Seperation of Church and State is a Myth

March 5, 2010
By , Bordentown, NJ
The United States is the most powerful super power the world has ever known. It is also the melting pot of the world, with a variety of peoples from all over the world with different views and religions. Is it diversity that makes us strong? Or is it that most US citizens are linked together by common morality? After all, it was because of religion that our country was even born. In 1620, Puritans landed in America seeking religious freedom; this was because of the persecution they were facing in their home countries. How distressed would they be to discover that in today’s modern America, religion is viewed as nothing more than a ploy to control our republic? Many people in the United States have used the phrase “separation of church and state” as a way to turn public opinion against religion and morality as a way of life, however, no such division exists. It will be my job to take a final stand against this inaccuracy.

The phrase "wall of separation between the church and the state" was originally coined by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists on January 1, 1802. His purpose in this letter was to assuage the fears of the Danbury, Connecticut Baptists, and so he told them that this wall had been erected to protect them. The metaphor has nothing to do with the American system, but the protection of religion from the government. It has nothing to do with the way our government functions, but how the government protects religion.

Some however, may argue that this phrase exists in the constitution. These parties are misinformed. In fact the constitution does the exact opposite of banding religion from our democratic system, but going along with the metaphor from Thomas Jefferson it protects religion from the government. The constitution states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Both the free exercise clause and the establishment clause place restrictions on the government concerning laws they pass or interfering with religion. No restrictions are placed on religions, except perhaps that a religious denomination cannot become the state religion. Therefore, to say that there is such a separation is not only inaccurate, but also unconstitutional. Since the constitution states the laws and principals of our country, then a continuation of this accusation would show that all parties who believe such a division exists are also lawbreakers. For those who need some physical evidence that such a division doesn’t exist, I am still quite prepared to show you the light.

The military is a government run organization that is designed to defend our nation against any threat that may arise. Since the military is run by the government it should be “separated from the church”. If this is so, why is it that the military has a special branch devoted to Chaplains, religious representatives in the military who tend to soldiers individual religious beliefs? This would completely downplay the argument that church and state are separate; considering that Chaplains in fact represent their own respective religions and preaching within an institution that takes its orders directly from Washington D.C. In addition to this, congress begins all of its sessions with an opening prayer done by a chaplain. This has been a tradition in congress since 1789 when congress first convened in New York City to build the foundations of our nation.

With all the evidence presented how can someone say that church and state are separate? Should the question be, why do people feel such a division should exist? After all, our country was founded on the belief that people should have religious freedom. So, why must this debate continue? Why should we keep church and state separate? The better question is how? Religious views and morality will now and always play a part in our judgment and decision making. So it is virtually impossible to strip these beliefs from all congressmen, all judges, and all generals. Why? It’s unconstitutional. So, in conclusion, God bless you, and quoted from almost every single president the US has ever had “God Bless America”.





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