The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State
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President U. S. Grant's Speech

On September 30, 1975 President Ulysses S.Grant delivered a speech before the convention of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.

Researched and edited by Jim Allison

"Now, the centennial year of our national existence, I believe, is a good time to begin the work of strengthening the foundations of the structure commenced by our patriotic forefathers one hundred years ago at Lexington. Let us all labor to add all needful guarantees for the security of free thought, free speech, a free press, pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and of equal rights and privileges to all men irrespective of nationality, color, or religion. Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar, appropriated for their support, shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian schools. Resolve that neither the State nor Nation, nor both combined shall support institutions of learning other than those sufficient to afford to every child growing up in the land the opportunity of [sic] a good common school education, unmixed with sectarian, pagan, or atheistical dogmas. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the Church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the Church and State forever separate. With these safeguards, I believe the battles which created the Army of the Tennessee will not have been fought in vain."(60)


(60) New York Tribune, October 1, 1875, p.1; Chicago Tribune, October 1, 1875 p.; The Index, October 28, 1875, p. 513

Source of Information:

The National Reform Association and the religious Amendments to the Constitution, 1864-1876. An unpublished Masters Thesis by Steven Keith Green Esq., Ph. D., University North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1987. p. 83-84.)
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