~~Alexander Hamilton to John Laurens, August 15, 1782
The Constitution, and our whole American philosophy of government of law, is rooted in the Biblical worldview. One does not have to be a "Doctor of Divinity" to know that all other worldviews (and every worldview is grounded in a religion) are diametrically opposed to Christianity. Christianity and any other religion cannot co-operate, or compromise. This reality does not mean that Christians are to force people of other religious beliefs to convert, or that a society in which Christianity is the established religion must persecute or treat as less human those of other faiths. However, in such areas as government and education, the vital organs of society, all religions cannot be treated as equally valid, nor can they all be looked upon as having no direct relationship to a person's political (or other) convictions and actions. All religions that do not fall under the category of general Biblical Christianity are not to be established by any branch of American government, nor are their principles to be promulgated as dogma in American schools. Those who profess those foreign religions are welcome in this country; however, they are under obligation to respect our nation, and the basic principles which forged our nation. They must owe their absolute allegiance to the law of the land. Therefore, some individuals may be restricted in exercising their religion to its full extent in this land. In the case of radical Muslims, for example, they will not be allowed in this nation to practice "jihad" or "holy war against unbelievers" in this country, because our laws forbid murder and terrorism. Therefore, although it would be equally wrong to murder a Muslim as it would be to murder a Christian (since both are human beings created in God's image, and therefore have the same right to life), Muslims may have more restrictions than Christians in fully exercising their religion.
The Founding Fathers agreed that people from other religions are welcome to find asylum in this country. However, they never said that those religions stood on an equal political basis with Christianity in this country. Freedom of conscience is extended to all; however, freedom of establishment is not. The Founding Fathers let the states establish whatever Christian denomination the states themselves chose, if they chose to establish a denomination(s) at all. When the Founding Fathers said that religious establishment was reserved to the states, "religion" did not include foreign religions; that was simply out of the question. How can a state(s) of the Union, who, by its very membership of the Union is obligated to support and submit to the Constitution of the United States (the essential pillar of which is Christianity) have a foreign religion (automatically OPPOSED to Christianity) as its established religion? The only possible definition of "religion" in this case is Christianity; otherwise, the Founding Fathers would be allowing the states to plant seeds of suicide to the Constitution within the American Union itself! The federal government (the US Constitution is its charter) is therefore "neutral" to all Christian denominations (general Christianity); it is not neutral to all religions.
It is true that the states are sovereign in their own affairs; HOWEVER, they owe their allegiance TO THE CONSTITUTION, and therefore, have certain restrictions placed upon them. Such was the whole reason the Founding Fathers abandoned the Articles of Confederation and made a new Constitution with a new federal government. If the states were not held accountable in something, such as whether or not that could ESTABLISH a foreign religion, there would be no real American Union. If a state(s) decided to break the Constitution by officially establishing another religion, than what is left but for the federal government to exclude that state from Constitutional protection? I don't know if the feds can come in and simply war against that state for the establishment of a religion contrary to the Constitution -- the Founders never said what the federal government should do in such a case.
And now to some particulars which the host of Our Founding Truth and I discussed:
"However, the Founding Fathers, so far as I am aware, never said that the states are permitted to establish Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, secular humanism, etc."
To which Our Founding Truth replied:
"Mr. Spaight in the state convention clears this up; the people can choose whatever religion they want, the feds cannot tell the people which God to worship, they aren't to have that power:Here, Mr. Spaight does not seem to be refferring to foreign religions as well as Christianity; the word "sect" which he uses, as well as the fact that almost always the Founders were referring to the different DENOMINATIONS in Christianity when they use such language like "worship God in the manner he himself thinks proper," convinces me that Mr. Spaight was referring to GENERAL Christianity, and not including foreign religions as well.
'As to the subject of religion. . . . no power is given to the general government to interfere with it at all. . . . No sect is preferred to another. Every man has a right to worship the Supreme Being in the manner he thinks proper.'
The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Jonathan Elliot, editor (Washington, D. C.: Jonathan Elliot, 1836), Vol. IV, p. 208, Richard Dobbs Spaight, July 30, 1788."
Take into account that just before Spaight spoke at this meeting, Samuel Johnston stood up and made this statement, which would today would be tortured to bits by the media, ACLU, etc.:
"I read the Constitution over and over, but could not see one cause of apprehension or jealousy on this subject [the exclusion of a religious test by the Constitution]. ... It is apprehended that Jews, Mahometans, pagans, &c., may be elected to high offices under the government of the United States Those who are Mahometans, or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion, can never be elected to the office of President, or other high office, but in one of two cases. First, if the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether, it may happen. Should this unfortunately take place, the people will choose such men as think as they do themselves. Another case is, if any persons of such descriptions should, notwithstanding their religion, acquire the confidence and esteem of the people of America by their good conduct and practice of virtue, they may be chosen. I leave it to gentlemen's candor to judge what probability there is of the people's choosing men of different sentiments from themselves." (emphasis added) (1)Remember also that John Jay said:
"Real Christians will abstain from violating the rights of others, and therefore will not prevoke war. Almost all nations have peace or war at the will or pleasure of the rulers whom they do not elect, and who are not always wise or virtuous. Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the priviledge and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."And remember that Alexander Hamilton, one of the delegates who proposed the "no religious test" clause, was almost literally up in arms at the prospect of the election of Thomas Jefferson, whom Hamilton called "an atheist in religion," to the office of United States President. Hamilton said that any effort to prevent the election of an atheist to federal office was "a legal and constitutional step" (emphasis original).(2)
John Jay to John Murry, Jr., October 12, 1816 (The Life of John Jay, vol. 2, p. 376, by William Jay [John Jay's son])
So while the Constitution is neutral in letter towards other religions, it is not neutral to foreign religions in spirit.