Thursday, February 08, 2007


The other day, H**** said that I was a disestablishmentarianist because I was opposed to organized religion. However, that isn't entirely true. While it is true that I am opposed to organized religion (making me an antitheist), that's not what disestablishmentarianism is.

The Anglican Church was established as the official Church of England in 1558 under Queen Elizabeth I. (That's the 'establishment' part) As near as I can figure, this was done to moderate the conflict that had come about earlier in the century as a result of Henry VIII's marital issues and the whole Reformation mess.

In the late 19th Century, there were proposals to separate the Church and the State. (There's the 'dis-establishment' part.) This lead to a movement to prevent this from happening. (anti-dis-establishment)

The Antidisestablishmentarianists won, for the most part, as the Church of England still stands as the official church of England, although it's influence in a governmental capacity seems to only extend to royal succession, which itself is subordinate to the Parliament.

In spite of efforts by the evangelical right wing, the United States is still a secular government thanks to the forethought of our founding fathers. They established a strict separation of Church from State in the First Amendment to the Constitution so that the rights off all to practice their own religion were not subverted by power of the mere majority. So, if anything, I am an antiestablishmentarianist; opposed to the establishment of Christianity (or any faith) as the official religion of the United States.

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