The Constitution makes clear that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This seems pretty straightforward. However, I’ve noticed a trend among commentators calling for a greater role for religion in regard to the state. Often, the precise role they feel religion should play is very vague; specific policies are usually not called for. Nonetheless, it is a troubling trend.
The revolutions of thought that led to our nation’s founding had their roots in the turmoil of religious wars in Europe. Several factors led to the conflicts that plagued the continent, obviously, but it’s no stretch to say that religion was one of them. Out of this tumult, modern thought was born, which in time inspired our founders to break away from the tyranny of the Crown. They structured the new nation largely on the principles of modern philosophy, especially on the thought of men like John Locke, among others.

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