were both separate from the world; and that when they have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down the wall itself, removed the candlestick, and made His garden a wilderness, as at this day. And that therefore if He will ever please to restore His garden and paradise again, it must of necessity be walled in peculiarly unto Himself from the world; and that all that shall be saved out of the world are to be transplanted out of the wilderness of the world, and added unto His church or garden. 89
Thus the wall of separation had the allegiance of a most profound sectarian impulse as well as a secular one. It ensures the government's freedom from religion and the individual's freedom of religion. The second probably cannot flourish without the first.
Separation has other bountiful results. Government and religion in America are mutually independent, much as Jefferson and Madison hoped they would be. Government maintains a benign neutrality toward religion without promoting or serving religion's interests in any significant way except, perhaps, for the policy of tax exemption. To be sure, government's involvement with religion takes many forms. The Joint Chiefs of Staff supposedly begin their meetings with prayer, as do our legislatures, and the Supreme Court opens its session with the incantation "God save the United States and this honorable Court." But '"In God We Trust" and its relatives are of trifling significance in the sense that they have little genuine religious content. Caesar exploits, secularizes, and tirivializes but leaves organized religion alone. Free of government influence, organized religion in turn does not use government for religious ends or advance the ends of government. Thus history has made the wall of separation real. It is not just a metaphor. It has constitutional existence. Despite its detractors and its archways, the wall ranks as one of the mightiest monuments of constitutional government in this nation. Robert Frost notwithstanding, something there is that loves a wall.
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Publication information: Book title: How Does the Constitution Protect Religious Freedom?. Contributors: Robert A. Goldwin - Editor, Art Kaufman - Editor. Publisher: American Enterprise Institute. Place of publication: Washington, DC. Publication year: 1987. Page number: 92.
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