Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution forbids a religious test as a requirement for holding a governmental position: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
Twice in February 1788, in the Federalist Nos. 51 and 56, James Madison cited the “no religious test” clause as one of the glories of the new Constitution. In North Carolina the critics of the absence of religious tests were answered by James Iredell, future justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Religious test laws, Iredell argued, were a vile form of “discrimination”. Their ban was a guarantee in the Constitution of the “principle of religious freedom”. Iredell had no problem with the possibility that “Americans may choose representatives who have no religion at all (Atheists), and that pagans and Moslems may be elected”.
The United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion (Article 11 of The Treaty of Tripoli, 1797 – Signed unanimously by Congress).
Purdue University history professor Frank Lambert writes, “By their actions, the Founding Fathers made clear that their primary concern was religious freedom, not the advancement of a state religion. Individuals, not the government, would define religious faith and practice in the United States. Thus the Founders ensured that in no official sense would America be a Christian Republic. Ten years after the Constitutional Convention ended its work, the country assured the world that the United States was a secular state, and that its negotiations would adhere to the rule of law, not the dictates of the Christian faith. The assurances were contained in the Treaty of Tripoli of 1797 and were intended to allay the fears of the Muslim state by insisting that religion would not govern how the treaty was interpreted and enforced. John Adams and the Senate made clear that the pact was between two sovereign states, not between two religious powers.”
The Treaty of Tripoli was printed in the Philadelphia Gazette and two New York papers, with only scant public dissent, most notably from William Cobbett. At least one member of Adams’ cabinet, Secretary of War James McHenry, is known to have protested the language of article 11 (of the Treaty of Tripoli), before its ratification.
The GOP and Tea Party politicians need to acquaint themselves with the Jefferson Bible and The Godless Constitution: A Moral Defense of the Secular State book by Isaac Kramnick & R. Laurence Moore. David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson book is full of pseudo-history. Glenn Beck is a Mormon fool who believes in David Barton’s lies. Rick Santorum hates the federal judge (John E. Jones) who ruled in favor of Evolution in Tammy Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District (2005).