In an effort to keep God out of government, people will reference Thomas Jefferson’s “separation between Church and State” quote. Sadly, the only way people interpret this statement is that kids shouldn’t pray in school, that the Bible is un-American, and that the Ten-Commandments should be thrown off capitol lawns.
However, separationists only read part of Jefferson’s quote, which destroys the whole meaning. Let’s look at Thomas Jefferson’s entire separation quote.
In a letter to the Danbury Baptists, Jefferson started: “Believing with you that religion is a matter that lies solely between Man and his God… I contemplate with sovereign reverence the 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 and State.”
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All that Jefferson was doing was reaffirming the 1st Amendment. He was not trying to imply that the American culture should be unreligious and atheistic-minded; he just wanted the government to stay out of the Church.
In fact, had Jefferson been an atheist, he probably would not have been asked to author the Declaration of Independence, as our founders were men of great faith.
For example, our first president George Washington said: “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”
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Christians are often too quick to try to distance themselves from Thomas Jefferson’s separation quote; but according to Genesis 50:20, God can work evil for good. We need to realize that the same quote that was twisted to violate the First Amendment can be a compelling force for us to witness that we are indeed a Christian nation.
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