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The idea that a "wall of separation" should forever divide church and state, even religious faith and public policy, is a reigning dictum in current American thought. This notion has been repeated so often by the proponents of secular culture that it has become, for many Americans, an unquestionable truth. The time has come to question it. The separation of church and state, as it is commonly understood today, was not a prevailing doctrine among the framers of the U.S. Constitution, argues Rene de Visme Williamson. Williamson's research into the religious views of the constitutional framers and the positions they articulated during the Philadelphia convention reveals that the majority of the framers regarded Biblical truth and American public philosophy as inseparable. What they sought in the First Amendment, he discovered, was not the separation of church and state, but the independence of church and state. There is a world of difference between those two notions. "The evidence shows that the majority, both numerical and effective, of the delegates at the Philadelphia Convention were committed Christians and that practically all the rest were Deists," Williamson writes. He points out that the Christians and Deists who participated in that convention held in common three politically important religious convictions: 1)God rules the world and guides peoples and their governments with His providence. 2)Morality is rooted in religion and cannot long survive without it. 3)Political stability and strength depend on morality, and nowhere more so than in a constitutional republic. "In the light of these convictions," Williamson writes, "the framers would have been shocked by the modern ideathat government can be neutral toward its own foundation."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780971191938
ISBN-10: 097119193X
Format: Paperback / softback
(140mm x 215mm x 30mm)
Pages: 496
Imprint: Presbyterian Lay Committe
Publisher: Presbyterian Lay Committe
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2006
Country of Publication: United States

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