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Authors

Daniel Gordon

Abstract

For over fifty years, James Madison warned the American colonies and the new United States of America of the dangers of linking religion with government. Madison fought in his home state of Virginia to separate church and state and continued the fight as a congressman and as president. Between 2001 and 2009, President George W. Bush overtly linked religion with government. President Bush's efforts provide the opportunity to test President Madison's hypothesis that danger arises in American society when religion and government are linked. The Gallup Organization in its public opinion testing provides the means used in this Article to analyze whether James Madison was right or wrong.

This Article reviews President Bush's efforts through his Faith-based and Community Initiative to mix government and religion. Then, the Article develops President Madison's very negative hypothesis about the destructive results of mixing religion with govemnment. The Article tests Madison's hypothesis by utilizing two ongoing Gallup Organization opinion surveys. Finally, the Article discusses the risks to religion of continuing President Bush's policies and programs.

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