Rick Santorum Versus James Madison
Over at the Washington Post, Kevin Gutzman systematically demolishes Rick Santorum's claim that Madison would have shared his philosophy of church and state:
When the question was put to him by George Stephanopoulos (son of a very prominent Orthodox priest), Santorum replied: “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.”
One wishes that Stephanopoulos had asked Santorum how he knew that. Where does Santorum get his idea of “the objectives and vision of our country?” Certainly not from study of James Madison.
The chief craftsman of America’s tradition of church-state separation, Madison, disagreed with Santorum. He developed at great length over more than 50 years his belief in religious freedom. Never again in America should Virginia whip Baptists or Massachusetts hang Quakers. The church should form no part of the state.
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