A Man compounded of Law and Gospel, is able to cheat a whole Country with his Religion, and then destroy them underColour of Law; And here the Clergy are in great Danger of being deceiv’d, and the People of being deceiv’d by the Clergy, until the Monster arrives to such Power and Wealth, that he is out of the reach of both, and can oppress the people without their own blind Assistance.
Benjamin Franklin, Silence Dogood No. 9, July 23, 1722
And why, again, does so much of the Christian Right think our founders intended religion to be mixed in with our government?
Sincerely wishing, that as men and christians, ye may always fully and uninterruptedly enjoy every civil and religious right; and be, in your turn, the means of securing it to others; but that the example which ye have unwisely set, of mingling religion with politics, may be disavowed and reprobated by every inhabitant of America.
Thomas Paine, Common Sense, February 14, 1776
Keeping religion and politics separate is a BASIC AMERICAN PRINCIPLE. There are Republicans campaigning in Iowa right now who have not learned this, and so can fairly be called unAmerican.
At the end of Common Sense Paine added a reply to a published letter from some unidentified Quakers. They claimed to be against the Revolution because of their religious principles. Paine argued that their principles didn’t actually make sense, then closed with this.