Church & State


Talking Points and Basic Information

Church and State Talking Points
Focus on the Family

The Wall That Never Was
Focus on the Family
There’s another myth that the Founders built a “wall of separation between church and state” to keep government strictly secular and free of influence by religious people and ideas. Again, though, the truth is vastly different. In fact, those words — “wall of separation between church and state” — don’t appear in the Constitution. They come from a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury (Connecticut) Baptist Association, which has no legal authority — and which has been widely misinterpreted.

The Separation of Church and State (Podcast)
Focus on the Family
Did you know that the phrase “separation of church and state” is not written in any founding document? Jim Daly shares why that matters and why religious freedom lies at the heart of American freedom.

Comprehensive Research and Articles

The Mythical “Wall of Separation”: How a Misused Metaphor Changed Church-State Law, Policy, and Discourse
Daniel Dreisbach, The Heritage Foundation
An examination of Jefferson’s celebrated wall, constructed two centuries ago, casts light not only on the past, but also on the future place of religion in American public life. Today, the Supreme Court’s conception of that wall stands as a defining image of the prudential and constitutional role of religion in the public arena. Serious consideration must be given to whether that wall accurately represents constitutional principles and usefully contributes to American democracy and to a civil society.

Cause for Concern (Church/State)
Focus on the Family
The so-called “wall of separation between church and state” has done more damage to America’s religious and moral tradition than any other utterance of the Supreme Court. While the First Amendment was originally intended to prevent the establishment of a national religion and thus ensure religious liberty, the Supreme Court’s misuse of the “separation of church and state” phrase has fostered hostility toward, rather than protection of, religious freedom.

Church Over State: A Picture Says a Thousand Words
Matthew Spalding, Ph. D., The Heritage Foundation
A picture-perfect understanding of the proper understanding of the separation of church and state.

Church and State: Clearing Thomas Jefferson’s Good Name
Christopher Stevens, The Heritage Foundation
Today, on Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, we remember the man who can list as his crowning achievement the Declaration of Independence. But with the Obamacare contraceptive mandate still fresh in our memories, perhaps it would be good to remember another aspect of Jefferson’s legacy: his staunch commitment to religious liberty.

The Separation of Church and State
David Barton, WallBuilders
In summary, the “separation” phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson’s explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the manner in which courts apply it today. “Separation of church and state” currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

Intimidation Letter from Americans United for Separation of Church and State
David Barton, WallBuilders
Numerous militant secular groups want to see people of faith and churches silenced and kept from exercising any influence in the public sphere, even if that influence is legal and constitutionally permissible. One such group is Americans United for Separation of Church and State. It seems that each election cycle, they send out an ominous letter to pastors and churches, warning them that they can face legal problems for something as innocuous as providing a non-partisan voters guide to their parishioners.

Church in the U.S. Capitol
David Barton, WallBuilders
Many people are surprised to learn that the United States Capitol regularly served as a church building; a practice that began even before Congress officially moved into the building and lasted until well after the Civil War.

Websites, Books and Additional Information

Defending the Right to Share the Gospel
Alliance Defending Freedom Church Alliance

Why You Should Be Involved – A Biblical Case for Social and Political Involvement
Family Research Council
This booklet by John Eldredge provides a compelling case for Christian social and political involvement.

4 reasons Christians should care about politics
David Closson, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC)
The gospel is a holistic message with implications for all areas of life, including how Christians engage the political process. Here are four reasons Christians should care about politics.

Politics According To The Bible (Book)
Wayne Grudem,  Ph.D.
A variety of perspectives exist within the Christian community when it comes to political issues and political involvement. This comprehensive and readable book presents a political philosophy from the perspective that the Gospel pertains to all of life so Christians should be involved in political issues. In brief, this is an analysis of conservative and liberal plans to do good for the nation, evaluated in light of the Bible and common sense.

“Governed not by polls, politics nor profits…” A Principle Based Manifesto on Voting for Social Conservatives
John Stemberger, Florida Family Policy Council
Since I cast my first rather misguided vote in 1980, I have given much thought and consideration toward developing a principle-based grid for political decision making. What are the moral “first principles” to consider when deciding who to vote for and why? These points below represent an attempt to develop a principled approach for social conservatives  exercising active citizenship as we choose and support candidates.

Protect Your Church Ministry Legal Resources
Florida Family Policy Council
If you are not currently in need of legal representation, but would like to know what you and your church or ministry can do to protect your ministry, please visit our resource page.

Election Resources for Churches and Pastors
Florida Family Policy Council
We need leaders like you to encourage your congregation to vote and become good stewards of their earthly citizenship and make a difference by voting in elections. As Christians we are not committed to political parties, personalities or candidates. Our duty is even higher than what some would label as liberal or conservative. Our highest calling to honor God with every part of our life– including voting.

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