Library of Congress Exhibit on Religion and the Foundation of America

August 3, 1998

Source: The Weekly Standard

On August 3, 1998, The Weekly Standard issued an article in response to an exhibit at the Library of Congress, entitled "Religion and the Founding of the American Republic." The exhibit, which ran through August 22nd, presented materials from early immigrant writings and political documents of the founders. According to the reviewer, the documents seem to indicate that "religion and government were understood by the nation's founders to be quite close." The separationist view of a "wall of separation between church and state," as indoctrinated in the 1947 Supreme Court case Everson v. Board of Education, has its roots in Thomas Jefferson's writings. But, according to the reviewer, the founders "sought the official separation of church and state in order to build civil and religious liberty on the ground of equal natural rights, but they never intended - indeed they roundly rejected - the idea of separating religion and politics."