Religion and Politics
RELIGION AND POLITICS 4
Thefirst amendment of the constitution prior to 1787 said that religionwas under the state and there was no distinction between the two. Thestate controlled religion and religious establishments (Lambert,2005).America had protestant, catholic and colonies with no religion. Thestates under religious control were had their religiousestablishments under the influence of the state.
Thetreaty with Tripoli was a treaty of peace between America and Tripolithat was written in 1797. The treaty stated that America was notbased on Christianity or any religion and thus, it would allowMuslims of Tripoli origin to practice their religion with norestrictions (Lambert,2005).The two states would also not get sucked into any disputes arisingfrom religious differences. The treaty shows that the societyrecognized freedoms of religion and religious beliefs.
Accordingto Madison, the American society was rooted in religious beliefsdespite the fact that religion was no sanctioned by the state. Thiswould ensure that religious liberty remained rooted in society evenif the state did not sanction any religion (Lambert,2005).Madison sought to sanction religious liberty by the state by ensuringthat the freedom of religion was enshrined in the constitution.
Madisonbelieved in the freedom of religion voted against it because hebelieved that religion was a major force in society and it needed tobe under state control so as to ensure that it does not influencepeople against the state.
GeorgeWashington believed that the religion was important in ensuring thatthe society was grounded in virtues. He ensured that the freedom ofreligion was enshrined in the constitution and he stated that thestate must encourage religion to thrive. Washington believed that thestate and religion were one and no society would be prosperouswithout religion.
Thebill of rights was necessary as it would state the responsibility ofthe state towards its citizens and the responsibilities of thecitizens towards the state (Lambert,2005).A bill of rights would ensure that the state did not violate therights of the citizens and the citizens would act responsibly towardsthe state.
Thefirst amendment of the bill of rights states that the state has nojurisdiction over whatever religion the citizens choose to practice.Additionally, the state cannot make any religion official (Lambert,2005).The ten amendments of the constitution that guaranteed differentfreedoms were amended within ten months. However, four states namelyCharleston,Richmond, New York, Charleston, and Philadelphia, refused to ratify aconstitutional amendment on religion.
Lambert,F. (February 3, 2005). Introduction.The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America.New Jersey: PrincetonUniversity Press.