Freedom of Religion
Article I of the Bill of Rights states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise Thereof; …”
The purpose of this provision in the Bill of Rights was to limit the church’s influence over the government as happened in many European countries. Oftentimes, the Church had more power than the actual government.
Nowhere in the Constitution does it mention “Separation of church and state” which we hear so much about today. This phrase was traced to a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists to assuage the fears of the Danbury Connecticut Baptists that the government would be able to control the churches. The Supreme Court later used this quote to support their position that the church and state should be separated. This later led to many rulings not intended by the Founders, such as eliminating God from schools and ruling that Christian symbols could not be displayed in public buildings.
The United States was clearly founded on Judeo / Christian principles. Our new country should also be founded on these principles. However, all other peaceful religions should be honored and no laws should be passed to restrict the people’s right to worship any peaceful religion as they desire.