.
Madison and his evangelical allies had a completely different concept. They wanted to promote religion. They just believed that the best way to promote religion was for government to leave it alone.
Nothing there about "true religion." In fact, the WSJ article directly contradicts Jones' "true religion" speech by saying that "evangelical Christians were the leading supporters of separation of church and state."
Judge Jones "true religion" statement is not just another opinion -- the statement shows (1) great hostility towards organized religion and (2) a predisposition to rule against anything that Judge Jones sees connected in any way with organized religion -- e.g., intelligent design. Even Fatheaded Ed Brayton found fault with the "true religion" statement.  The "true religion" statement completely discredits the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision and I am surprised that the statement is not cited more often by those seeking to discredit that decision. Ever since the Kitzmiller decision was issued over three years ago, it has been used to intimidate legislatures, school districts, schools, and teachers who want to include criticisms of evolution theory in the curriculum.
The biographical information about the WSJ article's author, Steven Waldman, says,
Steven Waldman is the Editor-in-Chief, President & Co-Founder of Beliefnet.com , the largest faith and spirituality website. Beliefnet won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence online in 2007. Waldman is also author of the bestselling book, FOUNDING FAITH: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America.
Before founding Beliefnet, Waldman was National Correspondent for Newsweek and National Editor of U.S. News & World Report. His writings have appeared in the National Review, The Atlantic, Slate, The New York Times and more.
So it looks like Waldman has good credentials and he should know what he is talking about.