The Role of Religion in Government.
In 1787, the Founding Fathers hoped the first civilization of a few people in modern times would emerge by presenting an unbiased Constitution to the people of America. They took into account that the men and women coming who were settling in America were of deep religious convictions and had come to practice their faith freely. The Founders attached to the role of religion in unique experiments that the Americas of the twentieth century often fail to notice. Many Americans also fail to realize that the Founders felt the role of religion would be as important in our own days as it was in theirs.
When the United States was founded, there were many Americans who were not enjoying freedom of religion to the fullest possible extent. At least seven of the states had officially established religions or denominations at the time the Constitution was adopted.
Connecticut and Massachusetts were of Congregational Church, New Hampshire, South Carolina and New Jersey were of Protestant Faith, and Delaware and Maryland were of Christian faith. If the federal government had tried to establish a national policy on religion or disestablish the denominations which the states had adopted, the Founders might have started a fight between states.
To help avoid conflict between states, the federal government turned to the State Governments to write their own constitutions establishing how each would be governed. This process was very difficult in Massachusetts. It took three years, from 1778 to 1780, for the politicians of the state to come up an idea that could be voted for and accepted. This constitution was prepared in 1778 and was defeated in public referendum. A second attempt was made in 1779. One of the most popular issues was whether the state would support religion financially.