Richard Frisbie
Author, advertising and
publishing consultant, former
editor of
Chicago and other
magazines, former creative
director of Campbell-Ewald and
other advertising agencies. For
more information, click here. Or
Who's Who in America or,

Margery Frisbie
Consulting editor, historian, poet
and author of several books. For
more information,  click here or

The Uncommentator
BLOGS and GLOBS:  I have
been writing a blog since 1966,
only I didn't know  it. In those
days, it came out in the form of a
newsletter on paper. Remember
paper? It never got lost in
cyberspace, although if it got wet
enough blog turned into glob. I
called it
The Uncommentator,
and tried to make it amusing.  To
read some of my favorites, see

Recent Books by the Frisbies.

New Meaning to "Lend an Ear"

May 11, 2011ĖThis feature is not supposed to be political, but sometimes events in the news push me over the edge into controversy. On television, I saw a man named David Barton promoting the idea that America has forgotten the Christian heritage of the Founding Fathers, thereby misunderstanding the idea of separation of church and state.

He has been criticized for delighting right-wing politicians by selectively quoting from his huge collection of documents from early times. Iím not sure how far he wants to go in turning back the clock, but he seems to think the Supreme Court should have continued to allow prayer in public schools.

I take a special interest in the nationís early days because my Pilgrim and Puritan relatives were involved. According to the family tree of my grandmother, Grace Edith Weeks, we are descended from both a Mayflower passenger (Edward Fuller) and the Weeks/Clapp family who came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1630. One of  Fullerís great-granddaughter married a Weeks in 1674-75.

Although it is Thomas Jefferson who is remembered for referring to a "wall of separation between church and state," almost the same words were used by Roger Williams more than a century and a half earlier. Williams complained of the "gap in the hedge or wall of separation" when secular authority enforced religious precepts. He called it "rape of the soul." This and other unpopular sentiments got him banished from Massachusetts Bay in 1635. Thatís how he became founder of Rhode Island, the first colony to declare independence from Britain and the last to ratify the Constitution, holding out for the Bill of Rights and its First Amendment provision of freedom of religion.

A brief memoir left by Roger Clapp, whose sister Jane Weeks was my direct ancestor, recalls that "One (Philip) Ratcliff spoke boldly and wickedly against the government and Governors here, using some words as some judged deserving death. He was for his wickedness whipped, and had both his ears cut off in Boston, AD 1631. I saw it done." Uncle Roger seemed to think this was OK. Is this the Christian heritage David Barton wants to restore?

I pray not.

Richard Frisbie

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