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James Madison – Father of the U.S. Constitution
(Excerpted from, The Rewriting of America’s History
copyright 1991 by Catherine Millard).

     James Madison, who later became the fourth president of the United States, was acclaimed from his work entitled: Memorial and Remonstrance, presenting it to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia at the session in 1785. This was in opposition to the introduction of a bill in the assembly for the Establishment of Religion by Law. Both Madison and Jefferson, called the “Champions of Religious Freedom,” stood against legislation that would require citizens to be taxed for the support of something which they may be opposed to in conscience. In this case, it was the support of the teachers of the Christian religion of one sect, selected by the government. Madison was outraged at this affront to Christianity. He was apparently in the minority. As he states here in his Memorial and Remonstrance, it appears only the Quakers and Mennonites as a whole could foresee the error of passing such a law:

…Who does not see that the same authority, which can establish Christianity in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease, any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects; that the same authority, which can force a citizen to contribute three-pence only of his property, for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment, in all cases whatsoever…Are the Quakers Mennonites the only sects who think a compulsive support of their religions unnecessary and unwarrantable? Can their piety alone be entrusted with the care of publick worship? Ought their religions to be endowed, above all others, with extraordinary privileges, by which proselytes may be enticed from all others…

     Not only was the bill not beneficial to Christianity, but the passage of such a bill was based upon ignorance, rather than faith in God. As he clearly shows, Christianity not only does not need the help of the State for support, but such help would result in a weakening of the church:

…Because the establishment proposed by the bill is not requisite fort the support of the Christian Religion. To say that it is, is a contradiction to the Christian Religion itself; for every page of it disavows a dependence on the power of this world; it is a contradiction to fact, for it is known that this religion both existed and flourished, not only without the support of human laws, but in spite of every opposition from them; and not only during the period of miraculous aid, but long after it had been left to its own evidence and the ordinary care of Providence: nay, it is a contradiction in terms; for any religion, not invented by human policy must have pre-existed and been supported before it was established by human policy; it is, moreover, to weaken in those, who profess this religion, a pious confidence in its innate excellence, and the patronage of its Author; and to foster in those, who still reject it, a suspicion that its friends are too conscious of its fallacies, to trust it to its own merits…

     Madison then goes on to explain that this has been proven repeatedly through the 15 centuries of Christianity. What have been its fruits, asks Madison?

…pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity: in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. Inquire of the teachers of Christianity for the ages in which it appeared in its greatest luster; those of every sect point out the ages prior to its incorporation with civil policy…what influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In some instances, they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; in more instances, have they been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people…

     The adverse effects of this law in the future could be seen by Madison, even in the initial discord it currently brought to the Christian church, as he writes:

…The very appearance of the bill has transformed that “Christian forbearance, love and charity,” which of late mutually prevailed, into animosities and jealousies, which may not soon be appeased. What mischiefs may not be dreaded, should this enemy to the publick quiet be armed with the force of law?…Because the policy of the bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those, who ought to enjoy this precious gift, ought to be, that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind. Compare the number of those who have as yet received it, with the number still remaining under the dominions of false religions, and how small is the former! Does the policy of the bill tend to lesson the proportion? No; it at once discourages those who are strangers to the light of truth, from coming into the regions of it; and countenances, by example, the nations who continue in darkness in shutting out those who might convey it to them…

History Rewritten

     James Madison’s Memorial and Remonstrance has been quoted at length because of the recent anti-Christian onslaught upon our society with the now popular phrase: “separation of Church and State.” In the past score of years in America, the coined phrase: “Separation of Church and State” has been proclaimed and heralded by the media. The interpretation given is that the state or government of the nation and the Christian religion are two separate and distinct entities, totally disconnected and disassociated one from the other. Armed with this reasoning, the State has encroached more and more upon the education of America’s youth, thus gaining control of their minds. Examples are given, such as removing prayer and the Ten Commandments from the public school classrooms. The Christian church has now been targeted, new laws dictating more and more as to what it can and cannot do. The term “Separation of Church and State,” however, was never used by Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution. Neither was it ever employed by George Washington or John Adams; but only once used in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist group, never in any Public or political writing.

     The truth of the matter is that Madison’s famous document extols the values of Christianity and the light of the gospel. It has been singled out as the great document which undergirds the “Religious Freedom Clause” in the United States Constitution.   The message is crystal clear, as with Thomas Jefferson’s statute for Religious Freedom in Virginia: Freedom of worship under the banner of Christianity. Both of these founding fathers spoke about the Christian religion when dealing with freedom of religion. They were referring to the different and varying types of Christian worship: Quakers, Mennonites, Baptist, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodist and so forth – and not to anything outside mainline Christianity. This is apparent in all their writings. The founding fathers were indisputably Christian and biblical in their thinking and approach to drafting a unique form of government.

     Madison’s writings, as also those of Jefferson, clearly outline what the issue, which led to the first Amendment Clause, really was: Separation of Church from interference by the State in its mission, goals and outreach for Christ. In other words, it is the guaranteeing of liberty of worship of different denominational groups within the Christian community outside the civil jurisdiction and interference of the State.

…Aptly is Madison called the Father of the U.S. Constitution and a great Christian founding father.

     John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States in his “Eulogy on the Life and Character of James Madison,” delivered at the request of the Mayor, Alderman and Common Council of the City of Boston, September 27, 1836, throws further light on his stance against government interference in the mode of worship of all mainline Christian denominations:

…After the close of the war, in the year 1784, Mr. Jefferson introduced into the Legislature a Bill for the establishment of Religious Freedom. The principle of the Bill was the abolition of all taxation for the support of Religion, or of its Ministers, and to place the freedom of all religious opinions wholly beyond the control of the Legislature.



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