Baptists have always held to separation of church and state and Baptists have never accepted the doctrine of any form of universal or catholic church.
Separation of church and state to the Baptists (the people who introduced the doctrine to our country) means first, that no church denomination has ability to use governmental power for coercive purposes. Baptists had, for too long, experienced the weight of governments forcing their tithes to go to the state church rather than the church that preached the doctrines they believed to be biblical and requiring them to attend services in those state established churches.
Separation of church and state, to Baptists also means that government has no right of influence over the local church. Each church must be free to preach the Word of God as they believe the Spirit of God leads them to and practice their faith in a manner consistent with that faith.
Separation of church and state did not mean to either those Baptists that championed it, or to the founders of our nation, who included it in the Bill of Rights (not in the letter of the phrase but in the spirit of the amendment) that Christianity and Christian faith had no place in the hearts of the state’s leaders. The Baptists petitioned, lobbied and sought to influence those leading in our nation and the leaders were, almost to a man, practicing Christians of one denomination or another.
My author spotlight at Lulu.com: