Separation of Church and
State Home Page
RESPONDING TO THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT:
THE BASIC ARGUMENTS
In this section we respond to some of the most important/most frequently
repeated arguments used by leaders of the religious right to "prove" that
the Constitution does not require the separation of church and state.
As you will see, most of these arguments collapse under close scrutiny,
either on the basis of logical flaws, or because they are in conflict with
the evidence. While a few of these arguments have merit, they are invariably
misused by accomodationists to prove points that are not at issue, or else
they omit important information that puts the argument in a different light.
A few of these arguments are complicated; we will explain these in detail
before responding to them. Note: this section of our webpage is continually
under construction. We will add arguments to this list whenever we find
them have time to respond.
The phrase "separation of church and state" is not in
Jefferson's "separation of church and state" letter was hastily
written and does not accurately represent Jefferson's view of church
Thomas Jefferson actually said that the wall of separation between Church
and State is "one-directional."
Jefferson's Danbury letter was written mearly to assure Connecticut Baptists
that the Constitution did not permit the establishment of a national
Jefferson's Danbury letter was written mearly to address the Danbury Baptists'
fears that the First Amendment might be misinterpreted.
Jefferson's letter to Benjamin Rush shows that
Jefferson was a non-preferentialist.
Thomas Jefferson supported Bible reading in school; this is proven by his
service as the first president of the Washington D.
C. public schools, which used the Bible and Watt's Hymns as
textbooks for reading.
Federal officials take their oaths upon a Bible, and
use the words "so help me God."
The Northwest Ordinance proves that the First Amendment
did not separate church and state.
The Supreme Court has declared that the United States
is a Christian nation.
Depictions of Moses and the 10 Commandments are
featured prominently in the Supreme Court Building; this proves that the
founders had no intention of separating Church and State.
The Constitution is based on the Bible. This is proven by the frequency
with which the founding fathers quote the Bible
in their political writings.
Montesquieu based his theory of separation of
powers on Isaiah 33:22 and Jeremiah 17:9.
As a general matter, the Constitution embodies the principles of Christianity
and the 10 Commandments.
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