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Did the Founding Fathers intend to build a “wall of separation” between church and state? Are public Ten Commandments displays or the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance consistent with the Founders’ understandings of religious freedom? In God and the Founders, Dr. Vincent Phillip Muñoz answers these questions by providing new, comprehensive interpretations of James Madison, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. By analyzing Madison’s, Washington’s, and Jefferson’s public documents, private writings, and political actions, Muñoz explains the Founders’ competing church-state political philosophies. Muñoz explores how Madison, Washington, and Jefferson agreed and disagreed by showing how their different principles of religious freedom would decide the Supreme Court’s most important First Amendment religion cases. God and the Founders answers the question, “What would the Founders do?” for the most pressing church-state issues of our time, including prayer in public schools, government support of religion, and legal burdens on individual’s religious conscience.
Introduction: the Founders, religious freedom, and the First Amendment's religion clauses; Part I. The Founders' Church-State Political Philosophies: 1. James Madison's principle of state noncognizance of religion; 2. George Washington on church and state: religion and the civic good; 3. Thomas Jefferson's natural rights philosophy and anticlerical politics of religious liberty; Part II. The Founders and the First Amendment Religion Clauses: 4. Madison's, Washington's, and Jefferson's church-state doctrines; 5. Madison, Washington, Jefferson and the establishment clause; 6. Madison, Washington, Jefferson and the free exercise clause; 7. The Founders v. the Supreme Court; Conclusion: the Founders and church-state jurisprudence; Appendix A: James Madison, memorial and remonstrance against religious assessments; Appendix B: Patrick Henry, a bill 'establishing a provision for teachers of the Christian religion'; Appendix C: Thomas Jefferson, a bill for establishing religious freedom in Virginia.
Posted June 18, 2011
This book discusses the bearing of religion from three presidents; Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. A review of the impact between religion and the first amendment to the constitution. The book relative shows how religion becomes less, less important. A great read! Graceson J. Brotzman
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