Incredible! Is that true? Established state churches in the U.S. well into the 19th century? Section 29 in every new township appropriated for the support of religion? Separation of church and state is contrary to the U.S. Constitution? When I first began serious research into the topic of this book during the early spring of 1980, I thought myself to be an above average student of American history. I had an earned doctorate from a respected university and had taught at the college level for more than a decade. I knew how our country was formed and the degree to which Puritan influences had waned by 1776. I accepted almost uncritically the argument advanced by our courts concerning separation and spoke as a defender of recent Supreme Court decisions, albeit with some reservations. But then came a series of surprises.