Justice Joseph Story, Accurate meaning of the First Amendment

“The real object of the (first) amendment was not to countenance much less to advance Mahometanism or Judaism or infidelity by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment which should give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government.” The First Amendment was to “exclude all rivalry among Christians.” And to “prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment.”—meaning NO sect of Christians by law for the nation.

“Thus, the whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the state governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice and the state constitutions; and the Catholic and the Protestant, the Calvinist and the Armenian, the Jew and the Infidel, may sit down at the common table of the national councils, without any inquisition into their faith, or mode of worship.” Meaning “religion” is “left exclusively to the states governments….according to their….justice and the state constitutions” Religion rests with the “states”

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