Dr. John C. Eastman is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University School of Law, specializing in Constitutional Law and Legal History, and the Director of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence. He also served as Dean from 2007 until 2010, when he stepped down to pursue a campaign for California Attorney General.
Does the Constitution really require a strict separation of church and state? That phrase has become so commonplace that many people actually believe it is in the Constitution itself. It is not, of course. Indeed, the phrase reflects a view exactly opposite to what our nation’s Founders actually believed. For them, religion was indispensable for fostering the virtues necessary for successful self-government, and they sought to encourage it wherever they could. The Constitution’s prohibition on the “Establishment of Religion” was designed simply to prevent the federal government from creating a national religion and coercing people to support it, so that religion could flourish and individual freedom of conscience be protected. The fact is, as one Supreme Court justice famously noted, “We are a religious people, whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.” Watch the video and learn more.