To the Danbury Baptist Association, 1802
June 2019- ongoing
C-41 photographic scans
To the Danbury Baptist Association, 1802 is an ongoing collection of color film that presents proof of the abandonment of the separation of church and state in the United States. Beyond examining the hypocrisy behind the separation of church and state, The work is about the relationship between American elitism, nationalism, and Christianity.
The phrase “separation of church and state” is originally from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson on January 1, 1802. The title of the work comes from the receiving address of the letter: The Danbury Baptist Association. While the separation of church and state is not in the constitution, since 1802, it has commonly been used to explain the intent of the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause in the First Amendment.
In the letter, Jefferson explained:
“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties."