Church out of State
The First Amendment ( Amendment I ) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion , impeding the free exercise of religion , abridging the freedom of speech , infringing on the freedom of the press , interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances . Originally, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress . However, starting with Gitlow v. New York , the Supreme Court has applied the First Amendment to each state. This was done through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment , by what is called incorporation .
James H. Hutson received his Ph.D. in History from Yale University in 1964. He has been a member of the History Departments at Yale and William and Mary and, since 1982, has been Chief of the Library's Manuscript Division. Dr Hutson is the author of several books among them: John Adams and the Diplomacy of the American Revolution (1980); winner of the Gilbert Chinard Prize, 1981; To Make All Laws: The Congress of the United States, 1789-1989 (Washington and Boston, 1989-90; 4th edition, Washington, 1990); The Sister Republics: Switzerland and the United States from 1776 to the Present ( Washington, 1991; 4th edition, Washington, 1998); Religion and the Founding of the American Republic (5th printing, Washington, 2000). Library of Congress <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut. Gentlemen The affectionate sentiments of esteem & approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and, in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more & more pleasing.
To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut. Gentlemen
By JAMES HUTSON Following is an article by the curator of a major exhibition at the Library that opens this month and runs through Aug. 22. A key document on view in "Religion and the Founding of the American Republic" (see LC Information Bulletin, May 1998), is the letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, which contains the phrase "a wall of separation between church and state."
The Mythical "Wall of Separation": How a Misused Metaphor Changed Church–State Law, Policy, and Discourse | The Heritage FoundationFirst Principles Series Report #6 First Principles Series Report - The First Principles series explores the core ideas of the American founding and the importance of renewing those ideas today. The Mythical "Wall of Separation": How a Misused Metaphor Changed Church–State Law, Policy, and Discourse By Daniel L. Dreisbach June 23, 2006
Thomas Jefferson was a man of deep religious conviction — his conviction was that religion was a very personal matter, one which the government had no business getting involved in. He was vilified by his political opponents for his role in the passage of the 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and for his criticism of such biblical events as the Great Flood and the theological age of the Earth. As president, he discontinued the practice started by his predecessors George Washington and John Adams of proclaiming days of fasting and thanksgiving. He was a staunch believer in the separation of church and state.