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In a powerful challenge to conventional wisdom, Philip Hamburger argues that the separation of church and state has no historical foundation in the First Amendment. The detailed evidence assembled here shows that eighteenth-century Americans almost never invoked this principle. Although Thomas Jefferson and others retrospectively claimed that the First Amendment separated church and state, separation became part of American constitutional law only much later. Hamburger shows that separation became a constitutional freedom largely through fear and prejudice. Jefferson supported separation out of hostility to the Federalist clergy of New England. Nativist Protestants (ranging from nineteenth-century Know Nothings to twentieth-century members of the K.K.K.) adopted the principle of separation to restrict the role of Catholics in public life. Gradually, these Protestants were joined by theologically liberal, anti-Christian secularists, who hoped that separation would limit Christianity and all other distinct religions. Eventually, a wide range of men and women called for separation. Almost all of these Americans feared ecclesiastical authority, particularly that of the Catholic Church, and, in response to their fears, they increasingly perceived religious liberty to require a separation of church from state. American religious liberty was thus redefined and even transformed. In the process, the First Amendment was often used as an instrument of intolerance and discrimination.
This book is very timely for one of the most frequently debated issues in America: the separation of church and state. Where did this phrase originate? Was it always meant to prohibit expressions of religious faith in public settings as many claim today? Learn the answers to these questions and discover the Founding Fathers own words and intents in this book! With all these resources, you will be able to clearly understand the original intent of the Founding Fathers and be able to share those beliefs with others!
Award-winning journalist Robert Boston lambastes the zealots of the Religious Right for spreading misinformation about the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state. Boston reveals how a band of ultraconservative religious groups with a political agenda - led primarily by televangelist Pat Robertson - is conducting a systematic war aginst the separation of church and state. The tactics of these groups are designed to exploit unfounded fears and turn the American people against the separationist principle. They will not rest, Boston says, until the United States has become a theocracy. To expose the Religious Right's blatant distortions of U.S. history and correct its skewed analysis of legal rulings, Boston objectively reviews the evolution of church/state relations in the United States and looks at how the separation principle has been applied by the courts. He also examines efforts by sectarian groups to win government support for their schools, the school prayer issue, the history of the free exercise of religion, and the controversial role of religion in the public square. Published in cooperation with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
Roger Williams, founder of the colony of Rhode Island, is famous as an apostle of religious tolerance and a foe of religious establishments. In Separating Church and State, Timothy Hall combines impressive historical and legal scholarship to explore Williams's theory of religious liberty and relate it to current debate. Williams's fierce religious dogmatism, Hall argues, is precisely what led to his religious tolerance, making him one of the most articulate champions in history of the argument for the necessary separation of church and state.
This is an account of the ideas about and public policies relating to the relationship between government and religion from the settlement of Virginia in 1607 to the presidency of Andrew Jackson, 1829–37. This book describes the impact and the relationship of various events, legislative, and judicial actions, including the English Toleration Act of 1689, the First and Second Great Awakenings, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists. Four principles were paramount in the American approach to government's relation to religion: the importance of religion to public welfare; the resulting desirability of government support of religion (within the limitations of political culture); liberty of conscience and voluntaryism; the requirement that religion be supported by free will offerings, not taxation. Hutson analyzes and describes the development and interplay of these principles, and considers the relevance of the concept of the separation of church and state during this period.
A complete selection of writings from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison focusing specifically on their very forward thinking beliefs in the separation of church and state.
Now in paperback, a primer of essential writings about one of the cornerstones of our democracy by the original authors of the Constitution, edited by preeminant liberal theologian Forrest Church. Americans will never stop debating the question of church-state separation, and such debates invariably lead back to the nation’s beginnings and the founders’ intent. The Separation of Church and State presents a basic collection of the founders’ teachings on this topic. This concise primer gets past the rhetoric that surrounds the current debate, placing the founders’ vivid writings on religious liberty in historical perspective. Edited and with running commentary by Forrest Church, this important collection informs anyone curious about the original blueprint for our country and its government. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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