Separation of Church and State Homepage

A list of flawed quotes.

The following is a list of quotations we've seen advanced by accomodationists to suggest that the framers did not believe in separation. We've scanned these from books, taken them from our e-mail correspondence, and pulled them from other web pages dealing with religious issues. It's not a complete list, but its a fairly good sample of what's being quoted in accomodationist books.

Remarkably, none of these quotations go much distance in supporting the accomodationist account of history and law. None, for example, suggest that the Constitution delegated any power over religion to the federal government. None suggest that the First Amendment was itself a grant of power. None suggest that the federal government could provide aid to religion, even non-preferentially. Rather, these quotes for the most part simply suggest that the framers thought that religion is a positive good, or that religion is important for the success of the state. This doesn't surprise us in the least, but such positions aren't relevant to the separation debate; one can believe in the importance of religion without embracing accomodationist philosophy, or granting power to the state over religion.

We append a list of flaws to each quotation we reproduce below. Flaws can be of six types. We'll list them by number; use the chart below to keep them straight:

Some of these flaws are explained in greater detail elsewhere in this website.