Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only; and 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, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state." "If we did a good act merely from the love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist?" "In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own." "The truth is, that the greatest enemies of the doctrine of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them to the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." We shall be a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world. "In the past, many have maintained and some still do, that freedom of religion is harmful. They say that religious liberty is nothing but license for unbelief. It is true that in America one may deny and ridicule the most sacred teachings of our Christian faith. But those who would oppose religious liberty on these grounds do not stop to consider what a government is. Just as the church should not be a state, so the state should not be a church. The state is not a religious establishment or church through which its members hope to come to eternal life. The state is rather an institution ordained by God for this life, to protect each person's property, administer justice and ensure that each person can live here with his family in peace.
The church, on the other hand, struggles not against armies, but against unbelief and sin: it seeks not to conquer lands, but hearts. Therefore, how can the state help the church with its prisons of stone and weapons of steel? Christianity holds sway only in the hearts and consciences of people. Its weapon is the Word of God, and its power is faith. It needs neither the support nor help of the government.
What therefore, is the greatest boon that the state can grant religion? Not privilege, but freedom: not laws which command adherence to its teachings, but freedom to proclaim these teachings to all the world; not the extension of its message by worldly power, but freedom to spread this message with the sword of the conquering Word; not dominion in the state, but freedom to dwell therein as a refuge and a haven." #

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