When Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to a Baptist association during his presidency, he did not add into our Constitution the words “separation of church and state”. It is not in the Constitution in any form at all, but it seems that it is used most frequently when people don’t want anything to do with the Bible or the absolute truth of God’s Word!
There is no separation of Church and State in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. The premise for this comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist association in Connecticut that feared overreaching government power. An extreme view of separation of church and state has become part of the common American belief system and it is terrifying.
Here is a copy of that letter from the archives of the Library of Congress:
Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists
The Final Letter, as Sent
To messers.: Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.
The affectionate sentiments of esteem and 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 and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.
Jan. 1. 1802.
The “wall of separation” being spoken of is such that our government would not require nor establish a religion of the state or nation, it did not mean that religion, whether Christian or otherwise, could never be taught or practiced in government offices or schools so long as that practice was of the individual and not of the requirement by the state or nation.
We have used this misunderstanding in ways to push God and Christian religion out of our schools and our children’s education so much so that we are paying the price for doing so at this present time. Today, being the National Day of Prayer, I urge all of you to pray that God doesn’t push us out of His grace and that our great nation comes back into the knowledge and the grace of Almighty God. If we do not, I fear that our way of life is in danger of disappearing and that this nation will no longer be a nation under God but one that is under the condemnation of God!