"It is true, of course, that the phrase 'separation of church and state' does not appear in the Constitution. But it was inevitable that some convenient term should come into existence to verbalize a principle so clearly and widely held by the American people.... [T]he right to a fair trial is generally accepted to be a constitutional principle; yet the term "fair trial" is not found in the Constitution. To bring the point even closer home, who would deny that "religious liberty" is a constitutional principle? Yet that phrase too is not in the Constitution. The universal acceptance which all these terms, including "separation of church and state," have received in America would seem to confirm rather than disparage their reality as basic American democratic principles."..............Leo Pfeffer.
There is an article in Salon today on why the United States is not a Christian nation. John McCain, during last year's campaign stated that America was a Christian nation. According to the Constitution he is dead wrong.
Here is how the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads,
Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion,Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
But here's what Sen. McCain had to say last year.
"I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States as a Christian nation."
Here's a little bit from one of the leaders of Christianity in America on this subject.
"They have kept us in submission because they have talked about separation of church and state. There is no such thing in the Constitution. It's a lie of the left, and we're not going to take it anymore." Pat Robertson, addressing the ACLJ, 1993
Now here's what some of the Founding Fathers had to say on the subject.
"The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine." George Washington
"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion ..." from the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by John Adams, June 10, 1797.
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that 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." Thomas Jefferson, in his historic Danbury letter, January 1, 1802
And here's what the United States Supreme Court had to say.
"Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State." The U.S. Supreme Court, 1947
So, as you can see, not only does the Constitution say that we are not a Christian nation, the Supreme Court said the same thing.
Now here's a little something about what could be if we really were a nation controlled by one religion.
"The national government ... will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality." Adolf Hitler, 1938