Date: July 13, 2004
Subject: Wall of Separation

How will Minnesota schools treat the topic of the "wall of separation" between church and state? In a commentary published in the Star Tribune, Cheri Pierson Yecke presented historical evidence in support of calling this wall a "myth."

A rebuttal by Jan G. Linn, copastor of Spirit of Joy Church in Lakeville, was light on facts. After making some sweeping statements about Jefferson and Madison without supporting them with any historic proof, and peppering the commentary with digs at the former commissioner, Linn concludes:
It seems a bit ironic for me that Yecke came to Minnesota from my native Virginia, where she served with no less controversy than she did while in her position here. Perhaps her troubles are the fault of liberals in both states. Then, again, perhaps she and her supporters might remember the words Shakespeare's Cassius spoke to Brutus, "The fault... lies not in the stars, but in ourselves."
It's a weak argument indeed that can't stand on its own wobbly merits without a petty round of "attack the messenger." It's interesting how opponents of Yecke — and of conservatives in general — favor name-calling and clever rhetoric to a vigorous debate of facts and ideas.