Fish Symbol
Separation of Church and State.

Many negative actions have been taken by the federal government against the religious rights of the individual states, 
on the basis that there exists a separation of church and state. This idea is in major part due to a letter written by the 
Danbury Baptist Association to President Thomas Jefferson in 1801. This date is TEN YEARS after the ratification 
of the First Amendment, which reads; Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting 
the free exercise thereof…….

Whereas it is true that the First Amendment does establish a separation of church and State, it is only to the extent 
that the federal government cannot make LAWS regarding religion. When Thomas Jefferson refers to the State, it is 
the federal government he is referring to, not the individual states. This usage of the word State to refer to the 
central government of a country is commonplace. Furthermore, the First Amendment was never thought or intended 
to limit the rights of the individual states, or to prevent the states from doing as they saw fit with respect to religion 
in their state government. And this understanding of the First Amendment was never clearer than in the letter from 
the Danbury Baptist Association to President Thomas Jefferson.

The Danbury Baptist Association being unhappy with the then condition of their state constitution, said in their 
letter to Thomas Jefferson and remember, the First Amendment had at this time been the law of the land for ten years:
"But, sir, our constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient charter together with

the law made coincident therewith, were adopted as the basis of our government, at the 

time of our revolution; and such had been our laws and usages, and such still are; that

religion is considered as the first object of legislation; and therefore what religious 

privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the state) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as 

inalienable rights"
We see from this paragraph that this group was dealing with a form of religious decimation from their state government. 
Then they say and again remember, the First Amendment had at this time been the law of the land for ten years:
"Sir, we are sensible that the president of the United States is not the national legislator, 

and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the laws of each state; but 

our hopes are strong that the SENTIMENTS of our beloved president, which

have had such genial effect already, like the radiant beams of the sun, will shine and 

prevail through all these states and all the world, till hierarchy and tyranny be destroyed 

from the earth."
We see furthermore, the Baptist association knew there was nothing the federal government could do for them, 
for in fact the First Amendment directly prohibited the federal government from taking any kind of legislative action 
regarding the rights of the states in regard to religion. This is the true power of the First Amendment in preventing 
the federal government from interfering with the religious rights of the individual states, even religion in the 
state government. The religious rights of a state government are a matter for the people of their individual 
states to decide in their state constitution. 

All that they of the Baptist association could express were their hopes that the SENTIMENTS of a separation of 
church and state would prevail, not only through out the individual states but through out the world.

In the reply of Thomas Jefferson he offered no direct help and merely confirmed their thoughts:
" …I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those SENTIMENTS 
which tend to restore to man all his natural rights…. "
In my opening paragraph I stated, "Many negative actions have been taken by the federal government against the 
religious rights of the individual states, on the basis that there exists a separate of church and state." We have 
seen religious symbols removed from state buildings and the Bible removed from schools, all of which could have 
been removed by the individual states if they had chosen to do so but instead have been removed despite the will 
of the people, despite the fact there was no legal right to do so. And in fact the First Amendment has been violated.


Misinterpretation and yes, outright lies, have brought us to this sad place in our nations history.
 
There are those who will take issue based solely on what they desire to be the truth with no regard for the 
actual truth itself. Who ignore the first one hundred and fifty years of our nations history and Christian heritage. 
Who prefer the darkness, rather than the light.

Tony Alexander
President / CEO
talexander@mightyboss.com
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