Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

More than 200 years ago, the United States created a free religious market. Religion is a market which was kept relatively free for quite some time. It flourished when similar markets in other countries did not. In fact, the freedom of religion is now often considered a basic human right in many countries.

Before the U.S. religious free market, there were very few examples of separate government and religion. Except for Islam and a few others, few state religions are closely tied to government today. The Church of England, for example, is more tradition than religion.

There are some interesting general characteristics of religious markets which do not jive with the theories presented by regulated market enthusiasts. According to the Christian Encyclopedia there are more than 10,000 distinct religions in the world. Christianity is the largest religious group in the U.S., but it has more 33,000 denominations. That's quite a fracture and the opposite of the assumed monopolies that managed market mongers often foresee.

Another characteristic seems to be the almost consistent lack of the dog eat dog competition predicted by enslaved market fundamentalists. Only a relatively few religious practitioners are violently opposed to people of other faiths. The freedom to choose any religion empowers the religious consumer. Damaged churches have often been rebuilt by the their competitors.

Money collected by faiths rarely correlates with services received. Free products and services are abundant in free religious markets. Poor consumers are provided religious products and services without a guarantee from government. The rich [i]voluntarily[/i] support the poor.

Labor is often provided for churches for less than the minimum wage stupidity allows and discrimination is often practiced openly without violent eruption or societal disruption. Much violence associated with religion involves clashes with government and government mandated institutions.