Aims of the Founding Fathers – On Church and State

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religion-politicsWhy Religion and the Politics Should Function Separately.

James_Madison_by_Chester_Harding_(detail),_1829-1830_-_DSC03224

“Religion and Government will both both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together.” – Writings of James Madison, Vol.III, p. 273.

“It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.  We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution.  The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in  precedents.  They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.   We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it.  Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish, with the same ease, any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?” – Writings of James Madison, Vol. I, p. 162.

Old US Mail Bag“If the principle is once established that religion, or religious observances, shall be interwoven with our legislative acts, we must pursue it to its ultimatum.” – U.S. Senate Report on Sunday Mails, Jan. 19, 1829.

“Among all the religious persecutions with which almost every page of modern history is stained, no victim ever suffered but for the violation of what government denominated the law of God.  To prevent a similar train of evils in this country, the Constitution has wisely withheld from our government the power of defining the divine law.  It is a right reserved to each citizen.” – U.S. Senate Report on Sunday Mails, Jan. 19, 1829.

U. S. Grant

“Leave the matter of religion to the family alter, the church, and the private school supported entirely by private contribution, Keep church and state forever separate.” – U. S. Grant, in Speech at Des Moines, Iowa, 1875.

 

 

Schaff_P“Secular power has proved a satanic gift to the church, and ecclesiastical power has proved an engine of tyranny in the hands of the state.” – Dr. Phillip Schaff, in “Church and State,” p. 11.1

 

 

Thomas_Babington_Macaulay,_Baron_Macaulay“The whole history of the Christian religion shows that she is in far greater danger of being corrupted by the alliance of power than of being crushed by its opposition,” – Macaulay’s Essay on “Southey’s Colloquies.”

 

 

Thomas Jefferson“I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from inter-meddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.” – Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to the Rev. Mr. Miller; Works of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. V, p. 236.

 

 

Imacon Color ScannerPatrick Henry said in a speech in defense of the Baptists of Virginia, who were persecuted for preaching the gospel:  “When our fathers left the land of their nativity for these American wilds, – from the moment they placed their feet upon the American continent, – from that moment despotism was crushed, the fetters of darkness were broken, and Heaven decreed that man should be free, – free to worship God according to the Bible.  In vain, if were all their offerings and bloodshed to subjugate this new world, if we, their offspring, must still be oppressed and persecuted.” – In Parton’s “Life of Thomas Jefferson.

 Charles Haddon Spurgeon 1834-1892“I am ashamed of some Christians because they have so much dependence on Parliament and the law of the land. Much good may Parliament ever do to true religion, except by mistake.  As to getting the law of the land to touch our religion, we earnestly cry, ‘Hands off, leave us alone!’  Your Sunday bills and all other forms of Act-of-Parliament religion seem to me to be all wrong.  Give us a fair field and no favor, and our faith has no cause to fear. Christ wants no help from Caesar – Charles Spurgeon.

 

James_A._Bayard,_Jr._-_Brady-Handy“The prohibition of any religious test for office was wise, because its admission would lead to hypocrisy and corruption. The purity of religion is best preserved by keeping it separate from government; and the surest means of giving to it its proper influence in society is the dissemination of correct principles through the medium of education.  The experience of this country has proved, that religion may flourish in all its vigor and purity, with out the aid of a national establishment; and the religious feeling of the community is the best guarantee for the religious administration of government.” – James A. Bayard (the younger).

 


 Religious Liberty Wisdom 

“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”  Jesus Christ, Matthew 22:21, KJV

 

1  Philip Schaff (January 1, 1819 – October 20, 1893), was a Swiss-born, German-educated Protestant theologian and a Church historian who spent most of his adult life living and teaching in the United States.

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