What the Founders believed regarding the Separation of Church and State
A Case Against the Separation of Church and State
The phrase “separation of church and state” is often mentioned with reverence as a foundational American principle. It seems strange to me why it’s seldom challenged.
It seems odd that so many consider the churches influence in public life to be a threat and why this is a bad thing? So where did this idea come from? Some know it was Thomas Jefferson who first coined this phrase in a letter to the Danbury Connecticut Baptist association. The letter was written in response to Baptists concern that the Congregationist’s of New England would attempt to establish a national Christian denomination.
Jefferson’s Actions as President
Jefferson assured the Baptist’s that the federal government (congress) had no jurisdiction over the affairs of religion, which was left to the individual states, almost, all of which had a state sponsored Christian denomination. At the time, Americans we’re quite familiar with what a nationally established religion was and were opposed to it. An established religion was a Christian denomination that was financed by the national government and had privileges not available to other denominations. This was the case in England with the Anglican Church, which was the primary reason settlers came to America to begin with.
Years following the Danbury Baptists letter, Jefferson regularly attended church services held at the capitol building with government paid chaplains. He also arranged for similar services to be conducted in the treasury and war offices of the executive branch. Jefferson used federal money to build churches and hire missionaries to promote Christianity among the Indians. He also felt that the bible should be the primary text used in public schools and used federal money to fund Christian schools.
A Christian Nation
You don’t have to search hard to find clear evidence for America’s Christian roots. If fact the evidence is so vast that even our dumbed down liberally educated generation is capable of understanding it, that is if you read original sources, free of liberal spin.
Jefferson was quoted as saying “The practice of morality being necessary for the well-being of society, He (God) has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses.” Jefferson says here that “We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus”, I thought the founding fathers were a bunch of Godless Deist’s?
George Washington said this in his farewell address “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are the indispensable supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
I suppose George didn't get the memo about separation of church and state because these are original source quotations!
Fisher Ames, author of the first amendment of the bill of rights wrote an article in 1801 expressing his concern that by adding so many textbooks in schools that the Bible would lose its preeminence in the classroom.
Multitudes of original quotes expressing similar sentiments can be found for almost every Founding Father.
The Wall of Separation of Church and State
If this information is correct, and it is, the separation of church and state as understood today is a total fraud. What else could a reasonable person conclude? It seems obvious that Founding Fathers vision is completely opposite to that of the ACLU or the liberal courts. The founders would certainly not support firing school teachers for leaving bibles on their desks, or prevent the Boy Scouts from using government owned buildings or push to have “In God we Trust” removed from our currency. We can thank the ACLU and other liberals for this assault on our American culture.
Jefferson’s Wall of separation was only intended to keep the federal government from meddling in church affairs and certainly not to prevent religion (specifically Christianity), from influencing the government and society.
So where did this modern version of “The Wall of Separation of church and state” come about? There is a long history, much of which was motivated by protestant fears of Catholic influence on our schools and society. In 1947 the case of Everson v. Board of Education the court extended separation of church and state to state and local governments not just the federal branch. Even the separation intended at the federal level, could be more accurately described a single sided wall only intended to prevent the government from imposing a state sponsored denomination.
So where did this modern “wall of separation” idea originate?
Nazi Germany and The Soviet Union
Professor John Conway noted in his book “The Nazi persecution of the Churches 1933-45”, that the Nazi party realized that the only remaining institution that blocked their agenda was the church, so the Nazi’s came up with slogans such as “Politics do not belong in the Church” and that “The Church must be separate from the State.” The former Soviet Union had a similar policy that supposedly allowed freedom of conscience but religious views in public were forbidden. The policy promoted by the ACLU and liberal courts has many similarities with the policies of these and other totalitarian regimes and certainly have nothing in common with the view of our nation’s founders.
Our founders were very aware that Christianity was the foundation of the country and that without the sanction and support of the state our republic would eventually collapse. They understood that the source of our inalienable rights was God himself not the government and that to deny those rights would be to risk His wrath.