The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.

James Madison (1751-1836) American statesman, political theorist, US President (1809-17)

This has been cited as in an 1803 letter objecting to building churches on government land, but, while not out of keeping with Madison's rhetoric, it has not actually been found in Madison's writings.

Added on 28-Jul-05 | Last updated 13-Jul-22
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