Wednesday, July 31, 2013


When I was in High School in the late 1950’s the longest word in the English language at 28 letters was “Antidisestablishmentarianism” and I was intrigued.  Once I discovered the longest word I had to find out what it meant.  That was the point when I was introduce to the concept of the separation of Church and State.

The word was created in the mid nineteenth century in England. At that time the Church of England was [and still is] the official established church. The church and state are united therefore established. The queen of England is the official head of the Church of England. It is her signature and seal that officially appoints Bishops and Archbishops. This is also the reason we have the King James Bible because in 1611 King James of England “authorized” it to be printed as the official printed English bible. It made all other English languages illegal. For hundreds of years it was the only English language available to the masses.

Around 1800 a movement in England began agitating for the Church of England to be “disestablished” and they began to get noticed.  That prompted yet another movement who did not want change in the church. They liked things the way they were, thank you very much. They were the antidistablishment movement, meaning that they were against the idea disestablishment of the Church of England.

To identify the concept of this movement the word “antidisestablishmentarianism was coined.

In our US constitution bill of rights we forbid the “establishment” of a state religion like they have in England and other countries. By the constitution we separate Church and State and I believe that we are the better for it. We have over three hundred and fifty “Christian” church groups and many other non-Christian religions in the United States. To make any one of them the “established religion” would do great harm to all the rest.

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