Separation of Church and State

The Bill of Rights, Amendment One, states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” (Bill of Rights) The Constitution was created to establish a governing system that not only protects the people, but does not infringe on the people’s beliefs. “Religion I found to be without any tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, serves principally to divide us and make us unfriendly to one another,” said Benjamin Franklin, a United States founding father (Benjamin Franklin). How true that statement rings in these turbulent times!

There is a common misconception that both the government and the church continue to augment, rather than resolve: government and church rhetoric convinces the majority of people that believing God should be separate from government is a denunciation of God. However, it is quite the contrary. America is a place where early colonists came to escape religious persecution, and where people are allowed to practice any religion. However, America is the same place where Christian religion is fused with government. God is in the pledge of allegiance and on our currency. In addition, people must base their admission of truth on a sworn statement to God in court. The separation of church and state was never completely definitive, and alarmingly continues to become less and less so.

From a Teacher's Point of View

Trisha M. Kannan: MA Candidate, English, University of Florida

How has the government infused religion on the public against the principles of separation of church and state?

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