“Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.” – Thomas Jefferson
As you have probably already ascertained, I am a firm believer in the separation of Church and State. Anyone who says the government should be ruled by religion has neglected to pay attention in any history class in which he or she has been enrolled. From the beginning, if religion was a part of government, then that government fell. And it fell hard. It destroyed it’s people and took away the rights of someone who didn’t believe the same as the majority. This is what our founding fathers sought to eradicate.
James Madison said, in a letter to Edward Livingston, “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
To say the least, it’s easy to assume that these men believed that Government was meant to be government and religion was meant to be religion. This is becoming a problem. We have so many people wanting to combine the two because they say that, “Separation of Church and State isn’t in the Constitution!” Well, that’s true. You got me there. However, the words “freedom of religion” aren’t in the First Amendment.
The phrase they use is, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It’s implied that we are to have freedom of religion but it doesn’t say that word for word, just like it doesn’t say “Separation of Church and State.”
It would make sense that these brilliant men assumed that we would remember why we left England in the first place. Religious tyranny keeps the rights of the people at bay. Justice is miscarried and we lose our sense of propriety.
If we continue to make this country into a religious nation, we will suffer from the same grievances we suffered in England. We get biased senators and homophobic governors that pass laws based on their own personal bigotry instead of the good of the people. We lose our freedom and, if we aren’t careful, we will have to engage in another civil war before we can regain our “certain unalienable rights.”