The Founding Fathers were not religious men, and they fought hard to erect, in Thomas Jefferson words, "a wall of separation between church and state." John Adams opined that if they were not restrained by legal measures, Puritans--the fundamentalists of their day--would "whip and crop, and pillory and roast." The historical epoch had afforded these men ample opportunity to observe the corruption to which established prosthetic were liable, as well as "the impious presumption of legislators and rulers," as Jefferson wrote, "civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time."
06 February 2005
A recent article in The Nation is worth checking out in light of the mutual hi-jacking of conservative religion and conservative politics in the United States. The article is "Our Godless Constitution" by Brooke Allen. Here is one choice quote from this article: