Author's Spotlight: bgadmin
Posts by bgadmin:
"Strongly guarded...is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States." and "[T]he number, the industry and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church and state." James Madison, in an undated essay (probably early 1800s) and an 1819 letter.
"The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature. . . . [In] the formation of the American governments . . . it will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of heaven. . . . These governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses." John Adams, in "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" (1787-1788)
"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State." President Thomas Jefferson, in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, Connecticut
"Religious matters are to be separated from the jurisdiction of the state, not because they are beneath the interests of the state but, quite to the contrary, because they are too high and holy and thus are beyond the competence of the state." and "God has appointed two kinds of government in the world, which are distinct in their nature, and ought never to be confounded together; one of which is called civil, the other ecclesiastical government." Isaac Backus, colonial Baptist from New England, "An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty." (1773)
"The notion of a Christian commonwealth should be exploded forever. ... Government should protect every man in thinking and speaking freely, and see that one does not abuse another. The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence, whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians." John Leland, Baptist Minister, "A Chronicle of His Time in Virginia" (1790)