In fact, John Locke and James Madison even say that an atheist has no right to religious freedom, because he doesn't believe in the God who granted that freedom in the first place.This is not an exaggeration, since no other religion gives religious freedom. This is a very important point secularist's fail to recognize. For the first 150 years, State courts were the authority in cases regarding the Bill of Rights. This is because the Bill of Rights were never applied to the States except starting in the mid-twentieth century. It follows there are few Federal court cases regarding the Bill of Rights. And when the feds ruled on a case they were quick to cite State courts. For instance, Updegraph v The Commonwealth (1824) Supreme Court of Pennsylvania was the first case cited in Holy Trinity:
In this the Constitution of the United States has made no alteration nor in the great body of the laws which was an incorporation of the common-law doctrine of Christianity. No free government now exists in the world unless where Christianity is acknowledged and is the religion of the country...Its foundations are broad and strong and deep...it is the purest system of morality, the firmest auxiliary, and only stable support of all human laws.The author of the post's interpretation is correct. Even the morality of the nation was strictly Christian, as the courts proclaimed.
If the First Amendment enshrines religious liberty (which is doubtful, as I show above, regarding states v. the federal government), then the First Amendment is itself a Christian document.The Father of the Bill of Rights tells us the context of the First Amendment:
[A]ll men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular sect or society of Christians ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others.-Col. George Mason. Kate Mason Rowland, The Life of George Mason (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1892, Vol. I, p.28.
The States already have control of establishment, and Christianity was the established religion:
In the minds of many, therefore, the purpose of the First Amendment was not to protect Jews or Muslims, but rather, to protect Protestants, by allowing them to continue to retain the power they already had on the state level, and to prevent any Protestant sects from competing for control of the national government's power over religion, which is to say, to equalize them all on the national level, but not on the state level.The context then for the First Amendment must be Christianity, as Joseph Story explained, because no religion other than Christianity could have gained establishment. Quoting the Romans, or Greeks, does not diminish the influence of Christianity, rather, the framers believed Cicero, Aristotle, et al. aligned with Christianity. The framers did not included Roman or Greek philosophy in any part of the founding:
Sparta, Rome, and Carthage...These examples, though as unfit for the imitation, as they are repugnant to the genius, of America, are, notwithstanding, when compared with the fugitive and turbulent existence of other ancient republics, very instructive proofs of the necessity of some institution that will blend stability with liberty. I am not unaware of the circumstances which distinguish the American from other popular governments, as well ancient as modern; and which render extreme circumspection necessary, in reasoning from the one case to the other.-James Madison, Federalist #63
Below, the author cites is eliminating God from the equation:
The Protestants could not limit themselves purely to social contract, because they refused to totally distance themselves from a view that all laws and morality come from God. They did not want to be pure legal positivists, that whatever the state says, goes. Over time, they grew to accept people who were not of the covenant, but they could never hold a purely secular view of social contract, that entirely divorces God altogether. Even Madison cited Martin Luther.