Separation of Church and State…

Recently I wrote a letter to the Naples Daily News regarding the phrase “separation of church and state.” Many today believe this Thomas Jefferson “phrase” to be coupled with the First Amendment, when in fact it’s not.

Letter: How the wall was built

Staff Reports

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thomas Hughes, Naples

How the wall was built

In 1801, the Danbury Baptists wrote to Thomas Jefferson offering their prayers and congratulations on his recent election as third president.

They also expressed concern that the government might restrict their God-given inalienable right of public religious expression. Jefferson wrote back and thanked them for their kind prayers and assured them freedom of religion was an inalienable right and that there was a wall of separation between church and state to prevent government from interfering with their public religious expression.

Jefferson and the founders understood the First Amendment’s sole purpose is to limit the government, not the people. It prohibits the government from interfering or limiting public religious expressions, commonly known as the Free Exercise Clause — “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The First Amendment was adopted to protect the free exercise of religion, not suppress as it currently does. Jefferson’s “wall of separation” phrase appears nowhere in the First Amendment.

For one and a half centuries, Congress and the Supreme Court refused to separate Christian principles from the public arena. However, in 1947, the courts made a radical change and decided to take our nation on a different course. In the case Everson vs. Board of Education, the court cited Jefferson’s “separation” phrase with no regard to the rest of his letter. The court therefore announced the First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state and that wall must be kept high and impregnable.

Since the court’s ruling, immorality has spiraled out of control in America.


Read entire article of “Separation of Church and State” at our website:

George Washington’s “Farewell Address” is considered to be the greatest political speech ever given by a president. It taught students for generations that religious teachings must never be removed from politics and public policy. In his “farewell address” Washington declared:  “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them.”

Washington warned us morality could not be preserved apart from religion: “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Washington then stated that religious principles should not be separated from our courts of justice or any other public institution. “Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in the courts of justice?”


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One Response to Separation of Church and State…

  1. Patricia Lammersfeld says:

    Washington’s great words are complex and sadly above the understanding of the average electronically dulled citizen. Thank you, Tom, for putting Washington’s thoughts into easily understood terms. Well written!
    Keep up the good work!

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