Originally Posted by GunnyGene
It is not explicitly stated in that manner, but is implied in the First Amendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." . Essentially that means the same thing.
It was not always thus, and in fact we went thru several periods during the early colonial days of permitting/rescinding freedom of religion.
No, it is NOT "essentially the same thing". They intended only that the state would not "establish" a state religion.
Let me add that words have meaning and they must be understood in context.