Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert says she's 'tired of this separation of church and state junk'

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks at a news conference held by members of the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 29, 2021. During a worship service in Colorado on Sunday, Boebert told the congregation she is “tired of this separation of church and state junk” in the U.S.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks at a news conference held by members of the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 29, 2021. During a worship service in Colorado on Sunday, Boebert told the congregation she is “tired of this separation of church and state junk” in the U.S. (Andrew Harnik, Associated Press)



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DENVER — During a worship service in Colorado on Sunday, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., told the congregation she is "tired of this separation of church and state junk" in the U.S.

In her remarks given at the Cornerstone Christian Center, Boebert said the only reason the U.S. has so many "overreaching regulations" on religion is because "the church complied."

Boebert, who is on the ballot in Tuesday's primary election, said to worshipers, "The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it."

She added the concept of separation of church and state isn't in the Constitution and only comes from a "stinking letter" written by one of the Founding Fathers.

In a video recording posted to YouTube, the audience cheered on Boebert's statement.

Some political experts told the Denver Post Boebert's comments were likely inspired by recent Supreme Court rulings. Boebert praised the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade during her remarks.

The specific phrase "separation of church and State" comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1803 to interpret the First Amendment.

The phrase has since been used by the Supreme Court to interpret the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

The Supreme Court first cited the letter in Reynolds v. United States, where a Utah man argued a federal law prohibiting polygamy violated his right to free exercise of religion as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Gwen Calais-Haase, a political scientist at Harvard University, told the Washington Post the Colorado representative's interpretation of the Constitution was "false, misleading and dangerous."

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele tweeted the video of Boebert's remarks saying "I can't. Not today."

Boebert faces her Republican opponent Don Coram on Tuesday in the Colorado Republican primary. The New York Times reported that thousands of Democrats in Colorado have registered as Republicans in Colorado in hopes of ousting Boebert in the primaries by voting for her opponent.

Democrats in Colorado have disapproved of Boebert's strong support for former President Donald Trump and say she embodies extremism and authoritarianism.

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U.S.PoliticsReligion
Carlene Coombs

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