What is Paine’s position on the separation of church and state?

Since Paine believed that all organized religion was a tool to monopolize power and profit and to oppress the people, his belief in the separation of church and state was vehement. Witnessing first hand England’s use of the church to wield the king’s power, he learned early on to keep religion out of government and maintained that position throughout his life. He influenced many Founders, including Jefferson, during the Revolution, and his writings led to this basic tenet in the American creed. Simply put: Paine emphasized reason as the means to effective government, and showed in The Age of Reason - Part I and elsewhere that organized religion was man-made and unreasonable.