James Madison, 1791: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment guarantees Americans
wall of separation
between church and state.
F. Kennedy, 1960:
The separation of church and state is absolute. My church will not
dictate my policy decisions.
The separation of church and state is relative.
My church will dictate my policy decisions, but only to the extent
that I will discriminate
against the same people Christian conservatives would already be
discriminating against anyway.
The separation of church and state is a
My church will show up at the Capitol steps in a limo to dictate
The separation of church and state is an
"Earlier in my political career, I had the opportunity to read
the speech [by JFK to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in
1960], and I almost threw up."
The separation of church and state is impossible.
“This is a religious country. Part of claiming your citizenship is
claiming a belief in God, even if you are not Christian.”
Agnostics, atheists, and other nonbelievers need not apply.
2014: The separation of church and state is unconstitutional.
Public meetings may now begin with explicitly Christian prayer, and
those who don't like it are advised by Justice Kennedy to "ignore"
2014: The separation of church and state only
applies to those non-conservative non-christian denominations not
represented on the Supreme Court;
persons (carbon-based or contract-based) of a
favored religious denomination can opt out of laws that go
against their sincerely-held religious beliefs.