Essay on The Separation of Church and State
1043 Words5 Pages
The Separation of Church and State
America wastes a lot of time trying to create a democracy completely absent of the moral expectations that our ancestors have put into place. Our founding fathers’ dream of establishing a country in which all people would be accepted has begun to fall. In our attempt to rid our country of a democracy contaminated with any belief in a supreme power, we have rid ourselves of many of our values and morals. Perhaps it is impossible for religion to dominate our political country, but we have misinterpreted the original intent of “separation of church and state” and taken this concept too far.
Supposedly our country is split between church and state, but examples in our government show otherwise.…show more content…
Let’s take a look at what our founding fathers thought:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceable to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” (Amendment I, The Constitution of the United States of America)
The above quote is the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States. In no part does our constitution mention a “separation of church and state.” What it does mention is that Congress is forbidden to tamper with the religious beliefs and practices of its people.
Separation of church and state was first mentioned in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association. This letter promised that the new form of American government would not overrun the churches or their religious practices.
“To Messrs. Nehemiah Dodge and Others, a Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association, in the State of Connecticut
January 1, 1802.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I
Strengthen the Separation between Church and State Essay
1548 Words7 Pages
Strengthen the Separation between Church and State
First Amendment issues of the separation of church and state and state establishment of religion have long been litigated in the federal courts. Until recently, the Supreme Court had a consistent track record of preventing the intermingling of religion and government, especially when it came to the nation's public schools. Yet this past year, a newly activist conservative court has set about rewriting some of the Warren Court's judicial legacy. In the 1995 case of Rosenberger v. University of Virginia, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, declared that the University of Virginia was constitutionally required to subsidize a student religious magazine on the same basis as secular…show more content…
The majority opinion was justified on First Amendment free speech grounds, arguing that state funding, if provided for secular organizations, must also be available for an overtly religious publication. Yet this line of argument implies that government refusal to subsidize religious writings is somehow stifling the free speech of the writers involved. In other words, the court ruled that it is legally impossible for the state to remain neutral in the realm of religion. Neutrality, according to the Supreme Court, constitutes a latent form of suppression.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a court moderate who cast the deciding vote, justified her anguished decision in a deeply troubled concurring opinion. In it, she echoed the concurring opinion of fellow moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy, emphasizing that the state funding was indirect, coming directly from student activity fees, and that the newspapers would be printed on printers not owned by the school. O'Connor also stressed that this specific case lay in a gray area between protected free speech and prohibition of religious funding by government, and warned court observers not to interpret this case in a broader context. This disclaimer is mildly reassuring to those who cherish the First Amendment's establishment clause. But in view of the court's unpredictable and volatile recent past, the comfort one can draw from such a disclaimer is minimal at best.
Naturally, the religious right