The First Amendment & Freedom of Religion

A behind-the-scenes analysis of the intent of the Framers of the Constitution.

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1st Amendment Separation of Church and State: Intent of our Founding Fathers : Appendix

Are we a nation 'under God?'
American Exceptionalism
America's Mystic Roots
Our Rainbow Heritage
That 'religious' America
Pray for Our Leaders
Our First Freedom (Leland)
Awash in a sea of faith
Heretic Hunters
The Law of Nations
Outcast Spinoza
Heretical Erasmus
Learned Hand
Christian Intolerance
"Authority" is of God
City on a Hill?
Colonial sticklers for religious freedom
Modern sticklers for religious freedom
America's own "Moses" : MLK
Divided by God by Noah Feldman
Jefferson's godless original
Jefferson on Church & State
Repugnant "All-American" Hatred
The Founding Fathers and slavery


lustre of our country
Religious Freedom - the Lustre of our Country

Retrospective by webster Bob Shepherd

Bob Shepherd Like Lon in his discussion of the intent of the founding fathers, I have a deep interest in both the Founding Fathers and also in the sublime American principle of religious freedom. In fact, my academic background parallels these themes -- the philosophy of the polity. I certainly give Lon credit. he is helpful and scholarly in his focus on the founding generation. Even if he scarcely refers to the European and English antecedents, both the earlier feudal and Catholic authoritarianism, and the more recent puritan and democratic restiveness, Lon's narrow concentration on the American founding documents is nevertheless instructive as far as it goes. I also agree with his metaphor or analogy of childhood and maturation (into adulthood and responsibility).

I would suggest that in pre-modern times when our ancestors grew under the yoke of the stricter absolutism of the feudal Church and State, they as yet were not ready for the freedoms and responsibility that the founding fathers trusted American common folk with. The genius and wisdom of the framers was to create a built-in flexibility, as it were, reflecting their vision of the evolving maturity and responsibility of the ordinary American to participate in his own governance.

"Separation of Church and State has been called the central ideological fact of American history. Together with the closely related development of religious diversity and denominational pluralism, such a distinction in a politically homogenous society was unique in Western Christendom." Above all, America's founding fathers gave the world and example of the possible, and what an example it was. Our "godless" Constitution disguised all all-importantant reality on the ground - a people imbued with a prevalent questing after God. Words are inadequate. The very word "god" is problematic. State churches had their wings clipped severely, yet an unplanned and sometimes unmanageable substitute emerged, as it were, almost spontaneously. And that substitute for "official" religion was America's unique frontier gospel. It was a counter-culture phenomenon almost, not quite religion, certainly part gemeineschaft, and a heavy component of self-help and sheer spiritual QUESTING.

America's religious landscape (especially after 1800) was a heavily grass-roots occurrence. See Jefferson's backwoods evangelicals. It has been called autochthonous, as though the American soil itself birthed it, spontaneously. It also has been praised (and also damned) for its nature mysticism, and the readiness with which it leant itself to "Transcendental" (or New Age?) philosophies, and even for its hankering after Judaic mythologies (The Exodus, and the like).

The Founders created an open space, so to speak -- inviting emptiness in which posterity could evolve its spiritual dimension. This the two-sided, almost paradoxical double-ness of the religion clause of Amendment One. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." In evicting government from the support of a preferred "official" Church, the founders created the first secular republic in history. Amazingly, it not only lasted, but defied the critics of Old Europe who labeled it heresy, error, indifferentism, atheism, etc.

On the other hand, the founders strictly prohibited government from interfering with the free exercise of religion. This was the open space, the inviting empty zone for religion to flourish without hindrance. Europe of old had been obsessively heretic-hunting (and witch hunting, and error-hunting) in its history. Regardless of the given official religion, whether Catholic or some later "State Church" -- Old Europe never was able to free itself from its zeal to destroy the imagined "evil" ones in its midst. The first amendment reflects the founders' horror which caused them to recoil from the precedents of the old world. In so doing, they became trail-blazers for many later republics and constitutions.

Madison's friend and political ally
John Leland: Tireless Champion of Religious Liberty

A Jeffersonian Democrat, John Leland was "as courageous and resourceful a champion of the rights of conscience as America has produced," according to Lyman H. Butterfield. "In his very individualism Leland was a representative American of his time. Self-reliant to the point of eccentricity and a tireless fighter for principle, he was without arrogance, and the reminiscences of those who knew him speak most often of his humor, his gentleness, and his humility. . . . John Leland therefore has a place in our history as well as in our folklore" ("Elder John Leland, Jeffersonian Itinerant," Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, Oct. 15, 1952). The Moral Liberal



Amendments to the "Godless" Constitution of Philadelphia ~ (See "most important founders")

The House again went into a Committee of the Whole on the proposed amendments to the constitution, Mr. Boudinot in the chair.

The fourth proposition being under consideration, as follows:

Article I. Section 9. Between paragraphs two and three insert "no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed"

Mr. Sylvester had some doubts of the propriety of the mode of expression used in this paragraph. He apprehended that it was liable to a construction different from what had been made by the committee. He feared it might be thought to have a tendency to abolish religion altogether.

Mr. Vining suggested the propriety of transposing the two members of the sentence.

Mr. Gerry said it would read better if it was, that no religious doctrine shall be established by law.

Mr. Sherman thought the amendment altogether unnecessary, inasmuch as Congress had no authority whatever delegated to them by the constitution to make religious establishments; he would, therefore, move to have it struck out.

Mr. Carroll - As the rights of conscience are, in their nature, of peculiar delicacy, and will little bear the gentlest touch of governmental hand; and as many sects have concurred in opinion that they are not well secured under the present constitution, he said he was much in favor of adopting the words. He thought it would tend more towards conciliating the minds of the people to the Government than almost any other amendment he had heard proposed. He would not contend with gentlemen about phraseology, his object was to secure the substance in such a manner as to satisfy the wishes of the honest part of the community.

Mr. Madison said, he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship G-d in any manner contrary to their conscience. Whether the words are necessary or not, he did not mean to say, but they had been required by some of the State Conventions, who seemed to entertain an opinion that under the clause of the constitution, which gave power to Congress to make all laws necessary and proper to carry into execution the constitution, and the laws made under it, enabled them to make laws of such a nature as might infringe the rights of conscience, and might establish a national religion; to prevent these effects he presumed the amendment was intended, and he thought it as well expressed as the nature of the language would admit.

Mr. Huntington said that he feared, with the gentleman first up on this subject, that the words might be taken in such latitude as to be extremely harmful to the cause of religion. He understood the amendment to mean what had been expressed by the gentleman from Virginia; but others might find it convenient to put another construction upon it. The ministers of their congregations to the Eastward were maintained by the contributions of those who belonged to their society; the expense of building meeting-houses was contributed in the same manner. These things were regulated by by-laws. If an action was brought before a Federal Court on any of these cases, the person who had neglected to perform his engagements could not be compelled to do it; for a support of ministers, or building places of worship might be construed into a religious establishment.

By the charter of Rhode Island, no religion could be established by law; he could give a history of the effects of such a regulation; indeed the people were now enjoying the blessed fruits of it. [Intended irony.] He hoped, therefore, the amendment would be made in such a way as to secure the rights of conscience, and a free exercise of the rights of religion, but not to patronize those who professed no religion at all.

Mr. Madison thought, if the word national was inserted before religion, it would satisfy the minds of honorable gentlemen. He believed that the people feared one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combine together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform. He thought if the word national was introduced, it would point the amendment directly to the object it was intended to prevent.

Mr. Livermore was not satisfied with that amendment; but he did not wish them to dwell long on the subject. He thought it would be better if it was altered and made to read in this manner, that Congress shall make no laws touching religion, or infringing the rights of conscience.

Mr. Gerry did not like the term national, proposed by the gentleman from Virginia, and hoped it would not be adopted by the House. It brought to his mind some observations that had taken place in the convention at the time they were considering the present convention. It had been insisted upon by those who were called antifederalists, that this form of Government consolidated the Union; the honorable gentleman's motion shows that he considered it in the same light. Those who were called antifederalists at that time complained that they had injustice dome them by title, because they were in favor of a Federal Government, and the others were in favor of the national one; the federalists were for ratifying the constitution as it stood, and the others not until amendments were made. Their names then ought not to have been distinguished by federalists and antifederalists, but rats and antirats.

Mr. Madison withdrew his motion, but observed that the words "no national religion shall be established by law," did not imply that the Government was a national one; the question was then taken on Mr. Livermore's motion, and passed in the affirmative, thirty-one for, and twenty against it.



The third article,[120] as it passed the house, stand thus: "Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; nor shall the rights of conscience be infringed." The first motion to amend this article was by striking out these words: "Religion, or prohibiting the free the free exercise thereof." and inserting these words: "One religious sect or society in preference to others." This motion was negatived. A motion for reconsideration then prevailed, and it was decided in the negative. An unsuccessful attempt was then made to adopt, as a substitute for the third article, the following: "Congress shall not make any law infringing the rights of conscience, or establishing any religious sect or society." The question was then taken on the adoption of the third article, as it came from the House of Representatives, when it was decided in the negative. Finally, the words, "Nor shall the rights of conscience be infringed," was stricken out: in this form, the article was agreed to.


Tom Paine wrote:
For myself, I fully and conscientiously believe, that it is the will of the Almighty, that there should be a diversity of religious opinions among us: it affords a larger field for our Christian kindness. Were we all of one way of thinking, our religious dispositions would want matter for probation; and on this liberal principle, I look on the various denominations among us, to be like children of the same family, differing only, in what is called, their Christian names.


[*]. Updates are being made to this paper during February and March of 2005. This is a 2002 revision to a paper originally written in 1995. ©1995 by Lon E. Dobbs. All Rights Reserved. This paper may be copied in whole or part for non-commercial purposes without express consent of the copyright holder.

[1]. Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition, Merriam-Webster Inc., Springfield, Mass., ©1993. p.988.

[2]. John Ayto, Dictionary of Word Origins, Arcade Publishing, New York, ©1990, p. 438.

[3]. Mircea Eliade, A History of Religious Ideas, vol. I, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, ©1978, p.9. [translated from the French by Willard R. Trask] Note: Bones have been found at Choukoutein, dating to this time period.

[4]. M. Eliade, pp. 8-9.

[5]. The theory of Divine right was fiercely defended in the writings of King James I, replete with much Biblical and classical evidence. Puritans and their allies, including the famous John Locke, did their best to refute such "Catholic" (or Anglican High Church) views. A famous monarch who was "chosen" through genetic succession was the England's Queen Elizabeth I or Good Queen Bess of the England. She was both the ruling sovereign, and she was also (unofficially) the temporal head of the Church of England. (However she did not officially renew the Act of Supremacy of her father's reign) Sources: World Almanac, ©1994 New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, (For Goodbye England's Rose - Patriotic tribute to the modern Diana)

[6]. Ronald B. Flowers, That Godless Court, Westminister John Knox Press, Louisville, ©1994, p. 9.

[7]. Ibid., p. 9.

[8]. Ibid.

[9]. Ibid.

[10]. Ibid.

[11]. Robert Farmighetti (ed.), The World Almanac and Book of Facts, World Almanac, Mahwah, ©1994, p. 435.

[12]. H. Shelton Smith, Robert T. Handy, and Lefferts A. Loetscher (eds.), American Christianity, vol I, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, ©1960, pp. 41-44.

[13]. Thurston Greene, The Language of the Constitution, Greenwood Press, New York, ©1991, p.679. [For Thomas Paine bio]

[14]. R. Flowers, pp. 10-11.

[15]. Ibid.

[16]. The Charter of Massachusetts Bay (March 4, 1629) by Charles I, read in part; " and incite the Natives of Country, to the Knowledge and Obedience of the only true G-d and Savior of Mankind, and the Christian Fayth, which in our Royall Intencon, and the Adventurers free Profession, is the principal Ende of this Plantacion." Source: T. Greene, p. 673.
            More on : the confrontation between two cultures

[17]. H. Smith, p. 127.

[18]. R. Flowers, p. 11.

[19]. James M. Smith (ed), Liberty and Justice: A Historical Record of American Constitutional Development, Knopf Inc., New York, ©1958, p. 4.

[20]. In 1635, Roger Williams was convicted and banished by the Puritan leaders of Massachusetts for spreading "new and dangerous opinions against the authority of magistrates". In one of his writings about his "experiment" in Rhode Island, he pleaded for religious liberty listing what must be done to have religious freedom by stating "It is the will and command of G-d that (since the coming of his Son the Lord Jesus) a permission of the most paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or anti-christian consciences and worships be granted to all men in all nations and countries . . ." Source: J. Smith (ed), pp. 4 & 11-13.

[21]. R. Flowers, p. 11.

[22]. Ibid. pp. 11-12.

[23]. T. Greene, p. 668.

[24]. T. Greene, p.669.

[25]. J. Smith, pp. 46 & 50-51.

[26]. R. Flowers, p. 15 & 153. Note: Thomas Jefferson, An Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, Proposed to the State Assembly of Virginia 1779 and tabled every year until its passage in 1786.

[27]. R. Flowers, p.15.

[28]. Kate Mason Rowland, The Life of George Mason 1725-1792, Russell & Russell Inc., New York, ©1964. Note (a): This document was originally thought to have been drafted by George Mason since Mason had spent much time in distributing the document to all of the influential people in Virginia.

[29]. R. Flowers, p. 15.

[30]. Ibid., p.15.

[31]. J. Smith, pp. 24 & 38.

[32]. Ralph Mitchell, CQ's Guide to the U.S. Constitution, Congressional Quarterly, Washington, ©1986, p.1.

[33]. Bernard Schwartz, Bill of Rights: A Documentary History, Chelsea House Publishers, ©1971, p. 383.

[34]. R. Mitchell, p.1.

[35]. Ibid., p.6.

[36]. Ibid., p. 2.

[37]. R. Flowers, p.16.

[38]. Because the U.S. Constitution did not oppose slavery, or include a Bill of Rights, Mason opposed, and did not sign the Constitution. In total, 19 of the 55 delegates who attended did not sign the document. There were actually 65 delegates who were certified by the states, but 10 did not attend, and some historians believe that there were 9 more men who were selected, but refused their appointment, and therefore were not counted as being absent Source: World Almanac, ©1994, p.456, 460.

[39]. John H. Rhodehamel, Letters of Liberty, Constitutional Rights Foundation, Los Angeles, ©1988, p. 56.

[40]. J. Rhodehamel, p. 56.

[41]. See section on James Madison, infra.

[42]. J. Rhodehamel, p. 56.

[43]. It is calculated that 210 different amendments were initially submitted by eight states. Without duplicates, there were almost 100 proposed amendments. There were 6 states who recommended some type of amendment concerning the freedom of religion. Source: B. Schwartz, p. 983.

[44]. The two Amendments that were not passed dealt with the following; 1) The apportionment of Representatives, and 2) Compensation of members of Congress (which was ratified as Amendment XXVII in 1992). Source: World Almanac, ©1994, p.457.

[45]. R. Flowers, p.16.

[46]. B. Schwartz, p. 1051.

[47]. B. Schwartz, pp. 1051-1052.

[48]. The clauses were voted upon one by one, and when they came to this clause, Representative Fisher Ames motioned for an amendment to the clause using this language, and without debate, the House accepted the provision. Source: L. Levy, p. 81.

[49]. The proposed amendment read as follows: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person. Source: B. Schwartz, p. 1026.

[50]. B. Schwartz, p.1121.

[51]. Bernard Schwartz, Bill of Rights: A Documentary History, Chelsea House Publishers, New York, ©1971., pp. 1145-1146.

[52]. B. Schwartz, p. 1146.

[53]. B. Schwartz, pp. 1147-1148.

[54]. J. Rhodehamel, p. 59.

[55]. R. Flowers, p.17.

[56]. By December of 1991, only 10 of the original 13 colonies, and the new state of Vermont had passed the Bill of Rights, giving it the 2/3rd's needed for ratification. Massachusetts, Georgia, and Connecticut did not ratify until 1939. Source: World Almanac, ©1994, pp. 456-457.

[57]. United States Constitution, Amendment I.

[58]. R. Flowers, p. 17.

[59]. Ibid., p.18.

[60]. L. Levy, pp. 97-99. Note: The act, passed on Jan.7, 1990 called for chaplains to be appointed by each branch of Congress and for each to be of different denominations. Ibid., 209. Also note: Although some stated that Madison voted for the Act, there is no record of the vote, and in a letter to a Edward Livingston in 1822 he states; ". . . it was not with approbation, that the deviation from it took place in Congress when they appointed Chaplains, to be paid from the National Treasury." Ibid. p. 97. Madison also wrote in his "Detached Memoranda" in 1717 that; "The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes . . . . The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principals. . . ." Ibid, p. 98.

[61]. Belz, Hoffman, & Albert (eds.), To Form a More Perfect Union, University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, ©1992, pp. 25-27. Note: Benjamin Franklin worked on revising the Book of Common Prayer. John Adams almost went into the clergy instead of law school. Thomas Jefferson wrote The Philosophy of Jesus, and The Life and Morals of Jesus. James Madison studied 1 year of Hebrew which Belz suggests he "seriously considered a ministerial career." Ibid. p. 27.

[62]. Note: Thomas Jefferson, on his small portable table in a room in Philadelphia, wrote the original draft of the document. The delegates made 86 changes to his draft. They eliminated 480 of the original 1817 words, that Jefferson called "deplorable." The Declaration was adopted on July 4, 1776. Not all of the delegates signed the Declaration on July 4th, Thomas McKean claims that he did not sign the document until 1781. Source: World Almanac, ©1994, p.463.
Additional discussion.

[63]. Walter Berns, Taking the Constitution Seriously, Madison Books, Lanham, ©1987, p.19.

[64]. Ibid., pp. 19-20.

[65]. Ibid. p.20.

[66]. Ibid. Note: The seal was first used in an official function by George Washington on September 16, 1782 for arranging a prisoner exchange with Britain.

[67]. Ibid.

[68]. Francis Scott Key wrote "And this be our motto: 'In G-d is our trust'" in the Star Spangled Banner. That was 1814. But it was not officially recognized as the nation's motto. Because of low Union morale, Rev. M. R. Watkinson wrote the Sec. of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase and asked that "recognition of the Almighty G-d in some form [be inscribed] on our coins" because he has "felt national shame in disowning G-d as not the least of our present national disasters." "In G-d We Trust," by order of Chase, first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864 and intermittently until 1955 when Congress ordered it to be placed on all U.S. currency. Source: World Almanac, ©1994, p.463.

[69]. Bellamy's original version of the Pledge of Allegiance was first published on September 8, 1892 in an issue of the Youth's Companion. The original version included the words "my flag" which was changed later to "flag of the United States of America." Source: World Almanac, ©1994, p.465.

[70]. K. Rowland, p.12.

[71]. To get an insight into what the "Father of Our County" thinks on this matter, we turn to his letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island:

It is now no more than tolerance is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. . . . May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants, while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig-tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. Source: Walter Berns, p. 166.

[72]. On the subject of divine right, Jefferson says that "the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few [born] booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of G-d." Source: W. Berns, p. 156.

[73]. Robert A. Rutland (ed.), The Papers of George Mason 1725-1792, vols. I & II, Kingsport Press, Kingsport, © 1976, p.277.

[74]. R. Rutland, p.278.

[75]. K. Rowland, pp.12-15.

[76]. R. Rutland, pp. 284-285.

[77]. Ibid., p.289.

[78]. K. Rowland, p.13-15.

[79]. R. Rutland, p.275.

[80]. Forrest MacDonald, We the People: The Economic Origins of the Constitution, Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, ©1958, p.72.

[81]. R. Rutland, p.845.

[82]. 82 Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner (eds.), The Founder's Constitution, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, ©1987, vol. IV, p. 543. Note: Originally entitled "Revised Report, Plan for Government of the Western Territory. 22 Mar. 1784."

[83]. The original draft proposed by Jefferson in 1784 included a provision which would abolish slavery in the Northwest Territory after 1800, but this provision was not passed with the original Ordinance. This original proposal, besides the slavery provision did not include any provisions securing individual rights, such as the ones specified in the Bill of Rights. It was not until Nathan Dane's 1787 draft, that was passed on July 13, did it include the protection of these individual rights. Source: B. Schwartz, pp. 385-386.

[84]. The 1787 Ordinance included a provision for the protection of religion which stated; "Article I. No person, demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship, or religious sentiments, in the said territory." However, Article III also included a clause which stated; "Religion, morality, and nowledge being necessary to good government and happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. . . ." Source: P. Kurland, vol. I, p.28.

[85]. J. Smith, pp. 45-46.

[86]. The Bill was drafted in 1777. Source: W. Berns, p. 158.

[87]. R. Flowers, pp.15 &153.

[88]. John Locke's writings, especially the Letter Concerning Toleration (1689), had a great influence upon the contents and ideas in Virginia's Act for Religious Freedom. Source: W. Berns, pp. 158-159. [See also B. Kurland, pp. 52-55].

[89]. J. Smith, pp. 59-60.

[90]. Ibid, p. 60.

[91]. Such as in a letter to James Madison dated December 20, 1787, where he was troubled by the absence of a Bill of Rights in the new Constitution. In listing the thing he did not like about the constitution, he stated; "First the omission of a bill of rights providing clearly and without the aid of sophisms for freedom of religion . . ." and then continued to list the other rights that were omitted from the Constitution. Source: J. Smith, pp. 68-69.

[92]. Nor was he present during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, when he was in Paris as the U.S. Minister to France. Source: B. Schwartz, p. 592.

[93]. Wallace v Jaffreee, 472 U.S. 38 at 91, 105 S. Ct. 2479, 86 L. Ed. 2d 29 (1985) See also World Almanac ©1994, p. 470.

     In a letter to Alexander Donald in 1788, he writes; "I equally wish that the four latest conventions . . may refuse to accede to it [the Constitution] till a declaration of rights be annexed. . . . By a declaration of rights I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of . . ." Source: B. Schwartz, p. 612

     In a letter to Francis Hopkinson in 1789, he writes; "What I disapproved from the first moment also was the want of a bill of rights to guard against liberty against the legislative as well as executive branches of the government, that is to say to secure freedom of religion, freedom of . . . " Source: B. Schwartz, p. 619.

[94]. Note: However, Jefferson, as President, signed an 1802 Act which provided tax exemptions for churches in Alexandria County. Source: Smith, Page, The Constitution: A documentary and Narrative History, William Murrow & Co. Inc., New York, ©1978, p. 91.

[95]. Foley, John P. (ed.), Jefferson Cyclopedia, Russell & Russell, NY, ©1967, p.141. Note: Written 1782.

[96]. Ibid., p. 743. Note: Written in 1799.

[97]. L. Levy, p.183. On this matter, Jefferson said:

Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them and act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands, where the Constitution has deposited it. Wallace, at 97.

[98]. L. Levy, p. 183. Note: Mr. Levy also notes that "Aid to Indians, under either the treaty power or the power to regulate Indian affairs, is not worth two cents as a precedent for anything else." Ibid, p. 219.

[99]. Jefferson gave a copy of this letter, before sending it to the Danbury Baptist Association, to Levi Lincoln (U.S. Attorney General), with the following note:

The Baptist address admits of a condemnation of the alliance between Church and State, under that authority of the Constitution. It furnishes an occasion. too, which I have long wished to find, of saying why I do not proclaim fastings and thanksgivings, as my predecessors did.

I know it will give great offense to the New England clergy; but the advocate of religious freedom is to expect neither peace nor forgiveness from them. Will you be so good as to examine the answer, and suggest any alterations which might prevent an ill effect, or promote a good one among the people? You understand the temper of those in the North, and can weaken it, therefore, to their stomachs; it is as present seasoned to the Southern taste only." Source: J. Foley, p. 142.

[100]. J. Foley, p. 142.

[101]. Levy, Leonard Williams,The Establishment Clause, MacMillan Publishing Co., New York, ©1986, p. 123.

[102]. See Justice Rehnquist's dissent in Wallace v Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 105 S. Ct. 2479, 86 L. Ed. 2d 29 (1985).

[103]. Robert Goldwin, The Framer's of Fundamental Rights, Robert A. Licht (ed.), AEI Press, Washington, D.C., ©1991, p. 57-58.

[104]. Forrest Church. So Help Me God - The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State. Harcourt Press, 2007. p. 321.

[105]. R. Goldwin, p. 57. For text of the speech, see pp. 75-85.

[106]. R. Goldwin, p. 78.

[107]. R. Goldwin, pp. 58-59.

[108]. Ibid. pp. 65 & 174.

[109]. Ibid.

[110]. Note: Justice Rehnquist had used Madison for the basis of his dissenting argument in Wallace v Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985), against the establishment clause because of Madison's original draft including the word "national" before the word "religion." But this only makes this provision non-compelling upon the States, and does not take away the intent of keeping the Federal Government from establishing any one religion. Although his points on religion versus irreligion is well taken, Madison does not specifically bring up this point, although at least four Thanksgiving Day Proclamations were issued while he was President, although he may have thought them to be improper in prior years. Source: Page Smith, pp. 90-91.

[111]. R. Mitchell, p. 51.

[112]. Note: There is some dispute as to who wrote this essay. There is some evidence that its author may have actually been Alexander Hamilton. Source: J. Cooke, p. xvii.

[113]. Jacob E. Cooke, The Federalist, Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, ©1961, p. 351.

[114]. J. Cooke, pp. 351-352. Note: This essay numbered #51 (although numbered #50 in the newspapers) was first printed on Feb. 6, 1788 in The Independent Journal, and then again on Feb. 8th in The New York Packet, and once again on Feb. 11th in The Daily Advertiser. Source: Ibid, p. 347.

[115]. W. Berns, p. 158.

[116]. Non-caucasian males were given the right to vote in 1870, with the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, and women were not given the right to vote until the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Source: World Almanac, ©1994, pp.358-459.

[117]. Levy, Karst, West (eds.), Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, sup. I, MacMillan Publishing Co., New York, ©1992, p. 351.


[118]. L. Levy, pp. 77-79.

[119]. B. Schwartz, p. 1148.

[120]. There were two amendments, which were not ratified, before the First Amendment as it currently stands.


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