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Religion and the Constitution

Original Article

This essay makes three main arguments: (1) By crafting a document that took seriously the fallibility of human nature, America’s Founders created a government that has withstood the political passions that have destroyed so many other regimes throughout human history. (2) By refusing to sanction even the hint of an official state religion in their new Constitution, the Founders encouraged the conditions necessary for religion to flourish free from government regulation. (3) By recognizing the need for civic virtue in order to make their constitutional system work in practice, the Founders opened the door for religion to act as a vibrant moral force in American public life.

The essay can be downloaded as an Adobe pdf document by clicking here.

“God and the Constitution” originally appeared as a chapter in the book In God We Trust? Religion and American Political Life, edited by Corwin E. Smidt (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001).