There are many Americans that would like to convert the United States into a Christian Nation. Many falsely claim that it was established as a Christian Nation to begin with and has changed.
Those who founded this nation from the beginning clearly meant it to be a secular state, totally neutral in religious matters. From the lack of the mention of a God in the Constitution, to the famous letter which is often quoted “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” This treaty was signed in 1796. Note that it says states plural, all inclusive.
“Thomas Jefferson made an interpretation of the 1st Amendment to his January 1st, 1802 letter to the Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association calling it a “wall of separation between church and State.” Madison had also written that “Strongly guarded. . . is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States.” There existed little controversy about this interpretation from our Founding Fathers.”
From the beginning the Constitution has been attacked by theists who were dead set against the government being neutral in religious affairs. This battle continues today with politicians vying to be the most religious. Individuals like Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich, advocate mixing government with religion, using Biblical law, rather than man’s law.
There are many who state that the restrictions on government in respect to religion only apply to the federal government. This would allow each state to establish it’s own state religion. Logically speaking, this would violate the guarantee of freedom of religion and speech for anyone who did not accept the precepts of the prevailing religion. Also, there would be no guarantee that only Christianity would establish such a state, but by gaining a majority in time, an Islamic state could be established as well. If the states could establish their own religious law applicable to those residing there how could the Federal government guarantee the right of Freedom of religion and speech for the individual?
The pre-eminence of Federal law over State law is now well established. More so after the Civil War than before. For the United States to simply become a collection of a non-cohesive group of individual states would mean an end to Freedom of speech, freedom of religion.
I have written on this topic before, but recent events make it necessary again. Both in the news and in exchanges I have had online, certain people of a certain religious persuasion seem intent on eliminating the concept of “Separation of Church and State” , and instituting a sectarian government.