...Q. To what do you attribute the religious tolerance which reigns in the United States?
A. Principally to the extreme division of sects (which is almost without limits). If there were but two religions, we should cut each other's throats. But not sect having the majority, all have need of tolerance. Moreover, it's a generally accepted opinion, in which I concur, that some sort of religion is necessary to man in society, the more so the freer he is. I have heard it said that in France the temptation was strong to abandon all positive religion. If that is true you are not, even with your spirit of liberty, near to seeing free institutions establish themselves among you, and you cannot hope before the next generation.
Q. In your opinion, what would be the best way to render to religion its natural empire?
A. I believe the Catholic religion less apt than the reformed to accord with ideas of liberty. However, if the clergy were entirely separated from all temporal power, I cannot but believe that with time it would regain the intellectual influence which naturally belongs to it. I think that to appear to forget the church, without being unfriendly to it, is the best way and even the only way to serve it. Pursuing this policy you will see public education little by little falling into its hands, and the youth will with time adopt a different attitude....