What is a “religion” in the US Constitution?

The word “religion” only appears once in the U.S. Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”.
And in Article 6 we find: “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States”

Religion was defined in Webster’s Dictionary first edition as:

2. religion as distinct from theology, is godliness or real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men, in obedience to divine command, or from love to God and his law. James 1:26.”

Also notice in definition 4 that Webster included within the term religion, the false religions.

Everyone has a different beliefs on how to perform all known duties to God and our fellow man.  The founders, perhaps with evil intent, did not want to restrict officers of government to certain specific beliefs about their private duties.  Their public duties were well defined by their duties delegated by the Constitution.

The term “religion” might not be an ethical term.  In the King James Bible the word “religion” appears five times.  Four of which are in a negative context, which is in contrast to “pure religion” of James 1:27 where it is spoken of in a positive light.

A treaty with Tripoli ratified by two-thirds of the Senate and signed by President Adams in June of 1797 correctly states in Article 11: “… the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion…”. This quote is from the English language version signed by President Adams, in U.S. archives, even though the original foreign version of this treaty is missing this controversial clause.

President Adams and two thirds of the Senators in 1797 knew the truth about Washington DC. John Adams would have known the truth, after all, he was, with Ben Franklin, a signer of the Peace Treaty with England that ended the war and authorized the U.S. to exist.

For more information read my essays at NotFooledByGovernment.com

Steven Miller · Originally Answered Aug 22, 2018.

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