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.
Most people think there is a separation of church and state. They are wrong. Most people think it's in the constitution. It isn't. Even a precursory glance at the first amendment easily shows it was meant to protect freedom of religion, not to protect government from religion. Within these pages you will see the myth debunked from voices of the past. The lives, writings, and interaction of our Founding Fathers clearly demonstrates that they were proud to stand on Christian values and had no intentions of separating their everyday or political lives from their religion. You be the judge.
Parents of students in New Hyde Park, NY fought to bar their public schools from requiring that students recite the state's Regents' Prayer. The parents' protests made it to the Supreme Court, resulting in the powerful and emotion-filled decision.
Debates over the proper relationship between church and state in America tend to focus either on the founding period or the twentieth century. Left undiscussed is the long period between the ratification of the Constitution and the 1947 Supreme Court ruling in Everson v. Board of Education, which mandated that the Establishment Clause applied to state and local governments. Steven Green illuminates this neglected period, arguing that during the 19th century there was a "second disestablishment." By the early 1800s, formal political disestablishment was the rule at the national level, and almost universal among the states. Yet the United States remained a Christian nation, and Protestant beliefs and values dominated American culture and institutions. Evangelical Protestantism rose to cultural dominance through moral reform societies and behavioral laws that were undergirded by a maxim that Christianity formed part of the law. Simultaneously, law became secularized, religious pluralism increased, and the Protestant-oriented public education system was transformed. This latter impulse set the stage for the constitutional disestablishment of the twentieth century. The Second Disestablishment examines competing ideologies: of evangelical Protestants who sought to create a "Christian nation," and of those who advocated broader notions of separation of church and state. Green shows that the second disestablishment is the missing link between the Establishment Clause and the modern Supreme Court's church-state decisions.
This volume represents an attempt in integrating a wide range of theoretically relevant issues into the identification and analysis of church-state patterns. Each chapter focuses on the analysis of a particular theme and its role in shaping, and/or being shaped by, church-state relations.
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 dogmaticism, Hall argues, is precisely what led to his religious tolerance, making him one of the most articulate champions of the argument for the necessary separation of church and state. "Both timely and provocative. . . . Offers Williams's largely overlooked but deeply important perspective on the peaceful coexistence of committed believers of diverse faiths. The book also brings into question crucial tenets of the United States Supreme Court's First Amendment religion clause jurisprudence at a time when many are raising questions about it." -- Marci A. Hamilton, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York City "Hall has the entire Williams corpus under his command, and he plays the relevant texts like a master organist. He also has the legal corpus equally at his fingertips. One of the great strengths of his book is that it bridges the too often separate fields of history and jurisprudence." -- Edwin Gaustad, author of Liberty of Conscience: Roger Williams in America
This book is for pastors and Christians who deeply love the Lord and seek to please Him by organizing the churches they belong to according to Biblical principles. The Lord Jesus-whom the Bible likens to the Husband, Bridegroom, and Head of His churches-"loved the church and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word" (Ep. 5.25-26). Believers should follow the example of Paul who stated to the churches, "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (II Co. 11.2). Read and learn principles Christians need to know in order to keep the churches they belong to pure and chaste. Jerald Finney is lead counsel for the Biblical Law Center ("BLC"). The goal of the BLC is to help churches in their efforts to honor Jesus Christ by structuring themselves as New Testament churches according to biblical principles. God has prepared him practically, academically, and spiritually for this calling. He grew up in the Texas Panhandle, where he worked on farms as a child growing up. Since graduating from high school, he has earned his BBA degree from Texas Tech, served as an Army Officer in Viet Nam, worked for the railroad, and owned and operated a small business. Since the Lord saved him in 1982, he has been a faithful church member and a diligent student of the Bible. God called him to the legal profession, and he received his JD degree from the University of Texas Law School in 1993. Since then, he has consistently striven to study and apply principles from the Word of God as he has served the Lord in the legal arena.
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.