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No "Separation of Church and State"
in Ancient Rome


Maybe you've seen the article that should go here. Send us the link Or send us the book or journal article and we'll plagiarize it like all our other pages.

Here's what it says:

  • There was never a "separation of church and state" in pre-Christian times.
  • In many empires it's possible to argue for a separation between priest and prince, but not a separation of god and government.
  • Empires were always explicitly religious.
  • Rome is no exception.
  • Only Americans are too ignorant to realize that the State is god.

Many disagree with Calvin's Predestination, but few can question his immense abilities as a scholar. He did his doctoral thesis on Seneca and was well-versed in the Classical authors as well as the Church Fathers. In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, he discusses the question of whether the civil magistrate should enforce the first five of the Ten Commandments (dealing with religion and worship), or only the second five (theft, murder, etc.). (A simplistic understanding of the Commandments, as no magistrate has yet attempted to criminalize covetousness. [But see FDR's State of the Union Address, Jan 7, 1943].) Those who favor a "separation of church and state" tend to hold that the State should not enforce the "first table" of the law, but only the last five of the Ten Commandments. Calvin argues:

IV.xx.9. Concern for both Tables of the Law

I will here indicate in passing the duty of magistrates, its nature, as described by the word of God, and the things in which it consists. If Scripture did not teach that it extends to both tables of the law, we might learn this from profane [secular] writers, for no man has discussed of the duty of magistrates, the enacting of laws, and the common weal, without beginning with religion and divine worship. And thus all have confessed that no polity can be successfully established unless piety be its first care, and that those laws are absurd which disregard the rights of God, and provide only for men.*

*J.T. McNeill comments here: "Calvin has in mind not Machiavelli but Cicero, as in Laws II.ii.7-9 (LCL ed., pp. 388-415)."

Seeing then that among all philosophers religion holds the first place, and that the same thing has always been observed with the universal consent of nations, Christian princes and magistrates may be ashamed of their heartlessness if they make it not their care.

It would be difficult to name a single post-Constantinian leader in Western Civilization, not otherwise known for his notorious corruption, who did not claim to be a Christian. And by claiming to be a Christian, they all agreed with Calvin against the separation of religion and State.

The Founding Fathers were also well-versed in Classical authorities. And to a man they all agreed that heaven would not smile on a nation that disregarded true religion. Both before and after the Constitution was ratified, our nation publicly integrated religion and politics. Scholars have come to call this integration "civil religion." It does not matter that the "true religion" of Jefferson and Madison were not identical in content to the "true religion" of Roger Sherman and John Witherspoon. They all agreed that religion was the foundation of government. And this completely refutes the modern notion of "separation of church and state."

Other themes or links to watch for:

Foustel de Coulanges

Edict of Milan



Holy Roman Empire

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Christmas Conspiracy


Vine & Fig Tree

Paradigm Shift


End The Wall of Separation
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