In several places I have noticed something touched on, but we have not gone over it in detail - Was the First Amendment - "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." - intended to only restrict the right of the Federal Legislative Branch in the area of religion or does it also restrict state governments as well? Current practice and the common viewpoint seem to favor the latter view. But was this the original idea in the minds of the framers? The Constitution was drafted in 1787 (by 1788 the nine states needed had ratified it) and the Bill of Rights (1st ten amendments) was added in 1791. Are there any facts from that time that speak to the issue? One fact that has been mentioned is that even AFTER the adoption of the Bill of Rights some states had their "established" religions. I believe one of these was Massachusetts. If memory serves, Massachusetts had a state church well into the 19th century, though I haven't found any documentation of that time-frame yet. Any information on them and/or others will be welcomed. Another state with a state church was Connecticut. The exchange between Thomas Jefferson and the Danbury (CT) Baptist Association provides some insight into political and religious thought a decade after the First Amendment was adopted. Danbury Baptists side with religious liberty: Connecticut legislated religion, and religious privileges to others were "favors" granted by the state and not rights: The Danbury Baptists did not seem to think that the First Amendment overrode the State Constitution concerning religious freedom: But they did hope views such as those held by President Jefferson would eventually prevail among all the states: Jefferson clearly establishes his belief in religion as a matter between a man and his God, and agrees with the Danbury Baptists: Jefferson gives his much debated "separation of church and state" comment, but to my mind is a little vague when he speaks of their legislature, which seems to mean the U. S. Congress: Nevertheless, Jefferson seems to note the First Amendment as "the supreme will of the nation" and desires to see this progress made throughout the whole nation: In conclusion, it seems that the Danbury Baptists understood that the First Amendment protected them on the federal rather than the state level, while I am not altogether clear on Jefferson's view (based on this letter). What Jefferson did not say may be telling - he did not say that Connecticut cannot do such & such because the U. S. Constitution/Amendments prohibits it! It is my opinion that states should not "make laws respecting an establishment of religion...," but that it is also quite possible that the framers only intended to keep the federal government out of religion, and did not contemplate the states in their language in the First Amendment.