Wednesday, September 8, 2010

President Thomas Jefferson's opinion in the matter of Separation of Church and State

The phrase "separation of church and state" is derived from a private letter written by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to Baptists from Danbury, Connecticut. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Jefferson writes:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & 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, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.- Thomas Jefferson