Michael Novak claims:
What does their religion -- almost entirely Jewish and Christian -- add to American civic and political life? you might ask. It grounds Americans' sense of personal dignity in the conviction that each woman and each man is made in the image of the Creator, and is loved by that Creator. It also grounds their fundamental right to freedom of conscience in the knowledge that God made human minds free, and chose to be approached by them based upon the evidence of their own minds, and through their own free choice, not through coercion. For such is the nature of the Jewish and Christian God [my emphasis].
These beliefs have always given Americans confidence in the idea that liberty is universal, intended by the Creator for all humans. Their philosophy of natural rights is backed up by their faith in the God Who addresses them in their liberty. In dark and difficult times, this faith is of quiet but irreplaceable assistance. It gives to Americans a sense that the world has a purpose and a direction.
Now this is certainly how many believers -- orthodox and unorthodox -- in the Jewish and Christian God have come to believe in His nature (and one could only hope that Muslims would likewise come to believe in their God this way). But it is not at all clear from the text of the Bible that this is the nature of God. And for most of the history of Judaism and Christianity -- thousands of years -- this was not the way the believers understood the text of the Bible or what their Churches otherwise held.
When Christians like Roger Williams started to advance such sentiments, they were utterly novel readings of the Bible. The argument that Roger Williams made in The Bloody Tenent, Of Persecution for Cause of Conscience got him banished from Puritan Massachusettses. In it Williams wrote:
It is the will and command of God that, since the coming of His Son, the Lord Jesus, a permission of the most Paganish, Jewish, Turkish or anti-Christian consciences and worship be granted to all men, in all nations and countries; and they are only to be fought against with that sword which is only, in Soul matters able to conquer, to wit; the sword of the Spirit--the Word of God.
And Novak's line about "the knowledge that God made human minds free, and chose to be approached by them based upon the evidence of their own minds, and through their own free choice, not through coercion" is also nowhere to be found in the Bible, but rather paraphrases Jefferson's Virgina Statute on Religious Freedom which begins, "Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free...." Jefferson didn't get his ideas for that statute from the Bible, but from Locke and an Enlightenment understanding of reality.
Let us not forget that Novak's passage more reflects how Enlightenment impacted our religious tradition and not vice-versa. Novak's assertion of the nature of the Jewish and Christian God was not the understanding of the Catholic Church, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, John Winthrop and the founders of all of the American Colonies save Rhode Island, and most other prominent Jewish and Christian thinkers up to a particular fairly recent point in history (the 1600s). All of them thought that is was perfectly fine for the government to punish one, usually by tortuous death, for having the wrong religious beliefs and talking about them.