The Separation of Church and State in America Essay
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"Prayer has been banished from schools and the ACLU rampages to remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. Moreover, “Separation of Church and State” is nowhere found in the Constitution or any other founding legislation. Our forefathers would never countenance the restrictions on religion exacted today." -- Bill Flax, Forbes, 2011
Church and State seem to be two words which are entirely inseparable from each other. Religion in politics and the government has been present since the federal government was first put into place. The issue of…show more content…
After the Civil War, President Grant moved for the state governments, in addition to the federal government, to be kept out of the citizens religious affairs.
In 1876 James G. Blaine proposed an Amendment to congress to accomplish this task, extending the religious clauses of the first amendment, and adding a prohibition of aid to parochial schools. Senator Frelinghuysen, who opposed the Blaine amendment, stated that "The Blaine Amendment very properly extends the prohibition of the first amendment of the Constitution to the States. Thus the Blaine Amendment prohibits the States, for the first time, from the establishment of religion, from prohibiting its free exercise, and from making any religious test a qualification to office." Senator Eaton of Connecticut, and others with the same objections to the Blaine Amendment, felt that the Constitution prevented congressional involvement in the peoples religious lives, and that the states should be left to make their own decisions on the matter. The Blaine Amendment was proposed to the House, passed, and then defeated in the Senate. It would be proposed to congress and defeated over and over again for the next 50 years, but not abandoned until the Supreme Court decided that the
Separation Of Church And State
If one were to look back in time far enough there would come a point where there was no definite division between church and state. Groups may have been led by a single individual who was monarch, magician, scientist and priest all in one. It was simpler that way and more complex systems had not yet been invented. Now, most monarchs are little more than figureheads with parliaments doing the majority of the decision making on their behalf. Very few countries continue to be ruled by the laws of religious texts and this essay outlines some of the reasons for this.There are many religions
Migration has led to more diverse populations than any other time in history. A single neighborhood can contain people with ancestors from many different parts of the globe. Along with differences in ethnicity, many people now have neighbors who have very different religious beliefs to themselves. In such a situation it would be unfair to impose as laws religious rules that some people do not subscribe to. There are countries that manage this with very strict immigration laws but it is still a fairly difficult position to navigate.Some religious texts contradict scientific knowledge
While some people believe the contents of their religious texts completely, others have come to look at them primarily as learning aides. This is because many of the stories they contain are not able to be verified with the current scientific methods. For instance, the Bible states that the world and its inhabitants were created over six days and that this event happened only a few thousand years ago. Carbon dating and other tests indicate that the earth has existed for close to 5 billion years. Structuring educational programs on creationism rather than evolution can lead to errors in scientific research.Some scriptural punishments are barbaric
There have been laws in religious texts that require punishments that are very severe for infractions that are quite mild by modern standards. Where some scriptures state that witches should be stoned, followers of Wicca are allowed the right to religious freedom and killing them is now considered murder. Without the protection of the state free of religious bias, they might not have been able to survive and thrive. The same goes for people who work on the Sabbath to support their families.
Most countries can benefit from the presence of religious bodies. The problem lies when these entities can craft laws.