Date of Award
The struggle for religious freedom through the separation of church and state in Colonial America is a most important part of our national Christian heritage. Yet, because our living experience is decidedly this side of that struggle, we often fail to understand and thus appreciate the religious liberty it afforded to us. We fail to understand that those who struggled for religious freedom did so to insure that true Christian faith would never be suppressed.
The danger, then, is that in not understanding our religious freedom we lose it. Secure and often complacent in our religious liberty we smile at those of past centuries who were so unenlightened as to suppress the religion of others in order to benefit their own. Smile again! The unenlightened are still with us; they suppress the religion of others in order to benefit their own religion of "nonreligion." Ironically, they use the very constitutional guarantees designed to insure the Christian faith, to outlaw it. Therefore, unless we understand the struggle for religious freedom in America, the significance and intent of our religious liberties will be obscured and we will lose them through ignorance of them.
Schuerch, Fred E., "The Struggle for Religious Freedom through Separation of Church and State in Colonial America" (1973). Western Evangelical Seminary Theses. 138.