Early Advocates 3

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First Amendment Advocate, Vol. 4, No. 1, August 2003

The Newsletter of the Oklahoma Chapter of Americans United

Early Advocates for Separation of Church & State (Part 3)

“This only I say, that whencesoever their authority (the clergy's) be sprung, since it is ecclesiastical, it ought to be confined within the bounds of the church, nor can it in any manner be extended to civil affairs, because the church itself is a thing absolutely separate and distinct from the commonwealth.  The boundaries on both sides are fixed and immoveable.”

John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration, 1689.

“Build an impenetrable wall of separation between things sacred and civil.  Do not send a graceless (military) officer, reeking from the arms of his trull, to the performance of a holy rite of religion, as a test for his holding the command of a regiment.  To profane, in such a manner, a religion, which you pretend to reverence; is an impiety sufficient to bring down upon your heads, the roof of the sacred building you thus defile.”

James Burgh, Crito  Vol. 2, 1767.

“The Church . . . is espoused as a chaste virgin unto Christ.  He is her husband; and she is the bride, the lamb’s wife.   And if so, was she to be joined to the State, it would be committing spiritual adultery, the most detestable of all enormities!    . . . This union we know, has often been productive of the most pernicious consequences.  They have always corrupted, and often ruined one another; as wine and water mingled, turns to vinegar.  The State, I say, has always corrupted the Church. . . . The very establishment corrupts the Church.  And such a Church will consequently corrupt the State.”

“Freeman of Virginia,”  Freeman’s Remonstrance against an Ecclesiastical Establishment, 1777.

“The ADVANTAGES, which would result from a total disengagement of Church and State, are great, universal and lasting.”

Rev. William Graham, A Review of Ecclesiastical Establishments in Europe, 1808.









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