Separation of Church and State Home Page 



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. 

  1. The phrase "separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution.
  2. Jefferson's "separation of church and state" letter was hastily written and does not accurately represent Jefferson's view of church and state.
  3. Thomas Jefferson actually said that the wall of separation between Church and State is "one-directional."
  4. Jefferson's Danbury letter was written mearly to assure Connecticut Baptists that the Constitution did not permit the establishment of a national denomination.
  5. Jefferson's Danbury letter was written mearly to address the Danbury Baptists' fears that the First Amendment might be misinterpreted.
  6. Jefferson's letter to Benjamin Rush shows that Jefferson was a non-preferentialist.
  7. 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.
  8. Federal officials take their oaths upon a Bible, and use the words "so help me God."
  9. The Northwest Ordinance proves that the First Amendment did not separate church and state.
  10. The Supreme Court has declared that the United States is a Christian nation.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Montesquieu based his theory of separation of powers on Isaiah 33:22 and Jeremiah 17:9.
  14. As a general matter, the Constitution embodies the principles of Christianity and the 10 Commandments.

Return to home