The founding fathers knew that people first started to come to America because they were being persecuted for their religious beliefs. People came to America for a happy and free life. In the Declaration of Independence it states that, as citizens, we are allowed the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe they meant whatever that happiness entails, whether it be praying six times a day, or not believing in religion at all. The separation of church and state is there to prevent the government from being influenced by any religion.
I do believe that the founding fathers had every desire for everyone to be one religion - theirs. I'm not sure that they perceived this as discriminatory or oppressive. They probably just believed that they knew the right and "civilized" way to do things and others could only benefit by following their example. Needless to say, they were not as sophisticated in the acceptance and diversity departments as we claim to be these days.
Our Founding Fathers gave us the freedom to choose our own religion. However, this is "One Nation" founded "Under God". I believe that our forefathers wanted us to have the right to our own religion, but they wanted our country run by Christian morals. So as to say that any man has a right to choose a different religion but should still follow the rules and regulations set forth in the Constitution of The United States of America. By these decisions they have made and the laws they have set; it is clear to me that our Founding Fathers did not necessarily intend for their religious affiliation to be the only one. But, the morals and laws for this entire country were to be set with their religious morals.
Having all the citizens of a country follow the same religion can make many things easier for the rulers of that country. They can make an unanimous decision on various issues, and use the religion to back them up. There would be less rioting, and class discrimination.
I do believe that, at the time, the founding fathers of the United States did intend for their own religious affiliation to be applied to the entire country. There were far fewer religions back then, as compared to today. The people who founded America came here due to religious persecution. They hoped to start a new country, where they could practice their religion with freedom. I don't believe they ever considered that other religions might evolve, and should be granted that same freedom.
The Founding Fathers took pains to make the US a great and respected country. They had firm faith in the Almighty, who guided their every action. Every coin in the US bears the motto "In God we trust." The Founding Fathers definitely were strong believers in God and Christianity and wanted to spread the word of God and faith to all. Religion was included as part of the curriculum in schools. Churches were set up, and every important national event began with a prayer. All this is evidence enough that the Founding Fathers clearly wanted their own religious affiliation to be applied to the whole country.
“Separation of Church and State” The phrase originates in Thomas Jefferson's 1802 letter to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut; “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, prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and State,” writes Jefferson.
Jefferson was simply using a metaphor corollary to the First Amendment to reassure the Danbury Baptist Association that America practices religious freedom.
We have “In God We Trust” on our money. We have biblical verses carved into national monuments. Our Presidents are sworn into office with their hand on a Bible. These things have confused many people about what the Founding Fathers meant by a “separation between Church and State.” The fact is that the phrase appears in none of our founding documents, neither the Declaration of Independence nor The Constitution. The phrase, though often mistaken as included in the First Amendment, actually only existed in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 but the phrase has since been repeatedly cited.
Constitution says it all; just read it in its entirety. They wanted a government based on morality (or the ten commandments), giving it a good foundation but was ruled by the people. Hence; the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Not much more needs to be said, if you just read about what your expressing your opinion on.
Religious freedom allows each individual to have their mind to be opened by wonder or closed by their personal belief system. Once you believe something, you can invest as much as you want into that belief. Hopefully people would respect another's journey. It is a journey we all explore and are at different stages of the path. Therein lies the freedom of religious belief. No one has the right to demand that their version of believing is the only one, or that everyone should arrive at the same place with the same conclusion. That is called fascism.
Anyone who has studied history knows that most of the Founding Fathers were either not religious, or they were Deists. Deists believe in an idea of God who created the world, and then sat back and watched everything unfold, but they do not believe in Christ. They did not set the United States up as a Christian country, and they were more interested in scientific principles, rather than having a religious country.
The founding fathers of our nation, Jefferson, Franklin, Hancock, etc. themselves came from nations (or their ancestors did) that persecuted people who were not followers of the state religion. Many settlers came to America to escape religious persecution in their home countries in Europe. For this reason, the founding fathers were very careful to allow freedom of religion when writing the Declaration of Independence and later on, the Constitution.
Not all of the founding fathers were even of the same religion, and yet they were willing to form a country--together--that had separate church and state. In neither the constitution nor the declaration of independence can I find a single mention of religion, except perhaps a brief mention of "go?" In reference to the natural freedom of man--which I do not think was intended as a reference to religion, but rather as the type of god Einstein would refer to as a way to denote creation, fate, or nature. The bill of rights (amendments to the constitution) starts with: "congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." It seems clear enough that the founding fathers did not intend for religion to play any role in government whatsoever, and it is utterly absurd to claim that their intention was for the country to be dominated by "their religion", even had they all been of one religious faith.
The great men that founded our country were from quite diverse backgrounds. Everything social, economic, educational, vocational, and religious diversity -- this is evident in the whole of our country from foundation to modern day. Their intentions were more towards freedom of belief not setting a standard for all to follow.
The reason our forefathers set up the clause Separation of Church and State was exactly the same reason they formed the United States of America. Many people fled to America to seek freedom to worship God as they please and to escape the world they lived in where the government tried to interfere, even persecute Jews and Christians for their beliefs. The clause Separation of Church and State was put there to protect them from the government coming in and trying to persecute the Church. At that time, our forefathers believed in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. In this they found freedom and acclaimed their success for this country, that is why most American cities have the 10 Commandments or "In God We Trust." All over our financial system we give honor to God by saying "IN GOD WE TRUST." Separation of Church and State was not meant to separate the church from politics, it was to stop the government from interfering in a church's freedom to worship!
They were working to create a country whose citizens were free from persecution. They purposely avoided mention of religion because it is such a hot button topic that it makes people a little nutty.
The Founding Fathers were all nominally Christians, but varied widely in their denominations and religiosity. They knew, for the United States to stay united, it would have to have religious freedom and that the state could not favor one denomination over another. They, therefore, often spoke for the freedom of religion, and that is why it is enshrined in the Constitution.
If one reads the Federalist Papers and the records from the Constitutional Convention, where these issues were fully debated, there can be no doubt that the Founders did not want any kind of state religion. The First Amendment to the Constitution reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...", and I find that very clear.
Thousands of men and women fought and died in order to obtain the right to practice their religion of choice, freely and without discrimination, so no as in the Bill of Rights we have the right to practice any religion we choose. With that being said they did not literally intend to apply Christian/Catholic law but they did (in my opinion) intend for every law to share a common moral basis shared in the majority of Religions, or (if your an atheist/agnostic) to share common principles/moral values that we develop as a part of our existence, you can't harm; an individual, an individuals private property, you can't defame them, etc.
But I think one of the most important values lost from our Founding Fathers was that they did not impose their moral standards on another individual even if they opposed that individual's activity such as recreational drug use, civil unions, what food they eat, the treatments they wish to receive, among other private activities, Just as long as the person's personal activities did not harm another individual.
I think the founding fathers were merely acknowledging the Christian roots of our nation in the Constitution, but the inclusion of the separation of church and state principle shows that they never intended any religion to hold sway. The document's language is just a reflection of the time, like the inclusion of the phrase 'under God' in the Pledge.
The Founding Fathers of the United States came here because of religious oppression. Their intention was to create a nation that would allow religious freedom for all individuals. They wanted people to be able to practice their beliefs openly, and not be persecuted for it. Sadly, that freedom is now being twisted around into something different, while almost making it a necessity to turn the government into an agnostic or atheistic entity.
America's founding fathers left England in search of Religious freedom, & with that idea they founded America, whenever they mentioned god they never intended it to be a ghost in the sky but the essence of life. The fictional figure which theists call god, was made up to control people of faith.
The Founding Fathers of the United States were repelled by the dictated religion of England. They felt that the citizens of the United States should have Freedom of Religion to practice as they wished whether religious or not. The citizens were to have complete freedom in this are including atheism. This has been a founding principle of this country since the beginning in spite of the fact that the Founders were primarily Christian.
All that is needed to see that the Founding Fathers wanted religious freedom for everyone is to look at the Constitution. The first amendment states that freedom of religion is a human right, that each citizen is free from persecution if his religion is different than that of the state.
Freedom of religion. That means to either have one or not have one. This country would not be great if we all followed the same religion. People came to this country to escape what they were being forced to practice in their own country. In the US we have given everyone that right. Now the Republicans and Tea party members want to force us all to believe the same ideology and force this through the federal government? Oh, hell no!
Thomas Jefferson rewrote the New Testament, leaving out the miracles that Jesus performed. John Adams later introduced the Treaty of Tripoli, which stated the U.S. was not based on the Christian religion. Thomas Paine did not believe in any religion at all, and it is believed that George Washington was a Deist at best, as he never took part in communion and had no clergy at his deathbed. While it is clear that some were Christian, none wished to create a religious state such as what England had. They wanted America to be free from the oppression that accompanied such a state.
No where in the constitution of this United States of America does it say that the people of this great nation must belong to a certain religion, but only that they had the right to exercise their religion freely no matter what branch. People seem to forget that the founding fathers and early colonists wanted to succeed from Great Britain and King George's rule because they strived for religous freedom
The founding fathers didn't want everyone to be forced to have one religion at the time. They didn't want that because in there old life they had to take one religion by force. It might not have seemed like it at the time that there were a whole bunch of religions because everyone kind of wanted to stick with there previous religion. They were to scared to switch.