One way to interpret the phrase, freedom of religion, would be to say there will be absolutely no government entanglement with religion. This would reflect approval of people wanting to practice religions of their choice, but no preference given by government.
Another interpretation of freedom of religion would mean people could practice whatever religion they please, but the majority is going to promote its particular brand by using government.
There is unending disagreement about which the founding fathers intended when they drew up the papers establishing the United States. Certainly, some were testifying Christians. But, others were what we would call today, agnostics.
The last half of the 1700’s, when the Constitution was written and ratified, has been called the most secular period in U. S. history. Since then, the pressure to make Christianity the preferred religion has never let up.
Following World War II, our currency was inscribed with the words, “In God We Trust.” That same phrase was adopted by Congress as the motto of the U. S. just a few years ago. As a Professor Emeritus from the University of Chicago remarked, “There has been considerable insecurity about religious pluralism.” That is an understatement.
Efforts continue to make “In God we trust” the flagship phrase of the Federal Government. Bashing of other faiths, recently Islam, is a constant. The bashing of those with no faith has made it virtually impossible for such a person to be elected to any office.
A return to the confidence of the 1700’s is needed.
[Links consulted for this blog can be clicked from the first comment.]