How High is "The Wall"?

February 23, 2011
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The Establishment of the United States from Great Britain was a long and laborious process, and it took the lives of thousands of Americans. In this process, after the Constitution was written, The Declaration of Independence blatantly stated that America would become a nation in and of itself separate from all other nations and dependent on no man. Along with this, it referenced, “God,” “The Creator,” “The Supreme Judge” and so on. Obviously, with this passionate struggle, the forefathers of our liberated country felt that with a divine protection they could allow for all the citizens of United States to be free and under God. America was founded on a few religious beliefs and just as the integrity of the Constitution must hold, the historical traditions it was built upon must prevail as well.

The divine protection that is mentioned is never specified. Never is the term under Jesus, our Savior, used. Neither is under Vishnu, Zeus or Allah for that matter. The only recognition that was given was that there was a Deity that truly existed and that we as Americans dwell beneath. In the original Constitution a reference to religious affairs was made only once, under article 6, in the swearing in of the President. It states, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute…” It goes on but the important portion is the “or affirm”. This addition denotes that the president may be of any religious background and as he may be unwilling to swear under oath he may affirm instead. The forefathers knew that no religious test could ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust and that no specific Deity was allowed into the Constitution.
The forefathers spoken of were prominently Christian, including Protestants and Roman-Catholics. Naturally while writing the constitution there was much bickering over who worshipped the correct God and who worshipped him correctly. With so much quarreling, and all the men having to live under one jurisdiction, the ability for all men to have the freedom of religion, speech and press came up. It did so in the form of the First Amendment. The augmentation of the Constitution ensured that every citizen may believe anything he wished. It also mandated that no religion may ever be established by the State. The United States will never, under constitutional law, endorse a nationwide Church such as the Church of England so that just as our forefathers we may continue to search out religion in its most pure form.
There is one more crucial aspect in the layout of our nation in regards to religion and it came from President Jefferson during his term. He recognized the existence of the wall that was erected in the First Amendment and he said, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, [the people, in the 1st Amendment,] declared that their legislature should make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” The wall enforces that in all aspects of federal affairs, or anything that is in regards to the taxpayer dollar there may never be an influence from the Church.
The government does not mandate an attendance to mass, and it does not enforce the public to enter into a religious fund. It has only accepted since its beginning that there is a Deity. There is no practiced theocracy and it has laws ensuring that no such action will ever take place. Our great nation has had success from its beginning starting with the revolution. Our wars have been successful and just like any other nation we have had our fair set of trials to overcome, as we are experiencing now. This success has not come without work, sweat, and blood, and a devout patriotism from all the men and women that have ever served this country. Today, with a very secular mindset, the proposition has been imposed that “In God We Trust” be taken off of our currency. It has also been asked, that “Under God” be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. From the Pledge of Allegiance! This pledge is being quoted millions of times each day, and the words in themselves show the power and strength of what we stand for as a society. A republic that supports liberty and justice ever since its forefathers set us apart from other nations. These words set us apart, just as our beliefs set us apart. We must accept all of these words and trust that the men who set up this nation believed in its success and well-being. In our ability to maintain the beliefs presented before our time on this earth we enhance our capability to continue to be successful in all that we do.
Unfortunately this situation doesn’t appease all the members of our society. For all those who accept some form of Deity it is easy to go along with, however the Atheist group is not contented with how the affair is being handled. This is for good reason. They have, by every right, the freedom to believe in the total absence of a higher power. They have this right just as every Christian and Muslim family can worship as they may behind closed doors. No opposition is found, except for when they try to abolish all religion from the public community. The largest foreground for this is in public schools, in which strict guidelines have been set up for teachers and administrators to uphold the wall of separation. Christmas break has been changed to winter break and students are given the opportunity to leave the room during the daily moment of silence. The one ground that they should not prevail in is in the utterance of the Pledge of Allegiance.
As members of the United States of America we must all accept the constitution and the freedom it gives to all citizens. A major part of this deals with the separation of Church and State. This nation, which gives all of us, including Atheists, many freedoms was founded, explored and colonized by men who wanted religious freedom for themselves. This fact is a huge part of America’s history. America will be a successful nation if we hold fast to the historical traditions our nation was founded on. Behind closed doors, American citizens can choose to believe whatever they wish. We can choose to believe in God or not. However, outside of those doors we must accept the history of the nation in which we dwell, and all the pride and patriotism that goes along with it.

Works Cited
"Constitutional Topic: The Constitution and Religion - The U.S. Constitution Online -" Index Page - The U.S. Constitution Online - Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <>.
"The Declaration of Independence." Index. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <>.
"Religion in U.S. Public Schools." by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <>.

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