Constitutional Law: Separation of Church and State

By: Cody Jenkins

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides, in pertinent piece, that "Congress will create no law respecting a particular establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Oftentimes, individuals talk regarding "separation of church and state;" this phrase is Certainly Not in the First Amendment! The phrase "separation of church and also state" is a phrase that came from Thomas Jefferson's a to the Danbury Baptists Organization in 1802, wherein Jefferson wrote about a "wall of separation between church and state." Interestingly, the usage of that term by Jefferson was greatly different than the usage of the term today. Jefferson viewed the separation as a protect, preventing government from taking any kind of action offending or perhaps interfering with religion. Today, interestingly enough, the the term "separation of church and state" is being used as a sword, and also just emerges from antiquity whenever the uneducated seek to disregard the well-established law from the United States Supreme Court as well as attempt to force their religion into government.

United States Supreme Court opinions, over the previous 200 many years, have addressed separation of church and state in a number of cases, and have always ruled in a manner keeping the two entities separate:

First Amendement applies to state and local governments
Religious instruction in public schools is unconstitutional
Any prayer in public schools is unconstitutional
Reading Bible verses over the intercom is unconstitutional
Posting of The Ten Commandments in government buildings is unconstitutional
Teaching of "creation science" is unconstitutional
Displaying nativity scene inside government building is unconstitutional
Prayer at graduation ceremony is unconstitutional

Actually, the U. S. Supreme Court got it right! While a couple fundamentalists feel that these Supreme Court decisions tend to be a bad thing; they are so, so wrong! The basic assumption of the proponents for prayer in school is that the prayers will be Christian as well as the verses comes from the Bible. Given the diverse society and the religious diversity in government and the public school system, the basic supposition is flawed. Government and also public school systems employ non-Christians including Muslim, Hindu, Taoist, Buddhists, etc. How awkward would definitely it be for a Hindu physics teacher to lead a Christian Bible study in first period to a religiously diverse class? Who would definitely want a non-Christian to teach Christian beliefs? Religion is much more personal, subject to interpretation, and possibly best taught by mom and dad in a home or church setting as opposed to big, impersonal classrooms.

Separation of church as well as state is a fundamental pillar of an American society, and it really cuts both ways: government cannot interfere with religion, as well as religion cannot interfere with government! Religion was intended to be between guy as well as his God, Not man and his government; just about all Americans should come together and also collectively agree to maintain the separation of church as well as state set forth throughout American jurisprudence.

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