I have spent a significant amount of time researching the first amendment, which includes "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." After my studies I believe the purpose of this amendment was to ensure that Government did not establish a national religion, as England had implemented and was enforcing with an iron fist. This is what drove the first settlers to America. Thus Jefferson's statement about having an" impenetrable" wall between Church and State. Many miss the second part of the clause that restricts government from "prohibiting the exercise" of religion. Exercise of this freedom must be upheld, and only when religion conflicts with the well-being of society should government step in.