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To Thomas Jefferson it was self-evident that religious institutions or sects could not establish constitute or have authority in the new American government nor could government establish religion When arguing his position Jefferson sometimes used the carefully worded phrase ingraft into the machine of government confirming his concern about those artful clerics or religious extremists who would first inject their religious ideology into the machine of government providing them a strategic position to later establish their religion or religious ideology as a matter of law It is here that the establishment clause would erect a definitive barrier to these usurpations The Framers acutely aware of European and Eastern history especially events such as the Inquisition understood human nature had since changed little Throughout the centuries the institutional fusion of church and state had oftentimes proven a significant factor in the worlds bloodletting It mattered not from which direction the intrusion originated the corruption would be the same If government established or unduly influenced religion or religion established or unduly influenced government tyranny was the eventual result Of course this experiential knowledge was a foundational reason for the emigration of many to America resulting ultimately in the creation of a new nation This then is the genius of the Establishment clause it cut both ways necessarily and rightly though not explicitly so Because it was patently obvious that no religious institution or sect could be the warp and woof of the new nation Jefferson spoke primarily to prohibiting government establishment of religion ultimately declaring a wall of separation between church and state as essential to Americas survival Putting this idea in historical context there were as always those politicians government officials and influential citizens possessed with what is essentially a dual intellectual citizenship religion informing their life at least equally oftentimes more than any political doctrine just as there were some for whom religion was their political doctrine Some preached on Sunday
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