If there were a majority of one sect, a bill of rights would be a poor protection for liberty. Happily for the states, they enjoy the utmost freedom of religion...Fortunately for this commonwealth, a majority of the people are decidedly against any exclusive establishment. There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermeddle with religion. Its least interference with it would be a most flagrant usurpation. I can appeal to my uniform conduct on this subject, that I have warmly supported religious freedom. It is better that this security should be depended upon from the general legislature, than from one particular state. A particular state might concur in one religious project. But the United States abound in such a variety of sects, that it is a strong security against religious persecution; and it is sufficient to authorize a conclusion, that no one sect will ever be able to outnumber or depress the rest.--James Madison, June 12, 1788. Elliot's Debates In the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution(Virginia)
Friday, August 12, 2011
Was James Madison Against Separation of Church and State?
Most likely James Madison changed his view on this subject, however he appears to be in-line with the other Founding Fathers while a public servant. Did Madison change his views after he retired, rejecting Thomas Jefferson's belief that religion is left to the States?