The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State
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Christian Orthodoxy And The Founders

[A correspondent stated:]

Dr. Miles Bradford of the University of Dallas did a study of the framers of the Constitution for example, identifying the denominational commitments each of these men had pledged:

[Our reply]

Yes, a lot of people have done lists like that.

Here is some information along those lines.

Researched and compiled by Jim Allison


Part I

A Table of the Religious Affiliations of American Founders.

A Note on the Religious Affiliations of Some American Founders.

(1) Regardless of what religion a man may or may not profess, the men who framed the constitution separated church (religion) and state (government)

Study Guide: Separation of Church and State - Indepth


. . . In the ecclesiastical realm, the deliberate and bold separation of churches from all agencies of government constituted a most radical, indeed revolutionary step. No western European nation of that eighteenth-century world could conceive of a social and political order maintained apart from an ecclesiastical establishment, an official religion.

But in and among those thirteen independent states, many factors fortuitously combined to make the inconceivable happen. For one thing, no single candidate emerged as the obvious choice for a "Church of the United States" certainly not the Church of England. Pietist groups, moreover, vigorously condemned on principle any linkage between the civil and ecclesiastical realm; religion was personal, not political, and the redeemed Christian community was called to live in separation from the world, not in corrupting alliance with it. Then the founding fathers themselves, largely deist in their orientation and sympathy, saw the politically powerful church as a liability for the state and a shackle on those struggling to advance the cause of mankind. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison shaped the course of church-state relationships nationally by directing them so carefully in postrevolutionary Virginia. Documents from their pens transcended time and place to set the United States on a course which few would have thought possible-or sensible. The Constitution said so little about religion partly because Madison and Jefferson had said so much.

Source of Information:

A Documentary History of Religion in America to the Civil War, Ed, by Edwin S. Gaustad, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (1982) pp. 226-27.


(2) They kept it pretty secular with regards to a motto and other symbols:

A Study Guide to the History of United States Symbols and Mottos

(3) The men who framed the amendments further reinforced that separation.

(4) Most of these men were born and grew up during a time when most of the colonies had either a single established religion or multiple establishments. Most of these men lived under a system, at some point or other, whereby they were required by law to support religion in general or a declared denomination. They were also frequently required by law to declare a denomination. Most if not all of the men on the list were politicians of some sort, holding office, etc and most colonies/states, at least early on still, had religious tests.

(5) What a man might "pledge" with regards to religion and what he actually believed can be worlds apart. The men of your list would not be the first group of men who said and did one thing for public and said and did another thing in private.


PART II

The founders, no matter how you define that term, were a mixed bunch as far as their religious beliefs, practices etc,

Some were orthodox Christians that were very into religion.
Some were orthodox Christians who were rather indifferent to religion
Some were Deist (Non-orthodox)
Some were Quakers (Non-orthodox)
Some were Catholic (Considered non-orthodox by most Protestant types who were orthodox)
Some were Unitarian (Non-orthodox)
Some probably were closet atheists or "infidels"
Some began as one thing and later moved into other areas of thinking and beliefs.

I might add that often times "Orthodox Christians" meant a member of the majority or established religion of a particular area or region. All others were dissenters and, more often than not, not viewed as "orthodox Christians." Orthodox also frequently meant the majority or established religion of a region or area and of course further meant it was the one true religion, or so those of that area claimed. Dissenters were considered to be infidels, heretics, worshipper of a false god following bastardize and corrupted teachings.

Orthodox was usually defined by most or many of the following elements:


Anywhere from four to six of the first United States Presidents would disqualify as "orthodox" Christians, as that term was understood then.


Some of the early Constitutions reflected this expected orthodoxy:

[Excerpts from the various state constitutions of the original 13 states.]

*Delaware:

. . .who shall confess and acknowledge Our almighty God, the Creator, Upholder and Ruler of the world ... AND that all Persons who also profess to believe in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World, . . .
That all Persons professing the Christian Religion ought forever to enjoy
"I _______, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, One God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration."
. . . Although it is the duty of all men frequently to assemble together for the public worship of the Author of the universe, and piety and morality, on which the prosperity of communities depends, are thereby promoted;

Connecticut:

obedience of the only true GOD, and the Saviour of Mankind, and of the Christian Faith,

Georgia and New Hampshire:

. . . representatives . . . shall be of the Protestant religion,

Maryland:

That, as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to him; all persons professing the Christian religion, are equally entitled to Protection in their religious liberty; wherefore no person ought by any law to be molested
. . . required "a declaration of a belief in the Christian religion" for all state officers.

Massachusetts:

It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. . . . I _______, do declare that I believe the Christian religion,

North Carolina:

That no person, who shall deny the being of God or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State.

South Carolina:

That all persons and religious societies who acknowledge that there is one God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, and that God is publicly to be worshipped, shall be freely tolerated.
. . . The Christian Protestant religion shall be deemed, and is hereby constituted and declared to be, the established religion of this State.
. . . That all denominations of Christian Protestants in this State, demeaning themselves peaceably and faithfully, shall enjoy equal religious and civil privileges.
Ist. That there is one eternal God, and a future state of rewards and punishments.
2d. That God is publicly to be worshipped.
3d. That the Christian religion is the true religion.
4th. That the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are of divine inspiration, and are the rule of faith and practice.
5th That it is lawful and the duty of every man being thereunto called by those that govern, to bear witness to the truth.


PART III

One can find information, by reputable serious scholars, who have named well known founders such as: Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Thomas Paine, Ethan Allen, Gouverneur Morris, James Madison, George Wythe, Edmund Randolph, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Marshall, (perhaps George Mason, Charles Pinckney) showing that they would not qualify as orthodox Christians or Christians with any real commitment to religion.

[Lesser known founders might be a bit harder to obtain information about]

Some of those scholars have also given us the following, which is only some of what is out there:


Second, the contributions of religion, especially Protestantism, to the shaping of American society must be put into clearer perspective. In the generation that produced the Constitution, only about ten percent of the population were church members, and in 1800 there were fewer churches relative to population than at any other time before or since.

Source of Information:

Religion & Constitutional Government in the United States, A Historical Overview with Sources. John E. Semonche, Signet Books Carrboro, N.C. (1985) pp 30


Despite being the first Trinitarian to occupy the office, [Andrew] Jackson refused to issue fast-day proclamations or to view with any sympathy the religiously inspired movement to stop Sunday mail delivery.

Source of Information:

Religion & Constitutional Government in the United States, A Historical Overview with Sources. John E. Semonche, Signet Books Carrboro, N.C. (1985) pp 30


At the time of the Revolution most of the founding fathers had not put much emotional stock in religion, even when they were regular churchgoers. As enlightened gentlemen, they abhorred "that gloomy superstition disseminated by ignorant illiberal preachers" and looked forward to the day when "the phantom of darkness will be dispelled by the rays of science, and the bright charms of rising civilization."

Source of Information:

The Radicalism of the American Revolution, by Gordon S. Wood, Alfred A. Knopf, N Y (1992) pp 330.


At best, most of the revolutionary gentry only passively believed in organized Christianity and, at worst, privately scorned and ridiculed it.

Source of Information:

The Radicalism of the American Revolution, by Gordon S. Wood, Alfred A. Knopf, N Y (1992) pp 330.


Although few of them were outright deists, most like David Ramsay described the Christian church as "the best temple of reason."

Source of Information:

The Radicalism of the American Revolution, by Gordon S. Wood, Alfred A. Knopf, N Y (1992) pp 330


In the last years of Washington's Presidency, Thomas Paine published The Age of Reason, his extended attack on orthodox religious beliefs and on the Bible. In doing so, he spoke for the most advanced liberal thinkers of his day. Eight American editions of his book appeared the first year. Though stating their opinions less bluntly, Franklin and Jefferson and perhaps a majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence basically agreed with Paine. Paine was not the atheist he has been called, but a deist, believing in God the First Cause, who worked solely through the laws of nature.

For ordinary folk the idea of God the Great Watchmaker frozen in the immutable laws of His clockwork universe was not enough. They felt the need of a comforting and personal God attainable beyond the reasoning mind. Where intellectuals turned to Unitarianism--a polite amalgam of deism and Congregationalism--the masses sought the heady evangelism of the Baptists and the Methodists, which itself seemed a democratic form of religion. Itinerant preachers carried the gospel message beyond the Appalachians to the remote and lonely regions of the frontier. At camp meetings, in the light of flaring bonfires, they prayed and sang the gospel hymns and shouted their simple message of sin and repentance until the more fervent among them fell to the ground in spasms of emotion.

While New England was shifting from the rigidities of Calvinism to Unitarianism, the South, under the influence of its "peculiar institution," was moving toward a revival of Calvinist theology, buttressed by evangelism, in which there was no room for deviation or ranging thought. I,iberalism in theology could lead to embarrassing questions about slavery, and the South, in sensing this danger, closed theological ranks. As for the Negroes, by the time of the Revolution they had begun to drift into separate churches conducted with primitive evangelistic zeal by their own clergy.

The religiousness of the century's end, known as the Second Awakening--the first, or Great Awakening, had been initiated by Jonathan Edwards fifty years earlier-- though in a sense the ordinary man's reaction to the detached intellectuals of the Enlightenment, was above all an indication that the United States was in the main still religious-minded.

Source of Information:

The American Heritage, History of Making the Nation 1783-1860, American Heritage/Bonanza Books N.Y. (1987) pp 77-78


Whoever wrote this petition, which was easily the most popular of the several circulating protests, was clearly an active Christian who believed the General Assessment bill would do nothing to check "that Deism with its banefull Influence [which] is spreading itself over the state"

Source of Information:

The Papers of James Madison, Volume 8, March 10, 1784- March 28, 1786. Edited by Robert A. Rutland, William M.E. Rachal. The University of Chicago Press, (1973) pp 295-298.


Ketcham demonstrates Madison's interest in metaphysical questions but provides no evidence to support his assertion that the mature Madison should be considered a more or less orthodox Christian. In fact, given the political circumstances, the absence of substantive evidence suggests the opposite opinion, for it is far easier to explain the reticence of a statesman who holds unorthodox

opinions than to account for the silence of a politician whose views accord well with those of his compatriots. In any case. as Madison's private correspondence indicates, his motive for entering the fray on behalf of freedom of conscience and against the establishment of religion was from the outset political and not religious. Note that, from at least one political perspective, Deism is the functional equivalent of atheism: see Hobbes, De cive IIl.xv. 14, and consider 1I Prologue, note 46, above.

Source of Information:

Republics Ancient and Modern, Inventions of Prudence: Constituting the American Regime, By Paul A. Rahe, Volume III, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill & London (1994) pp 53-54


The religious differences of the American people gave rise to a pluralistic society. Any talk of a Protestant America not only neglects those who were not of that faith, but also obscures the vital and important differences among Protestants in colonial society. More than anything else, these differences ensured religious liberty in the new nation. This was the conclusion reached by James Madison, often called the father of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, who felt that words on paper were less a guarantee of liberty than the American population's religious diversity.

Source of Information:

Religion & Constitutional Government in the United States, A Historical Overview with Sources. John E. Semonche, Signet Books Carrboro, N.C. (1985) pp 30


Eventually deism spread to early colonial America as well. The editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica noted:

By the end of the 18th century, Deism had become a dominant religious attitude among intellectual and upper class Americans.... The first three presidents of the United States also held deistic convictions, as is amply evidenced in their correspondence.

Source of Information:

Encyclopaedia Britannica s.v. “Religious and Spiritual Belief, Systems of,” (London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.), (1997, 26:569).


Where intellectuals turned to Unitarianism--a polite amalgam of deism and Congregationalism—

Source of Information:

The American Heritage, History of Making the Nation 1783-1860, American Heritage/Bonanza Books N.Y. (1987) pp 77-78


This book is a clear, concise, and accurate account of the philosophical and religious views that inspired Thomas Jefferson to compose the United States' formative document. Allen Jayne leaves no doubt that the "Nature's God" found in the Declaration of Independence, the deity who provides the American colonists with their right to rebel against the British government, is the rationalist God of deism, not the personal God of Abraham
.

Source of Information:

From a review of Allen Jayne's Jefferson's Declaration of Independence: Origins, Philosophy, and Theology. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. 1998. Pp. XIII, 245. The American Historical Review Vol. 104 # 3 June 1999. On line at www.historycooperative.org/journals/ahr/104.3/br_36.html


When the crisis came, Jefferson, Paine, John Adams, Washington, Franklin, Madison, and many lesser lights were to be reckoned among either the Unitarians or the Deists. it was not Cotton Mather's God to whom the author of the Declaration of Independence appealed, it was to 'Nature's God.' From whatever source derived, the effect of both Unitarianism and Deism was to hasten the retirement of historic theology from its empire over the intellect of American leaders, and to clear the atmosphere for secular interests.

Source of Information:

The Rise of American Civilization, by Charles A. and Mary R. Beard. (Vol. I., p. 449.)


Though the cool deism of Washington can hardly be distinguished in broad outline from that of Jefferson, the public reaction to the two men and their religious views differed sharply. Only Jefferson was denounced as the 'howling atheist,' never Washington. Only Jefferson was attacked as the enemy of the churches and the clergy, never Washington. A curious public probed and punches Adams, Franklin and Jefferson regarding their Christian convictions, but never Washington.

Source of Information:

Faith of Our Fathers, Religion and the New Nation. Edwin S. Gaustad, Harper & Row, (1987) pp 77


And to his son a few months later, Adams expressed amazement that, after all that had been written by samuel Clarke, Daniel Waterland, and Joseph Priestly, John Quincy persisted in holding to the Athanasian creed.(18)

FOOTNOTE:

(18) John Adams to John Quincy Adams, November 3, 1815; Adams Papers, reel 122 On January 3, 1817, John Quincy Adams wrote his father that all his "hopes of a future life" were "founded upon the Gospel of Christ." Nor, he added, would he "cavil or quibble away" what seemed to him clear assertions by Jesus that he was God."You see my orthodoxy grows upon me." Adrienne Koch and William Peden, eds., The Selected Writings of John and John Quincy Adams (New York, 1946), 291-92

Source of Information:

Faith of Our Fathers, Religion and the New Nation, Edwin S. Gaustad, Harper and Row, (1987) pp 90


America made a mistake in the year 1787. Officially, government ...broke with Christianity,

Source of Information:

Harold O. J. Brown, God and Politics, Four Views on the Reformation of Civil Government, Gary Scott Smith, ed. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1989. p. 132.


As President, Washington regularly attended Christian services, and he was friendly in his attitude toward Christian values. However, he repeatedly declined the church's sacraments. Never did he take communion, and when his wife, Martha, did, he waited for her outside the sanctuary.... Even on his deathbed, Washington asked for no ritual, uttered no prayer to Christ, and expressed no wish to be attended by His representative. George Washington's practice of Christianity was limited and superficial because he was not himself a Christian. In the enlightened tradition of his day, he was a devout Deist--just as many of the clergymen who knew him suspected.

Source of Information:

Barry Schwartz, George Washington: The Making of an American Symbol, New York: The Free Press, 1987, pp. 174-175.)


Doctor Rush tells me that he has it from Asa Green, that when the clergy addressed General Washington on his departure from the government, it was observed in their consultation, that he had never, on any occasion, said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion, and they thought they should so pen their address, as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so. However, he observed, the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice. Rush observes, he never did say a word on the subject in any of his public papers, except in his valedictory letter to the Governors of the States, when he resigned his commission in the army, wherein he speaks of "the benign influence of the Christian religion."

I know that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his secrets and believed himself to be so, has often told me that General Washington believed no more of that system than he himself did.

Source of Information:

Entry by Thomas Jefferson in his Anas. February 1, 1800, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Selected and Edited by Saul K. Padover , The Easton press. (1967) pp 217-218)


Even Mr. Jefferson, and [George] Wythe, who did not conceal their disbelief in Christianity, took their parts in the duties of vestrymen, the one at Williamsburg, the other at Albermarle; for they wished to be men of influence.

Source of Information:

William Meade, Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia, 2 vols.; Philadelphia, 1857, I, 191). (Paul F. Boller, George Washington & Religion, Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963, p. 26.)


William Lee Miller, who has made a special study of the role of religion in the nation's founding, summarized the conclusion of that study in these striking words:

Did "religious freedom" for Jefferson and Madison extend to atheists? Yes. To agnostics, unbelievers, and pagans? Yes. To heretics and blasphemers and the sacrilegious? Yes. To "the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohametan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination?" Yes. To Papists? Yes. To "irreligion"? Yes. To people who want freedom from religion? Yes. To people who want freedom against religion?

Yes.(9)

Source of Information:

(9) William Lee Miller, "The Ghost of Freedoms Past," in The Washington Post National Weekly Edition (13 October 1886), p. 23. ]


. . . Most historians agree that Article VI, which states that public officials shall be "bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States," was a move toward the disestablishment of churches as official power brokers, and the establishment of the principles of religious pluralism and separation of church and state. [pp. 83-84]

Such a view requires ignoring Article VI. Before 1787, most of the colonies and early states had required pledges of allegiance to Christianity, if not a particular sect, and that one be a member of the correct sect to vote or hold public office. Part of the struggle toward democracy at the time was the "disestablishment" of the state churches-the power structures of the local colonial theocracies. Thus the "religious test" was a significant philosophical matter. There was little debate over Article VI, which passed unanimously at the Constitutional Convention.26 Most of the states soon followed the federal lead in bringing their legal codes into the constitutional framework. Delaware was the first, in 1792, to bring its laws into conformity with this constitutional provision .27 [p. 84]

By contrast, historian Garry Wills sees no mistake. The framers of the Constitution, he concludes, stitched together ideas from "constitutional monarchies, ancient republics, and modern leagues... but we (the U.S.) invented nothing, except disestablishment... No other government in the history of the world had launched itself without the help of officially recognized gods and their state connected ministers."29. . . [p. 84]

Disestablishment was the clear and unambiguous choice of framers of the Constitution, most of whom were serious Christian They were also well aware of the history of religious persecution carried out in the name of Christianity. The Protestant Reformation had a horrific record of persecution and religious warfare long before it provided the basis for religious liberty. Rutland notes that one tenth of the population of Germany was killed during the Thirty Years War between 1616 and 1648, "the very time that the New England Puritans were settling in the New World in quest of their own religious liberty, and incidentally, their freedom to persecute in their ow way."31 Similarly, neo-conservative scholar Michael Novak observes that the authors of the Constitution "had learned from the bitter experience of the religious wars that they had to treat well the matter religion. They had to do so in a practical way that would work." 32

Even Gary North (who holds a Ph.D. in History) sees the connection between Article VI and disestablishment, and attacks Rushdoony's version of the "Christian" Constitution. North writes: "In his desire to make the case for Christian America, he (Rushdoony) closed his eyes to the judicial break from Christian America: the ratification of the Constitution." North says Rushdoony "pretends" that Article VI "does not say what it says, and does not mean what it has always meant: a legal barrier to Christian theocracy," leading "directly to the rise of religious pluralism. 33 The long-term national goal," he concludes, "has to be the substitute of a Trinitarian national oath for the present prohibition against religious test oaths." 34 [p. 84]

26. Leo Pfeffer, Church, State, and Freedom, Beacon Press, 1967. P. 254, (revised edition).

27. Albert J. Menendez, No Religious Test: The Story of Our Constitution's Forgotten Article, Americans United for Separation of Church & State, 1987. p. 11.

29. Garry Wills, Under God: Religion and American Politics, Simon and Schuster, 1990. p. 383.

31. Robert Rutland, "The Courage to Doubt in a Secular Republic," in James Madison on Religious Liberty, Prometheus Books, 1985. p. 209

32. Michael Novak, ibid., p. 300.

33. North, "Political Polytheism", op. cit., pp. 681-685. A Non-Reconstructionist Advocate of the "Christian Nation" doctrine, Harold O. J. Brown, agrees with North. "America made a mistake in the year 1787. Officially, government ...broke with Christianity," God and Politics, Four Views on the Reformation of Civil Government, Gary Scott Smith, ed. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1989. p. 132.

34. North, ibid., p. 568.

Source of Information:

Frederick Clarkson, Eternal Hostility, The Struggle Between Theoracy and Democracy. Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine (1997) 83-86


The United States was the first modern nation founded on purpose in the bright light of history. The mere existence of the nation was itself a kind of Declaration of Independence from the folk gods and religious and semireligious myths that had always and everywhere surrounded governments and their rulers. Kings and queens were customarily crowned and hallowed by priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes. . ..

Some would say that religious liberty is probably the most distinctive and certainly one of the greatest contributions of the American experience to all human progress. Religious liberty in the United States is the product of not only the courageous personal humility of the Founding Fathers, as well as a by-product of some happy facts of American history. These are no less important because they appear obvious, but we're inclined to ignore them.

First, since the founding of the nation-by an act of revolution and by the framing of a Constitution-was accomplished in a relatively brief time, living men and women could see that it was a product of their struggles, discussion, and handiwork, not the fiat of some sanctified, myth enshrouded past.

Second, the nation was created from areas with diverse sects. Oddly enough, the fact that the colonies already had their several and various established churches contributed to this necessity. A federal nation was plainly not founded on an orthodox religious base. In Europe, the Protestant Reformation came as a disruptive force into the relatively monolithic world of the medieval church. In England, for example, Protestant orthodoxy was indelibly identified with national identity. In the American colonies, religious variety preceded political unity and had to be accommodated within it.

Third, the diffusion of American colonial settlements with no one capital, the great distance of colonial urban centers from one another, and the oceanic separation from London or Rome, all made religious independence a fact of geography as well as of theology. So much of the population was at the edges and out beyond the range of the churches. One of the consequences of this was a different line of historical development of the relation between church and state, one which is so grand and so unqiue that we are perhaps inclined to ignore it. Over there, the development was generally from religious orthodoxy enforced by the state, to toleration-and only later to religious liberty. Historically speaking, of course, religious toleration is to be sharply contrasted to religious liberty. Toleration implies the existence of an established church, and toleration is always a revocable concession rather than a defensible right. In the United States, for the first time in modern Western history, the nation leaped from the provincial religious preference of its regions into religious liberty for the whole nation. The Founding Fathers despised the condescension that was implied in the very concept of toleration. That was a stage necessary for Old World nations, but not for our New World nation.

Source of Information:

.Robert Rutland, "The Courage to Doubt in a Secular Republic," in James Madison on Religious Liberty, Prometheus Books, 1985. p. 208 [209].


As to the question of how the deistic, un-Christian reference to Nature's God could have gotten the approval of the drafting committee, it must be recalled that a majority of the five-man committee were deists and/or Unitarians--as were many leading colonialists at that time. In fact, Leo Pfeffer lists George Washington, Patrick Henry, George Mason, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, John Adams, and, of course, Thomas Jefferson among the most prominent leaders of the time who were influenced by deism or Unitarianism. Three of those leaders were on the drafting committee, which consisted of Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston.

Franklin described himself as a 'a thorough deist' and 'reject[ed] his Christian upbringing.' He also was a Freemason who subscribed to the notion of God as 'the Great Architect.' He supported the ideas of Thomas Paine and 'never came to accept the Bible as the divine revelation or Jesus as the son of God.' Although he 'seldom attended any public worship,' he believed in a divinity--probably the same 'clockmaker' God of Nature in whom Jefferson believed. 'At one point he expressed a blief in a single supreme God who supervised a number of lesser gods, one of whom created our world,' and he 'ridiculed the idea that either Adam's sin or the righteousness of Christ could be inherited or 'imputed' to Adam's posterity.' There does not appear to be any inconsistency between Franklin's deistic religious beliefs and those reflected in the Declaration. --Alan Dershowitz, 2003

"I do not like the reappearance of the Jesuits. . . . Shall we not have regular swarms of them here, in as many disguises as only a king of the gypsies can assume, dressed as printers, publishers, writers and schoolmasters? If ever there was a body of men who merited damnation on earth and in Hell, it is this society of Loyola's. Nevertheless, we are compelled by our system of religious toleration to offer them an asylum."

"He [Adams] characterized Catholicism as 'fraudulent' and having inflicted 'a mortal wound' on Christianity. Finally he asked Jefferson, rhetorically: 'Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion?'"

"Jefferson may not have been correct in predicting that 'there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die an Unitarian,' but apparently he was right about John Adams, who, along with his wife, Abigail, and their son, John Quincy, is buried in a crypt beneath a Unitarian church in Quincy, Massachusetts.'"

"Although John Adam's religious views and practices were somewhat closer to conventional Christianity than Jefferson's and Franklin's, there is no inconsistency between what Adams apparently believed in 1776 and his approval of the deistic language of the Declaration of Independence. Nor can it be argued that Adams was unaware of Jefferson's un-Christian views

when Adams approved the language of the Declaration. At about the time the Declaration was written, Adams had chastised Jefferson for 'cast[ing] aspersions on Christianity' during a debate over a proposed day of fasting. Adams was reminded of his actions in a subsequent letter from

Benjamin Rush:

"You rose and defended the motion, and in reply to Mr. Jefferson's objections to Christianity you said you were sorry to hear such sentiments from a gentleman whom you so highly respected and with whom you agreed upon so many subjects, and that it was the only instance you had ever

known of a man of sound sense and real genius that was an enemy to Christianity. You suspected, you told me, that you had offended, but that he soon convinced you to the contrary by crossing the room and taking a seat in the chair next to you."

Source of Information:

Alan Dershowitz, America Declares Independence,(2003) pp. 65-66, 68


Conclusion

Since this book is about religion in American politics, it has dealt primarily with Protestant, and especially evangelical, Christianity. The influence of that form of religion has been so preponderant that only recently has the notion of America as "a Christian nation" become rightly suspect. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor caused a flurry of criticism when she endorsed that notion in 1989.1 Yet the Supreme Court referred to "this Christian nation" in nineteenth-century cases.2 Abraham Lincoln regularly used the term.3

To understand why the term is now offensive we must recognize exactly what it meant through most of our history. It did not mean that "JudeoChristian heritage" people invoke when they want to defend civil religion of Tocqueville's sort or try to shoehorn prayer back into the schools. The dominant Christianity of America tolerated when it did not encourage anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism. The "Judeo" part of the mythical Judeo-Christian heritage was a Protestant reading of its "Old Testament" as if that were the Jewish Scripture. There is more genuine religious vision, much of it derived from the Jewish tradition, in recent criticism of religious symbols than in condescending praise of the Jews as preparers of the Christian testament. The ancient prohibition on idolatry is a healthy warning against letting "civil religion" appropriate the attributes of God. In most of our wars, as in dubious other matters like slavery, we have indeed "taken God's name in vain."

America was, sociologically, a "Christian (Protestant) nation" by virtue of its dominant cultural values, so long as those values were not effectively challenged by others. Catholics withdrew from the national school system to escape Protestantism, not secularism. Prayers were still said, the Bible still read, in schools that the Catholic hierarchy objected to-only it was the Protestant translation of the Bible that was used, and the Protestant version of the Lord's Prayer. Nineteenth-century Protestantism was not ecumenical. Those harking back to the "good old days" of religion in public life forget just how exclusive that religion was.

America's culture was infused with Protestantism in the same way that, according to Cardinal Newman, British literature was culturally Protestant. As a Catholic, of course, he did not consider this historical fact prescriptive, the expression of what should have been or had to be or must forever be; but he told his fellows to face it as a historical fact: "We cannot write a new Milton or a new Gibbon.."4 There are some givens of a historical situation-and he was speaking de facto, not de lure. Catholics should not deny the facts, he argued. They should face the obvious: "We cannot destroy or reverse it the Protestant character of classical English literature; we may confront and encounter it, but we cannot make it over again."5

In the same way, there is no denying the Protestant consensus with which this nation began-the anti-Catholicism expressed even in the Declaration of Independence, the long exclusion of Jews from "Christian organizations," the nativist resistance to other cultures. A Protestant God led armies into war against the devil-worshiping Native Americans. African gods could not be worshiped on America's soil when slaves were brought here. Yet the first insights into the need to separate church and state also came from Protestants-from people like John Endecott, Roger Williams, and the Baptists. There were Protestant critics of slavery as well as defenders-Anthony Benezet, for instance, in colonial and revolutionary Philadelphia, breaking the law to teach slaves how to read. We have a double heritage, even from the Protestant background that dominated our culture for so long.

But few, even Protestants, want that exclusive aspect of our culture to be maintained. That is why our history has been selectively rewritten, foisting on us a premature ecumenism and mythical amity of "judeo-Christian" elements. But it is our task, in a society of increasingly complex articulation, to complete the effort of Madison in removing religion from state ceremony and proclamations. We appreciate better than Lincoln's contemporaries did his use of religious language to question the complacent view that God is in agreement with armies that invoke him. We value more those who follow conscience to deny that a once-Christian culture must have a Christian state. A modern prophet like Dr. King makes us understand the witness of those who found the "Christian state" ungodly in its blessing of things like slavery.

Despite the Protestant presuppositions of our culture (many of them unspoken), we have had a professed ideal of constitutional separation. That gave to religion an initial, if minimal, freedom from crippling forms of cooperation with the state. That, more than anything else, made the United States a new thing on the earth, setting new tasks for religion, offering it new opportunities. Everything else in our Constitution-separation of powers, balanced government, bicameralism, federalism-had been anticipated both in theory and practice. The framers aptly defended their handiwork with citations from Polybius and Montesquieu and Hume, and with references to the history of constitutional monarchies, ancient republics, and modern leagues. We combined a number of these features in a way that was suitable to our genius, as the drafters put itto what Montesquieu called the national esprit. But we invented nothing, except disestablishment.

No other government in history had launched itself without the help of officially recognized gods and their state-connected ministers. It is no wonder that, in so novel an undertaking, it should have taken a while to sift the dangers and the blessings of the new arrangement, to learn how best to live with it, to complete the logic of its workings. We are still grappling with its meaning for us. But, at the least, its meaning has been one of freedom-the free exercise of the churches, free not only from official obstruction but from compromising favors. A burden was lifted from religion when it ceased to depend on the breath of princes, when it had nothing by way of political office with which to lure or tempt people into the fold or into the ministry. Thrown back on themselves, the churches were encouraged to search for their own essence, make their moral case on truly religious grounds, reward people in the proper spiritual currency. The contradictory goals of political advancement and religious vocation were not an omnipresent problem.

Corruption of church and state is a mutual infection, whether mild or extreme. Even in mild form, it leads to the quiet agony of Trollope's Warden (Septimus Harding), baffled by pygmy clergy seeking preferment.At its worst it leads to the horror of the medieval papacy Lord Acton's own example of "absolute power [that] corrupts absolutely. "6

Our American churches have escaped the worst element of that partnership-the effort to maintain theological consistency through changes of political regimes; the cleansing of mud from ecclesiastical skirts after official scandal; the labor to maintain spiritual strength in captivity, like Samson stirring in his chains; the spectacle of disappointed clerics who dwindle into bitter courtiers. Purity of teaching and practice is easier to demand, and not always impossible of achievement. Mercenary desires, though they can creep in on ministers from all other sides, are at least not obtruded by the state. We stumble on no remnants of cuius regio eius religio (each region its own religion), as even Queen Elizabeth II does, obliged to change identities in moving from one realm to another: Head of the English church south of the Scottish border, she becomes head of the Presbyterian kirk north of it.

The fear, of course, was that a church freed of official power would be neutered. But no careful look at our history can support such fear. Religion has, admittedly, been a powerful force for social stability, supporting indirectly the regime that offers free exercise to all beliefs; but it has also been a prophetic voice of resistance to power when that is unchecked by moral insight. The cleric in jail is an American tradition, the conscientious objector, the practitioner of civil disobedience. The Quaker Anthony Benezet denounced slavery to Patrick Henry, war to General Howe, and the treatment of Arcadians to his local Philadelphia rulers.

Carrie Nation, like Ronald Reagan a Disciple of Christ, made fervent war on saloons. The Underground Railway was run by holy criminals. Religious radicals have extraordinary staying power-like Dorothy Day, who went to jail for women's rights with Alice Paul in the 1920s, and with Ammon Hennacy to protest nuclear war in the 1950s, feeding the poor and defying the powerful, decade in and decade out. Of all the communes formed in the wake of the 1960s, only religious ones seem to have survived into the 1990s-Jonah House, Sojourners, the Committee for Creative Non-Violence. The sanctuary movement offered a new underground railway for those fleeing oppression in El Salvador and Guatemala.

The sanctuary movement of the 1980s renewed a religious drama played out, over and over, in our supposedly secular world-the nocturnal gathering for prayer, then the flight from police. The FBI sent bugged informers into sanctuary churches. It paid spies like Jesus Cruz to smuggle refugees alongide the movement's organizers, then to testify against them in the Phoenix trial of 1985-86. 7

Jesds Cruz was an interesting name in this context, both the first and the last name (cruz means "cross"-Jesus Cruz always wore one around his neck). I think of him at Mass with the refugees, repeating that Last Supper at which Jesus said the one who dipped a hand in the bowl with him would betray him. In Cruz's case, the price was not thirty pieces of silver but eighteen thousand dollars of tax-collected money. Here, as so often, the church was not only separate from the state, but opposed to the state, castigating it, breaking its laws, as Dr. King did, and Dorothy Day, and Anthony Benezet. It is a part of our history we can be proud of, though our elected representatives play the villains in the story. Roger Williams knew that true religion must always be, in some measure, an underground affair.

1. Alan M. Dershowitz, "Justice O'Connor's Second Indiscretion," New York Times, April 2, 1989.

2. People v. Ruggles (1811): "We Are a Christian people." Justice Brewer in Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States (1892): "This is a Christian nation." Cf. Mark DeWolfe Howe, The Garden and the Wilderness: Religion and Government in American Constitutional History (University of Chicago, 1965), pp. 14, 29.

3. See Lincoln's order for Sabbath observance by the military, out of "deference to the best sentiment of a Christian people," in Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings, 18591865, edited by Don F. Fehrenbacher (Library of America, 1989), p. 382. Also the resolution of slavery, as disqualifying the South from entry "into the family of christian and civilized nations" (ibid., p. 445-and cf. pp. 223, 433, 597, 627).

4. John Henry Newman, "English Catholic Literature," in The Idea of a University (Oxford, 1976), p. 255.

5. Ibid., p. 259.

6. Acton's famous axiom was formulated in a letter of 1887 to Mandell Creighton, a historian of the papacy. See Selected Writings of Lord Acton, edited by J. Rufus Fears (Liberty Classics, 1985), vol. 2, p. 383.

7. 'Cf. Miriam Davidson, Convictions of the Heart: Jim Corbett and the Sanctuary Movement (University of Arizona, 1988), pp. 115-17; Robert Tomsho, The American Sanctuary Movement (Texas Monthly Press, 1987), pp. 159-67, 204-5.

Source of Information:

Garry Wills, Under God: Religion and American Politics, Simon and Schuster, 1990. pp. 381-385. 383


Despite the Protestant presuppositions of our culture (many of them unspoken), we have had a professed ideal of constitutional separation. That gave to religion an initial, if minimal, freedom from crippling forms of cooperation with the state. That, more than anything else, made the United States a new thing on the earth, setting new tasks for religion, offering it new opportunities. Everything else in our Constitution-separation of powers, balanced government, bicameralism, federalism-had been anticipated both in theory and practice. The framers aptly defended their handiwork with citations from Polybius and Montesquieu and Hume, and with references to the history of constitutional monarchies, ancient republics, and modern leagues. We combined a number of these features in a way that was suitable to our genius, as the drafters put itto what Montesquieu called the national esprit. But we invented nothing, except disestablishment.

No other government in history had launched itself without the help of officially recognized gods and their state-connected ministers. It is no wonder that, in so novel an undertaking, it should have taken a while to sift the dangers and the blessings of the new arrangement, to learn how best to live with it, to complete the logic of its workings. We are still grappling with its meaning for us. But, at the least, its meaning has been one of freedom-the free exercise of the churches, free not only from official obstruction but from compromising favors. A burden was lifted from religion when it ceased to depend on the breath of princes, when it had nothing by way of political office with which to lure or tempt people into the fold or into the ministry. Thrown back on themselves, the churches were encouraged to search for their own essence, make their moral case on truly religious grounds, reward people in the proper spiritual currency. The contradictory goals of political advancement and religious vocation were not an omnipresent problem.

Source of Information:

Garry Wills, Under God: Religion and American Politics, Simon and Schuster, 1990. p. 383


(26) [The] manifest object of the men who framed the institution of this country, was to have a State without religion and a Church without politics--that is to say, they meant that one should never be used as an engine for the purposes of the other.... For that they built up a wall of complete partition between the two. (Jeremiah S. Black, noted constitutional advocate, Essays and Speeches, D. Appleton and Co., 1885.

Source of Information:

As quoted by Leo Pfeffer, "The Establishment Clause: The Never-Ending Conflict," in Ronald C. White and Albright G. Zimmerman, An Unsettled Arena: Religion and the Bill of Rights, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1990, p. 72.)


SOME ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Note: Some of the following links will take you off The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State website. We do not vouch for the accuracy of information contained on those sites nor do the sites necessarily reflect our position on all issues.

Study Guide: The Roots of American Democracy

Roots of American Law

Treaty of Tripoli, 1796: Little-Known U.S. Document Signed by President Adams Proclaims America's Government Is Secular

"Joel Barlow And The Treaty With Tripoli: A Tangled Tale Of Pirates, A Poet And The True Meaning Of The First Amendment" by Rob Boston,

Holy Trinity and the Christian Nation Dicta

Getting to Know Supreme Court Justice David J. Brewer

The Supreme Court has Declared that the United States is a Christian Nation.

The word Religion does not mean Christian

"The Year of Our Lord" and separation.

Sunday (Sabbath) arguments and Clashes (1810-1835)

Genealogy of Sunday Laws

The Sunday Mail argument (1810-1830)

Sundays Excepted

"Sunday Excepted" & "Year of Our lord" (1830-1833)

In God We Trust

Some Thoughts on Religion and Law

Religious Freedom vs Religion


Another view of America and it's founders and founding:

Subject: A Series, Founders & Religion [Feb 1, 2003] [10 parts]

Part #1

Part #2 Part #3 Part #4 Part #5 Part #6 Part #7 Part #8 Part #9 Part #10


Study Guide: Separation of Church and State - Indepth

Everson v. Bd of Ed defined the Establishment Clasue. Here are the footnotes that the court used to pen the definition: Footnotes to Everson V. Bd of Ed.

Ed and Michael Buckner have compiled an extensive collection of Quotations Supporting the Separation of Church and State.

A Critical Response to Bernard Katz On Our Founding Fathers by Robert Nordlander

Federal officials take their oaths upon a Bible, and use the words "so help me God."

How often did the founders quote the Bible?

All Those Christian Presidents

Did John Quincy Adams ever say that the American Revolution "connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity?"

Did Montesquieu base his theory of separation of powers on the Bible?

Benjamin F. Underwood: The Practical Separation of Church and State (1876)

Rufus King's views on Separation of Church and State

Reverend John Leland on Separation of Church and State

John Leland: Secular Humanist? by Gene Garman

A Baptist minister and follow warrior with Jefferson, Madison and others in the struggle for religious freedom gave this advice about electing public officials: "...guard against those men who make a great noise about religion..."

George Mason's views on Separation of Church and State

Charles Pinckney and Separation of Church and State.

Edmund Randolph's views on Separation of Church and State

What about quotations that appear to oppose separation?

What the founders believed about separation of church and state

Noah Webster's views on the Separation of Church and State

Jefferson on religion flourishing on its own merits

Thomas Jefferson on church and state

[Did] Thomas Jefferson supported Bible reading in school; this is proven by his service as the first president of the Washington, D.C. public schools, which used the Bible and Watt's Hymns as textbooks for reading.

Another Jefferson Quote Debunked

Jefferson, Religion, and the Public Schools.

Jefferson's Declaration of Independence did not use the word "Creator"

Joseph Story's ongoing war with Thomas Jefferson

79. A Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge (1778)

80. A Bill for Amending the Constitution of the College of William and Mary, and Substituting More Certain Revenues for Its Support (1779)

81. A Bill for Establishing a Public Library (1779)

[DID] Thomas Jefferson actually said that the wall of separation between church and state was "one directional."

Jefferson's Danbury letter was written merely to assure Connecticut Baptists that the Constitution did not permit the establishment of a national denomination.

Jefferson's Danbury letter was written to address the Danbury Baptists' fears that the First Amendment might be misinterpreted.

Jefferson's letter to Benjamin Rush shows that Jefferson was a non-preferentialist.

Thomas Jefferson on Religious Freedom Jefferson's Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in the State of Virginia

Thomas Jefferson's Bill for Religious Freedom (1779)

Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government 52. Freedom of Religion

Thomas Jefferson on Religion

Thomas Jefferson on Christianity & Religion Compiled by Jim Walker

Thomas Jefferson on Religion

Thomas Jefferson on religion

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786) Thomas Jefferson

The Real Jefferson on Religion by Robert S. Alley

The Letters of Thomas Jefferson: 1743-1826 Religion and the University To Dr. Thomas Cooper Monticello, November 2, 1822

The Letters of Thomas Jefferson: 1743-1826 Religious Freedom To Rev. Samuel Miller Washington, Jan. 23, 1808

Thomas Jefferson's Letters on Liberty and Religion

Jefferson's Note on Virginia (religion)

THE Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, Extracted Textually from the Gospels Compiled by Thomas Jefferson Edited by Eyler Robert Coates, Sr. [a decent version, not the most accurate ]

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson: A UU Perspective: Was Jefferson a Unitarian?

Thomas Jefferson: The Sphere of Religion

Jefferson and Religion--Google search

Celebrating Madison at 250: Father of the Constitution opposed Tax Funding of Religion

What God Has Put Asunder: James Madison Quotes On Church And State

Is it true that Madison said "Our future is staked on the 10 commandments?"

Is it true that Madison said "Religion is the foundation of government?"

Madison's Arguments Against Special Religious Sanction of American Government (1792)

Madison's vetoes: Some of The First Official Meanings Assigned to The Establishment Clause

Madison's letter to Jasper Adams

Madison on church and state

Chief Justice Burger, I Would Like You To Meet Mr. Madison

Madison's Arguments Against Special Religious Sanction of American Government

Madison's vetoes: Some of The First Official Meanings Assigned to The Establishment Clause (1811)

Two Views: James Madison's and Joseph Story's

Excerpts from James Madison's Autobiography

James Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance (June,1785)

Excerpts from James Madison's Detached Memoranda (written after 1817)

Madison's letter to Jasper Adams

James Madison and Patrick Henry I

James Madison and Patrick Henry, II

Establishments of Religion by James Madison

Watch the Grave of James Madison by Gene Garman

James Madison on Separation of Church and State

James Madison and the Social Utility of Religion: Risks vs. Rewards

James Madison and Patrick Henry

Part Two. James Madison and Patrick Henry, part 2.

Quotations on religion James Madison

James Madison & Church-State Separation What The Father Of The Constitution Thought About ‘Faith- Based' Government Programs by Rob Boston

Faith-Based Charities unconstitutional, says the father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights

I Pledge Allegiance to James Madison

The religious Life of Thomas Jeffeson, Charles B. Sanford. Pg 5

Jefferson Church, etc.

Madison never seemed to have been an ardent believer himself [12-29-99]

Additional info showing Madison never seemed to have been an ardent believer himself [12-29-99]

Madison's Familiarity with writings of Europeans [12-29-99]

Additional info on Madison's familiarity with writings of Europeans [12-29-99]

Did "religious freedom" for Jefferson and Madison extend to atheists? Yes. [12-30-99]

Fudging on Priestley [12-30-99]

More fudging on Priestley [12-30-99]

TO F. L. Schaeffer (only mention of Luther in any of Madison's writings found to date) and references to Blackstone in Madison's writings [12-30-99]
http://www.deja.com/getdoc.xp?AN=566505232&fmt=text

Evidence relating to the substance of Madison's religious studies during this period (childhood to 1776) is scanty.[12-30-99]

Additional evidence that Madison's religion or lack thereof was largely unknown [12-30-99]

Here was a man (Madison) inspired by what she described as "the true religion of statesmanship, (political religion, the religion of politics) [12-30-99]

There is positive evidence that he (Madison) never intended to make the ministry his life work [12-30-99]

Madison & Calvin [12-30-99]

It becomes apparent that Madison did not maintain his interest in theological controversy very long after his period of entrance into public life in 1776. [12-30-99]

Madison went far beyond Locke [12-31-99]

He [Madison] never became a member of the Episcopal Church [12-31-99]

Lack of mentioning of Luther and Calvin in the Papers of Madison [12-31-99]

Bogus quote attributed to Madison [12-31-99]

In 1814, Madison demonstrated his occasional Enlightenment antagonism toward clericalism in a bitter comment on New England's resistance to the War of 1812: [12-31-99]

Madison, Religion and education

Beasley had written to Madison requesting that he offer his opinion on a pamphlet, Vindication of the Argument a prior in Proof of the Being and Attributes of God. [1-1-00]

Madison and Separation Church & State

A question about Madison [1-2-00]

About the General assessment battle in Virginia [ Jan. 22, 2000]

Madison and 1774-76 [Jan. 22, 2000]

A comparison between the fifteen-paragraph Memorial and Remonstrance and John Locke's "Letter on Toleration" (1685) leads to the speculation that Madison had occasion to use Locke's treatise in preparing his own. [Jan. 22, 2000]

James Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance [1-3-00]

Explanation of James Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance [1-3-00]

Reminding that Madison never joined the Episcopalian church [1-4-00]

Letters from Madison showing he was not well versed in theology and religion[1-7-00] also see this item.

Why did Madison go to Princeton [10/20/03]

From probably even before the Constitution was written, on the various state levels two primary camps of thought and desires formed regarding religion and the state [1-11-00] [1]

Montesquieu, Hume, Madison, By Paul A. Rahe [1-11-00] [II]

Princeton, Witherspoon, Hume, Madison, By Paul A. Rahe[1-11-00] [III]

Madison to William Bradford, Dec. 1. 1773 [1-11-00] [IV]

Madison to William Bradford, Jan 24. 1774 [1-12-00] [V]

Madison, Witherspoon, Princeton, By Paul A. Rahe [1-12-00] [VI]

Smith, Madison Voltaire, Locke, E. Randolph, By Paul A. Rahe [1-12-00] [VII]

Madison identified as a Deist, language of Deism, etc. ByPaul A. Rahe [1-12-00] [VIII]

There is no principle in all of Madison's wide range of private opinions and long public career to which he held with greater vigor and tenacity than this one of religious liberty. The strength of this consistency was heightened significantly by the substitution of the concept of freedom of conscience for the Lockean idea of toleration. [1-18-00] [part I]

Declaration of Rights and Form of Government of Virginia (in depth) [1-18-00] [part II]

Madison and Va Declaration of Rights (in depth) [1-18-00] [part III]

Virginia Declaration of Rights (in depth) [1-18-00] [part IV]

Committee's Proposed Article on Religion (in depth) [1-18-00] [part V]

Madison's Amendments to the Declaration of Rights (in depth) [1-18-00] [part VI]

Madison and Joseph Story [1-18-00]

Madison and Joseph Story[1-18-00]
http://www.deja.com/getdoc.xp?AN=574232279&fmt=text

George Mason, Madison and the Virginia Declaration of Rights [1-20-99]

Additional evidence of Madison separating from Witherspoon on church state thinking

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