James Madison – Father of the U.S. Constitution
James Madison, who later became the fourth president of the United States, was acclaimed from his work entitled: Memorial and Remonstrance, presenting it to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia at the session in 1785. This was in opposition to the introduction of a bill in the assembly for the Establishment of Religion by Law. Both Madison and Jefferson, called the “Champions of Religious Freedom,” stood against legislation that would require citizens to be taxed for the support of something which they may be opposed to in conscience. In this case, it was the support of the teachers of the Christian religion of one sect, selected by the government. Madison was outraged at this affront to Christianity. He was apparently in the minority. As he states here in his Memorial and Remonstrance, it appears only the Quakers and Mennonites as a whole could foresee the error of passing such a law:
Not only was the bill not beneficial to Christianity, but the passage of such a bill was based upon ignorance, rather than faith in God. As he clearly shows, Christianity not only does not need the help of the State for support, but such help would result in a weakening of the church:
Madison then goes on to explain that this has been proven repeatedly through the 15 centuries of Christianity. What have been its fruits, asks Madison?
The adverse effects of this law in the future could be seen by Madison, even in the initial discord it currently brought to the Christian church, as he writes:
James Madison’s Memorial and Remonstrance has been quoted at length because of the recent anti-Christian onslaught upon our society with the now popular phrase: “separation of Church and State.” In the past score of years in America, the coined phrase: “Separation of Church and State” has been proclaimed and heralded by the media. The interpretation given is that the state or government of the nation and the Christian religion are two separate and distinct entities, totally disconnected and disassociated one from the other. Armed with this reasoning, the State has encroached more and more upon the education of America’s youth, thus gaining control of their minds. Examples are given, such as removing prayer and the Ten Commandments from the public school classrooms. The Christian church has now been targeted, new laws dictating more and more as to what it can and cannot do. The term “Separation of Church and State,” however, was never used by Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution. Neither was it ever employed by George Washington or John Adams; but only once used in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist group, never in any Public or political writing.
The truth of the matter is that Madison’s famous document extols the values of Christianity and the light of the gospel. It has been singled out as the great document which undergirds the “Religious Freedom Clause” in the United States Constitution. The message is crystal clear, as with Thomas Jefferson’s statute for Religious Freedom in Virginia: Freedom of worship under the banner of Christianity. Both of these founding fathers spoke about the Christian religion when dealing with freedom of religion. They were referring to the different and varying types of Christian worship: Quakers, Mennonites, Baptist, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodist and so forth – and not to anything outside mainline Christianity. This is apparent in all their writings. The founding fathers were indisputably Christian and biblical in their thinking and approach to drafting a unique form of government.
Madison’s writings, as also those of Jefferson, clearly outline what the issue, which led to the first Amendment Clause, really was: Separation of Church from interference by the State in its mission, goals and outreach for Christ. In other words, it is the guaranteeing of liberty of worship of different denominational groups within the Christian community outside the civil jurisdiction and interference of the State.
…Aptly is Madison called the Father of the U.S. Constitution and a great Christian founding father.
John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States in his “Eulogy on the Life and Character of James Madison,” delivered at the request of the Mayor, Alderman and Common Council of the City of Boston, September 27, 1836, throws further light on his stance against government interference in the mode of worship of all mainline Christian denominations: