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Separation of Church from State

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Essay title: Separation of Church from State

Separation Of Church And State

The separation of the state from the church has been present in the constitution ever since it was written. The first amendment relates to a citizens freedom. This freedom does not only allow this practice speech but on thought as well. It states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." (Barton, America: To… p.15). When the constitution was formed society in general belonged to Orthodox Christian. John Quincy Adams, in a speech on July 4,1837 asked the crowd, "Why is it, that next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and venerated festival returns on this day?" He goes on to explain the important ties between the birthday of the nation and the birthday of Jesus Christ. He says that the Declaration of Independence was first organized on the foundation of Jesus' mission on Earth, and that the Declaration "laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity. Adams stressed that the major impact of the Revolution was that Christian principles and civil government were connected in an "indissoluble" bond. (Barton, America's p.17) Other Founding Fathers were very outspoken about Christian beliefs. John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and one of the men most responsible for the Constitution declared, "Providence(heaven) has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christian rulers." (Barton, America's p.8)

The law always stated the separation

of the two, the actual limitation was in its implementation in the cases of Everson v. Board of Education and Engel v. Vitale, the Supreme Court uses Jefferson and Madison's Virginia Statute, a bill that both men pushed in Virginia legislature, as a basis for the intent of the 1st Amendment. Jefferson and Madison pushed for the Virginia Bill for Religious Liberty, also called the Virginia Statute. In 1978 a few lawyers got together and considered a constitutional law. The original law said that public school teachers in grades 1-6 "shall announce that a period of silence, not to exceed one minute, shall be observed for meditation." This law did not work for long, because it still allowed oral prayer in public high schools. Later in 1981, the Alabama State Senator Donald G. Holmes successfully passed a bill that included all grades calling it "the moment of silence" this law said that "the teacher (was) to announce that the silent moment may be used for voluntary prayer." "Religion (in the public schools) can change a persons life" if a parent wants their child to have religion they can send their child to a private school and if a parent does not want their child to pressured in to having a religion they should be able to send their child to a public school and if he or she wishes to atend meetings then they can do so on their own.

In looking back at this issue, we realize that the level of complexity has escalated since the first case encountered in 1743. Consider the special interest groups, that challenge the right to free expression, with those that secure this right to their everyday beliefs as free citizens in America. Every item that is censored, or even not censored, affects all citizens within the collective community. Each group holds a strong conviction to their purpose, but they do not take into account the basic issue of interpretation of the First Amendment, in order to protect their position. Taking into consideration those countries that essentially have no say in their rights, we can imagine how trivial this argument might be. We must also realize that as our forefathers intended, our countries basic principles derive from this amendment. Therefore, we must settle for the judgment of the Supreme Court on this concern. Accepting the Supreme Court interpretations as our own, thus achieving a balanced society. Our countries founding documents, specifically

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