It has been nearly 20 years now since I delivered this lecture in Orlando, Florida. It is perhaps a testament to the immutability of nonsense that today I can publish it without changing a single word:
Abandonment Theology and the Wall of Separation
by Saul M. Montes-Bradley
Lecture delivered at the Annual Meeting of the
Sons of the Revolution in the State of Florida
19 April 1999
One of the purposes of our organization is “to underscore the wisdom which devised the system of checks and balances that provides opportunity and freedom for all.”
I entertain the notion that we, both individually and as a group, take that mission seriously.
Recently, a Compatriot, sincerely worried about the events in Littleton, Colorado, presented me with chapter II of a book entitled “Abandonment Theology.” The tract purported to state the reason for the “moral decline” that “affects our country” and leads it down the path to tragic events such as the one in the Colorado school. Citing rising crime rates as proof of “God’s anger” towards America, and in support of these theses it cites alarming statistics provided by a certain “David Borton of Wallbuilders, Inc.,” while claiming that falling SAT scores are the inevitable consequence of having “outlawed God in our schools.” It then rails against this alleged outrage which, it claims, was based on “a single decision in 1947 by Justice Black in Everton vs. Board of Education” while stating this decision was in clear contraposition to the idea of a wall between Church and State that the Founding Fathers intended to be “one way” only, based solely — the author claims — on “a letter from Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association.” The author goes on to further claim that this letter was “out of the context” of the debates on the Constitution.
While I am a Doctor in Theology, I do not consider myself a theologian, nor do I intend to bring you into so convoluted territory at this point. And I do not believe that I am uniquely qualified in constitutional matters. However, the author of this libello makes some claims that are not just patently untrue, but dangerous to those freedoms and liberties that I, and we, hold dear, and those must be addressed.
In writing his opinion in Engle vs. Vitale, Justice Black did, I am sure, consider “Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association” (it was, in fact, addressed to “Messrs. Nehemiah Dodge and others” of the said Association). Its contents can hardly be considered out of the context of the debates on the Constitution, in spite of having been written “years after the First Amendment had been ratified” — not that many years as it turns out. The letter was written on 01 January 1802, while events were still fresh in Jefferson’s mind.
In any case, I cannot believe that Justice Black’s considerations ended in this single letter, and it is to be assumed that many other legal, historical and moral issues were heavily weighted by such a conscientious man of Law. In the end, it was not just Justice Black, but a majority of the Court, on several occasions, that upheld the issue of separation, their opinion being, as of this date, still the Law of the Land. The independence of the Court’s decisions in these matters is one of the principles we are sworn to uphold.
The Supreme Court’s decision notwithstanding, the author goes on to affirm that, “in Jefferson’s mind,” the “wall of separation” was really a “one-way wall,” and that “Justice Black, without precedent, made it a two-way between Church and State.” At no time does he let us know by what mysterious device he is in knowledge of the intimate thoughts of Jefferson’s mind. Nor does he give any reasoning in support of his statements, preposterous as they may be. It would have been hard indeed to do so, because all evidence points to their falsehood.
Unlike the author of “Abandonment Theology,” I do not claim to know what was on Thomas Jefferson’s mind; this was known but to him and the Almighty.
But Jefferson did give more than one statement referring to the “wall of separation,” which, together with those of other Founding Fathers, will present a clearer picture:
“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting and establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural rights in opposition to his social duties.”
He then continues his idea on another occasion:
“In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general government. I have therefore undertaken, on occasion, to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it; but have left them, as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of State and Church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies.”
“The eastern states will be the last to come over, on account of the dominion of the clergy, who have got a smell of union between church and State, and begun to indulge reveries which can never be realized in the present state of science. If, indeed, they could have been prevailed on us to view all advances in sciences as dangereous innovation, and to look back to the opinions and practices of our forefathers; instead of looking forward, for improvement, a promising groundwork would have been laid. But I am in hopes their good sense will dictate to them, that since the mountain will not come to them, they shall better go to the mountain: that they will find their interest in acquiescing in the liberty and science of their country, and that the Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity of its benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expression of the human mind.”
In a letter to John Adams, Jefferson expands on his observations to the members of the Danbury Baptist Association:
“In coupling Connecticut with you [those of Massachusetts], I mean it politically only, not morally. For having made the Bible the common law of their land they seem to have modeled their morality on the story of Jacob and Laban. But altho’ this hereditary succession to office with you may in some degree be founded in real family merit, yet in a much higher degree it has proceeded from your strict alliance of church and state. These people are canonized in the eyes of the people on the common principle ‘you tickle me, and I will tickle you.’ In Virginia we have nothing of this.”
As if his alleged intention of protecting the church from the state and not the other way around were not made clear in the paragraphs above, he yet returns to the question:
“In truth, the alliance between Church and State in England has never made their judges accomplices in the frauds of the clergy; and even bolder than they are. For instead of being contented with these four surreptitious chapters of Exodus, they have taken the full leap, and declared at once that the whole Bible and Testament in a Lump, make a part of the common law. ante 873: the first judicial declaration of which was by this same Sir Matthew Hale. And thus incorporate into the English code laws made for the Jews alone, and the precepts of the Gospel, intended by their benevolent author as obligatory only in foro concienciæ; and they own the whole with the coercion of municipal law. In doing this, too, they have not even used the Connecticut caution of declaring, as is done in their blue laws, that the laws of God shall be the laws of their land, except where their own contradict them; but they swallow the yea and the nay together. Finally, in answer to Fortescue Alland’s question Why the ten commandments shall not now be a part of the common law of England? We say they are not because they never were made so by legislative authority, the document that has imposed that doubt on him being a manifest forgery.”
On occasion, what Jefferson does not say is equally telling. On 4 August 1818, in a report of the commissions of the University of Virginia, perhaps his dearest institution after the forging of the nation, he says:
“Encouraged, therefore, by the sentiments of the Legislature, manifested in this statute, we present the following tabular statements of the branches of learning which we think should be taught in the University, forming them into groups, each of which are within the powers of a single professo
I. Languages, Ancient: Latin, Greek, Hebrew.
II. Languages, Modern: French, Spanish, Italian, German, Anglo-Saxon.
III. Mathematics, Pure: Algebra, Fluxions, Geometry, elemental, transcendental, Architecture, military, naval.
IV. Physico-Mathematics: Mechanics, Statics, Dynamics, Pneumatics, Accoustics, Optics, Astronomy, Geography.
V. Physics, or Natural Philosophy: Chemistry, Mineralogy.
VI. Botany, Zoology.
VII. Anatomy, Medicine.
VIII. Government, Political Economy, Law of Nature and Nations, History – being interwoven with politics and law.
IX. Law, Municipal.
X. Ideology, General Grammar, Ethics, Rhetoric, Belles Letres, and the fine Arts.”
Nowhere to be seen are religious subjects. Perhaps because Jefferson believed that these were to be taught in religious institutions and had no business in the state’s schools. That was the position that a number of great theologians like Dr. Samuel Lunt Caldwell D.D., LL.D. continued to espouse during the rest of the 1800s.
So much for Jefferson and the one-way wall. Indeed, if the thought ever crossed Jefferson’s mind, it must have been in relation to his stated fear and loathing of church encroachment in the affairs of state. He was, in this respect, in the most impressive company, like that of Dr. Benjamin Franklin:
“There is no doubt but the Claim of Parliament of Authority to make Laws binding on the Colonists in all Cases whatsoever, includes an Authority to change our Religious Constitution, and establish Popery or Mahomedanism if they please in its Stead: but, as you intimate Power does not make Right; and as the Right is nothing and the Power (by our Increase) continually diminishing, the one will soon be as insignificant as the other.”
“I am fully of your Opinion respecting religious Tests; but, tho’ the People of Massachusetts have not in their Constitution kept quite clear of them, yet, if we consider what the people were 100 years ago, we must allow they have gone great Lengths in Liberality of Sentiment on religious Subjects; and we may hope for greater Degrees of Perfection, when their Constitution, some years hence, shall be revised. If Christian Preachers had continued to teach as Christ and his Apostles did, without Salaries, and as the Quakers now do, I imagine Tests would never have existed; for I think they were invented, not so much to secure religion itself, as the Emoluments of it. When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its Professors are oblig’d to call for the help of the Civil Power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.”
The issue was, as it was to be expected, amply debated in 1787-89. In speeches, the press, correspondence and the ratification of the Constitution in the States. Again, a picture quite different from that espoused by the “Abandonment Theology” appears:
“… all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God, according to the dictates of their own consciences and understanding; and that no man ought, or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place of worship, or maintain any ministry, contrary to or against his own free will and consent; and that no authority can or ought to be vested in, or assumed by any power whatever, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control, the right of conscience in the free exercise of worship…”
“Tyranny is the exercise of some power over a man, which is not warranted by law, or necessary for the public safety . . . In some nations, legislators have derived much of their power from the influence of religion, or from that implicit belief which an ignorant and superstitious people entertain of the Gods, and their interposition in every transaction of life. The Roman Senate sometimes availed themselves of this engine to carry their decrees and maintain their authority. This was particularly the case, under the aristocracy which succeeded the abolition of the monarchy. The augurs and priests were taken wholly from patrician families. They constituted a distinct order of men — had power to negative any law of the people, by declaring that it was passed during the taking of the auspices. This influence derived from the authority of opinion, was less perceptible, but as tyrannical as a military force. The same influence constitutes, at this day, a principal support of several Governments on the Eastern continent, and perhaps in South America. But in North America, by a singular concurrence of circumstances, the possibility of establishing this influence, as a pillar of Government, is totally precluded.”
Indeed, as of this very day, more than two centuries after Noah Webster’s words, the backward and theocratic institutions of South American nations clearly prove him right. May the Good Lord deliver us from those who would like to see us sink in the barbarian hold of a state church!
And what about the claim that religion in our public schools will serve to “tame the beast” and “restrain” the dark impulses of our students? Again, the debates on the Constitution provide some insight as to the Founders’ opinions:
“Religion. The inefficacy of this restraint on individuals is well known. The conduct of every popular Assembly, acting on oath, the strongest of religious ties, shows that individuals join without remorse in acts against which their consciences would revolt, if proposed to them separately in their closets… Even in its coolest state, it [religion] has been much oftener a native to oppression than a restraint from it… The same security seems requisite for the civil as for the religious rights of individuals. If the same sect forms a majority and have the power, other sects will be sure to be depressed. DIVIDE ET IMPERA, the reprobated axiom of tyranny, is under certain qualifications the only policy by which a republic can be administered on just principles.”
“I will therefore make up the deficiency by adding a few words on the Constitution proposed by our Convention. . . . I will now add what I do not like. First, the omission of a Bill of rights providing clearly and without the aid of sophisms for freedom of religion, freedom of the press… Let me add that a bill of rights is what people are entitled to against every government on earth, General or particular, and that no just government should refuse or rest on inference.”
“It is true, we are not disposed to differ much, at present, about religion; but when we are making a constitution, it is to be hoped, for ages and millions yet unborn, why not establish the free exercise of religion, as part of the national compact?”
“But in this state, we have never thought it expedient to adopt a test-law; and yet I sincerely believe we have as great a proportion of religion and morality, as they have in England, where every person who holds public office, must either be a Saint by law, or a hypocrite by practice. A test-law is the parent of hypocrisy, and the offspring of error, and the spirit of persecution. Legislators have no right to set up an inquisition, and examine into the private opinions of men. Test-laws are useless and ineffectual, unjust and tyrannical; therefore the convention have done wisely in excluding this engine of persecution, and providing that no religious test shall ever be required.”
“The Right of conscience shall be held inviolable; and neither the legislative, executive nor judicial powers of the United States shall have authority to alter, abrogate or infringe any part of the constitutions of the several States, which provide for the preservation of liberty in matters of religion.”
This last paragraph was presented, nearly verbatim, as a proposed amendment to the Convention before the final vote, on 12 December 1787, by Mr. Robert Whitehill, of Pennsylvania, but it was not noted upon and read, so that the articles might eventually be taken collectively as a bill of rights, or separately as an amendment, at a later vote.
This later vote came and, as a bill of rights, the articles were adopted; albeit with some stronger language:
“Article I: Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
That the intent of the Founding Fathers, by their own pen, was to protect the church from undue state intervention as a guarantee of freedom of religion, as well as to protect the state from encroachment at the hands of the clergy is sufficiently clear. That by this device they intended, ultimately, to protect religion from the vagaries of a democratic system’s political seasons may not be so clear. Alexis de Toqueville, in that outstanding study of American political and social institutions, “Democracy in America,” thus summarized the issue:
“Religions intimately united with the governments of the earth have been known to exercise sovereign power founded on terror and faith; but when religion contracts an alliance of this nature, I do not hesitate to affirm that it commits the same error as the man who would sacrifice his future to his present welfare; and that in obtaining a power to which it has no claim, it risks the authority which is rightfully its own. When a religion founds its empire only upon the desire of immortality that lives in every human heart, it may aspire to universal dominion; but when it connects itself with a government, it must adopt maxims which are applicable only to certain nations. Thus, in forming an alliance with a political power, religion augments its authority over a few and forfeits the hope of reigning over all. . . . In proportion as a nation assumes a democratic condition of society and as communities display democratic propensities, it becomes more and more dangerous to connect religion with political institutions; for the time is coming when authority will be bandied from hand to hand, when political theories will succeed one another, and when men, laws, and constitutions will disappear or be modified from day to day, and this not for a season only, but increasingly. Agitation and mutability are inherent in the nature of democratic republics, just as stagnation and sleepiness are the law of absolute monarchies.
If the Americans…who have given up the political world to the attempts of innovators, had not placed religion beyond their reach, where could it take hold in the ebb and flow of human opinions? Where would be that respect that belongs to it? Amid the struggles of faction? And what would become of its immortality, in the midst of universal decay?
The American clergy were the first to perceive this truth and to act in conformity with it. They saw that they must renounce their religious influence if they were to strive for political power, and they chose to give up the support of the state rather than to share its vicissitudes. In America religion is perhaps less powerful than it has been at certain periods among certain nations; but its influence is more lasting.”
Having, I believe, helped to clarify the matter of the Founding Fathers’ position as it relates to the “Wall of Separation” between church and state, we can return to the “Abandonment Theology.”
The chapter then goes on to claim that falling SAT scores are a consequence of “outlawing God in Public Schools.” This is doubly preposterous.
- First, because God has not been outlawed in Public Schools, as it has been clarified ad nauseam. Organized prayer in public schools was justly found to be unconstitutional and that is the extent of the Court’s decisions.
- Second, because to assume that organized prayer is the one thing responsible for our children’s success in standardized tests does not bear argument. Were it to be so, I must respectfully submit that we send our teachers home, do away with the educational system altogether and pray instead for knowledge to be given our children by divine intervention. We will all save enormous amounts in property taxes.
This same absolute lack of sense is the cause of the alarmist and ill-founded analysis of dubious statistics taken out of any meaningful context. It does absolutely nothing to improve the lot of our students but, rather, increases the level of confusion and angst in which they must already develop. What the author continually does is assume that two things happening together, one must be the cause of the other. In logic, this kind of reasoning is called a post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this) falacy – The cock crows, and the sun comes up, but the cock does not make the rise. When this kind of analysis is used to “explain” horrific events such as Littleton’s as a consequence of our society’s “moral decline” and of the general corruption of values throughout our educational system, it does a disservice to the great majority of the people in the system and to the victims of these events.
To point a finger at all students for “lack of morals and corrupted ways,” because of the actions of an isolated psychopath or a handful of deranged characters is utterly unjust, hurtful to those involved in real incidents, and better left unsaid.
The truth is that millions of children attend school uneventfully every day of every year. That violence, where it exists as more than an isolated event, is the province of those schools located in already violent areas of society, the solution to which lies without rather than within the school system; and that knee-jerk reactions to events while lacking the most rudimentary bit of information about the facts themselves contribute to the problem and do absolutely nothing to help.
Which will not stop those who wallowing in their own sense of compassion cannot give themselves time to think and reason. Nor will it stop those who will opportunistically take advantage of every unguarded moment that offers the lure of Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame, and an opportunity to indulge in that most godly American activity: to make a buck.
Thus, when events such as Littleton take place, some will blame the availability of handguns although none were used. Others will blame the “outlawing of God in Schools” as if the Creator were of such vile disposition as to visit punishment on the innocent for the transgressions of the sinful, and as if such banishment could in fact be implemented (read my lips: there is no such thing), and vociferously rave for mandatory prayer conducted in some sort of hand-holding ceremony by someone, anyone, but all together! Paraphrasing H. L. Mencken, balderdash, and poppycock!
No law ever prevented criminals from getting whatever weapons they set their minds in obtaining, and those in Littleton were no exception. In securing their weapons, these kids violated several state and federal laws. A few more would have made no difference.
And no amount of preaching and praying and Hosannas to Heaven will prevent a psychopath from performing his ghastly deeds, as every mass suicide or murder with religious overtones from Waco to Jonestown to Uganda has proved one sickening time after another.
Both sides are consistently disingenuous. Neither are weapons so readily available to teenagers, nor is God “banned” from school or, for that matter, from anywhere else. Nor, I would argue, can the Father of us all be so banned.
That said, it is only in the passionate defense of the separation of church and state that we will guarantee the ultimate survival of both church and state. And it is by an equally passionate defense of the rest of the covenants of the Bill of Rights that we will guarantee our own survival.
Having been born in Argentina, where I lived through most of my early years, I know what it is to live in a slightly veiled theocracy. My American ancestors, who migrated there in the early XIXth Century, were not free to practice their faith, were not allowed to marry, were not allowed to register the birth of their children and were not allowed to be buried in local cemeteries unless they converted to the local church.
- In 1976, we had to endure unspeakable harassment to be able to cremate my grand undle Richard as the practice was condemned by the Church.
- As late as 1989, legislators were being publicly threatened with excommunion should they vote favorably for a law allowing divorce.
- Until 1997, the elected President had to make a public profession of faith, in accordance with the mandate of the local church, before being allowed to take office.
I was, then, for many years, as my family was before me, deprived of the enjoyment of civil religious rights, and can apodictally state that no task before us is more imperative, nor duty more sacred, than their upholding.
Even when the savagery of isolated events may make us waver in our determination or, perhaps, then more so.
Whether it be the intolerance of the Argentine Catholic Church, or the stranglehold effected by orthodox sects over the Israeli Knesset, or the abuses of the Mullahs in Iran, or the tests imposed by the Anglican Church, it makes no difference. Whenever and wherever religious institutions were allowed to exert direct influence into the affairs of the state, people suffered and, in the end, the system failed.
The admonitions of our Founding Fathers as to the fleeting nature of religious homogeneity in our country were, as usual, quite correct. Within our lifetime, we will see the Protestant denominations become a minority in America (Protestants are already in a minority in the Supreme Court). I wonder if these advocates of religion in the affairs of state are prepared to see their children being forced into religious services not their own. While it would serve them right, I cannot rejoice in the prospect.
And thus, for those who insist in bringing religion into the realm of politics, let Thomas Paine answer from our collective past:
“Here ends the examination of your testimony; (which I call upon no man to abhor, as you have done, but only to read and judge fairly;) to which I subjoin the following remark: “That the setting up and putting down of kings,” most certainly mean, the making of a king, who is not yet so, and the making him no king who is already one. And pray what hath this to do in the present case? We neither mean to set up not to put down, neither to make nor to unmake, but to have nothing to do with them. Wherefore your testimony in whatever light is viewed serves only to dishonor your judgement and for many other reasons had better had been let alone than published. First, because it tends to the decrease and reproach of all religion whatever, and it is of the utmost danger to society, to make it a party in political disputes. Secondly, because it exhibits a body of men, numbers of whom disavow the publishing political testimonies, as being concerned therein and approved thereof. Thirdly, because it hath a tendency to undo that Continental harmony and friendship which yourselves by your late liberal and charitable donations hath lent a hand to establish and the preservation of which, is of the utmost consequence to us all. And here without anger or resentment I bid you farewell. Sincerely wishing, that as men and Christians, ye may always fully and uninterruptedly enjoy every civil religious right; and be, in your turn, the means of securing it for others; but that example which ye have unwisely set, of mingling religion with politics, may be disavowed and reprobated by every inhabitant of America.”
 Actually, crime rates in all categories, as reported by legitimate sources (FBI, National Sheriff’s Association, etc.) have fallen to their lowest level in decades. More than 35% in 1998 alone! By the Abandonment Theology’s reckoning, we would be lead to believe that God must have been particularly pleased with our current state of affairs.
 In Everton vs. Board of Education (1947), in fact, the Court upheld bus subsidies granted by the state of New Jersey. The issue at hand was whether the states could subsidize children’s bus fares to public and parochial schools. In the majority opinion, Justice Black noted that the State of New Jersey had, in its subsidies, “aided all its citizens without regard to their religious beliefs.” And he further wrote that the Establishment clause “requires the state to be neutral in its relations with groups of religious believers and non-believers; it does not require the state to be their adversary.” Perhaps in anticipation of a ruling expected in a later case (McCollum vs. Illinois, 1948), Justice Black stressed that, while the state must “accommodate” religion, it cannot “pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.” States cannot “support any religious activities… [or] teach or practice religion.” It was in this context that Justice Black then quoted Jefferson’s letter of 1802 to some members of the Baptist Convention of Danbury. In 1962, Justice Black wrote the decision of Engle vs. Vitale, striking down the practice of reciting a prescribed prayer in a New Hyde Park, New York, school. Citing the same Jefferson letter, he stated that the Establishment clause: “must at least mean that in this country it is no part of the official business of government to compose official prayers for any group of American people to recite as part of a religious program carried out by the government.” Again in 1963, and in the face of a demand from some groups for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court decisions, the court took Abington Township v. Schempp; a case it could have refused referring to a school in which the Bible was used to “bring lessons in morality to children.” Justice Tom Clark, a southern conservative, wrote the decision striking down this practice and reaffirming the Court’s position in the earlier decisions.
There are other Supreme Court decisions on the separation of Church and State. The author seems to confuse and reverse the meaning of those he quotes.
 Implying that the separation was to prevent the State from meddling in church affairs, but not the other way around!
 Perhaps, the author, so that he may become informed of Jefferson’s state of mind, resorted to the ancient practice of haruspication, and by carefully reading into chicken livers came to a better understanding of his inner thoughts. Or, perchance, he practiced instead scapulamancy and, by careful study of that chicken’s spealbone or shoulder blade, came to an understanding that eludes us.
 Thomas Jefferson. Letter to Messrs. Nehemiah Dodge and others, a committee of the Danbury Baptist Association in the State of Connecticut, 01 January 1802.
 Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address, 04 March 1805.
 Thomas Jefferson, letter to Moses Robinson, Washington, 23 March 1801
 Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, Monticello, Virginia, 12 October 1813.
 Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Cooper, Monticello, Virginia, 10 February 1814.
 Thomas Jefferson, Report of the Commissioners of the University of Virginia, Monticello, Virginia, 04 August 1818.
 Benjamin Franklin, letter to Samuel Mather, London, 07 July 1773. Note the early analysis of the decreasing power of England over the Colonies, as well as the pun on Increase Mather, an ancestor of Samuel’s.
 Benjamin Franklin, letter to Richard Price, Passy, 09 October 1780.
 Samuel Bryan, Reply to Wilson’s Speech, Centinel, Freeman’s Journal, Philadelphia, 24 October 1787.
 Noah Webster, A Citizen of America, Philadelphia, 17 October 1787.
 James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, New York, 24 October 1787
 Thomas Jefferson, reply to Madison, Paris, 20 December 1787
 Letter IV, Federal Farmer, 12 October 1787
 Lawrence Taliaferro to James Madison, Rose Hill, Orange Co., Virginia, 16 December 1787
 Dissent of the Minority of the Pennsylvania Convention. Pennsylvania Packet, Philadelphia, 18 December 1787.
 Bill of Rights. Articles in addition to, and Amendment of, the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
 Alexis de Toqueville, Democracy in America, Alfred Knopf, New York, 1993, Vol. I, p. 308-312.
 Thomas Paine, Common Sense, Dover Publications, 1997, Epistle to the Representatives of the Religious Society of the People called Quakers &tc., p. 57, 58