For the past 2 millennia, in most countries, church and state had been either linked or actually merged:
bullet England has recognized the Church of England as their official religion for centuries. The queen is the head of the church. Changes in church policies must be approved by the House of Lords.
bullet The 19th Century Russian government had an alliance with the Russian Orthodox Church; after the revolution, Atheism became the new official "religion." They have since made strides to again give the Russian Orthodox Church special status.
bullet The German government collects religious taxes from the public, and transfers them to the main Protestant and Catholic churches. The government also substantially finances these churches out of state funds.
The American colonies had largely followed that principle as well. There were many examples of religious discrimination written into the constitutions of various states during the years following the revolutionary war. Typical laws:
bullet Established a loyalty oath for legislators and government employees, requiring them to believe in the Trinity, and/or the divine inspiration of the Bible.
bullet Prohibited clergy from holding office.
bullet Required legislators to be Protestant Christians.
bullet Permitted the state to support the Christian religion from general tax revenue.
bullet Granted religious and other human rights only to Christians, or only to theists.
bullet Specified "The Protestant Religion" (whatever that meant) to be the established religion of the state.
bullet Required citizens to observe the weekly Sabbath or Lord's day.