The phrase “separation of church and state” is not found in the U.S. Constitution. It was taken from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment, Jefferson writes:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
The whole purpose of the First Amendment was to prevent the State from interfering with the Church. Unfortunately, the original meaning has gradually been changed to prevent the Church from having any influence on the policies of the State. This process was greatly accelerated when churches were added to section 501c3 of the tax code in 1954.
Most churches in America today are organized as “501c3 tax-exempt religious organizations.” However, the churches never needed to seek permission from the government to be exempt from taxes. To be taxable a church would first need to be under the jurisdiction, and therefore under the taxing authority, of the government. The First Amendment clearly states that the church is separate and apart from the government. But the Church has been tricked. Churches were placed under 501c3 as a “special privilege.” Such churches are prohibited from addressing, in any tangible way, the vital issues of the day. For a 501c3 church to openly speak out, or organize in opposition to, anything that the government declares “legal,” even if it is immoral (e.g. abortion, homosexuality, etc.), that church will jeopardize its tax-exempt status.
It is time for the Church to get out from under this contract made with the Devil. Our nation is in the state that it is today because the Church has not spoken out. Now is the time to speak before it is too late.