An Enormous Cheese, or, The Separation of Church and State
The separation of church and state in American politics
has long been held to be a constitutionally given right,
but in fact it would not exist and be articulated
were it not for an enormous, six foot in diameter cheese.
Massachusetts Baptists created the cheese
from the milk of 900 cows.
They sent it to newly elected President Thomas Jefferson,
who shared it with several hundred friends.
His gratefulness for the gift was such that he immediately
penned a letter of thanks to its creators
emphasizing how free worship among free people could not exist
were it not for the separation of church and state.
In reply, the Baptists were careful to note that the cheese
was created “without a single slave to assist” for a duly
elected president by free citizens of a free land, which
given that slave born descendants of Jefferson exist today,
was quite something for those Massachusetts Baptists to say.