In 1802, the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut wrote Thomas Jefferson in support of the Constitutional separation of church and state. But in 2006, another Baptist church in Danbury, Connecticut is coveting taxpayer money, through the Bush administration's faith-based initiative, to build a children's center. Their Danbury Baptist forefathers would be horrified, but more and more of today's Baptists, now a majoritarian voice in America, expect and even demand tax dollars to prop up their faith.
In fact, the New York Times reports that religion in America, especially of the evangelical stripe, in recent decades has gained more and more government privileges at the burden of American taxpayers. Not only that, but increasingly churches and other religious institutions are not only hungry for taxpayer dollars and insistent on government privileges, but, ironically, are enclaves in which employees have few rights and in which individuals are often treated in anything other than a Christian manner.
The last two stories are the first two in a series of four in a New York Time's special entitled, "In God's Name," an expose on how religious organizations, including a large percentage of Baptist churches, increasingly press for, and receive, special privileges and favoritism from an accommodating government.
As Randall Balmer noted, "Where have all the Baptists gone?"