Story’s Commentary clearly shows that the First Amendment was designed to prohibit the federal establishment of a national Church or the official preference of a particular Christian sect over all others. The First Amendment, according to Story, was not designed to disestablish the Christian religion at the state level:
Probably, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the . . . [First Amendment], the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State, so far as such encouragement was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.