James Madison and Religious Liberty

March 18, 2009

Today is James Madison Day on campus (and this week is James Madison Week) in honor of Madison's birthday, which was Monday. Steven Waldman had a great piece in the Wall Street Journal the other day about Madison's legacy on religious liberty. Here are a couple of highlights:

At a time when we're fighting over faith-based initiatives and the proper role of religion in politics, it's worth appreciating that America's experiment with religious liberty has largely succeeded, thanks largely to James Madison.

... This basic approach has made America one of the most religiously free and religiously vibrant nations in the world. Many people helped bring us to that point, but no one was more important than James Madison. Happy Birthday, Mr. Madison. You may not have a monument on the National Mall in Washington, but your spirit and ideas live in every house of worship in America.
Amen! Waldman also notes how it was the evangelical Christians of the day who were the supporters of separating church and state and pressed Madison to lead this effort.

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