Born this day, March 16, in 1751, James Madison is the forgotten founder. He was a generation younger than Washington, Adams and that crowd. Soft spoken and small of stature, he avoided the limelight. He was more depth than dazzle.
Although initially opposed to adding a Bill of Rights to the nation’s charter,
Of all the founders,
Mingling church and state, he had observed in his youth, led to the decline of organized religion. Faith should be voluntary, he realized—not a civic requirement. He and his best friend Thomas Jefferson engineered the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom that officially dis-established the Church of England in his home state. And if he had the power to write amendments to the federal constitution,
He believed that a religiously diverse