Seperation of Church and State

May 9, 2008
The constitution of the United States of America creates a separation between religion and the government. In numerous areas across the country areas are dominated by one religion. As a result these areas people want laws that are based around religion. Separation of church and state forbids governments from passing such laws.
Thought the history of this nation problems over the separation have erupted. One that is relatively present is the phrase “Under God” that is in our Pledge of Allegiance. This phrase was added to pledge to separate the US from the communist world that has no religion. A few years ago a man sued his state for forcing his children to say the pledge. The man’s claims were he was Atheist and forcing his daughter to say the pledge was forcing her to call her father a liar. He also said due to the freedom of speech and religion in the United States he had a right to believe what he wanted. He argued that forcing someone to say “Under God” was violating an atheist or any non monotheistic religion’s right to think and believe what they want. The Courts agreed that forcing one to say the pledge was a violation of the first amendment. After the courts decided the justice department formed a law prohibiting schools from forcing kids to say the pledge.
Another arguable point is whether religion is a defense of a crime. In other words is god told me to do it, or I was protecting some one from god, an excuse for a crime. This is a concept that dates back thousands of years. During the eleventh century various crusades or holy wars were waged to reclaim religious holy land. The ancient Greeks and Romans belied in a god of war who was appeased by conquest and war. The Muslims believe in a holy struggle for god. This shows that many people have a concept of violence or struggle within their believes. This bears the question can these believes be a justification for a crime. A few people have tried this as a defense and haven’t succeeded but it still shows that people who have a strong feeling towards a religion.
Religion involved in legal cases comes up in a few other times regarding prosecution rather than defense. One famous case was that of the state of Tennessee vs. John Scopes. This case talked about the foundation of the United States and what values are most important. John Scopes was a high school science teacher who taught Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and not that god created man. During the nineteen twenties teaching such a theory in Tennessee was forbidden and outlawed. Scopes was arrested for the use of this theory. Even though he was convicted of the crime Scopes continued to oppose the law. Eventually the law was overturned and teaching of evolution was allowed. This case proved that while in the twenties most Americans, especially in the South, Christian values were still part of people’s everyday lives, there was a little progress to a true freedom of religion and a separation of church and state.

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AnInkling said...
Sept. 21, 2013 at 2:14 pm
Where is separation of church and state in the Constitution?  I have done an extensive study of the Constitution, and I have not found it in there or in any of the Amendments. In fact, the origin of "separation of church and state" comes from a *letter* that Thomas Jefferson wrote to a Baptist church ensuring that the government would not interfere in the church, not the other way around. In fact, the Constitutional Convention started with several round of prayers to God by Cath... (more »)
Lilliterra said...
Jun. 30, 2011 at 12:47 am

You have to try looking at this from the other side of the spectrum, too. What if a parent sued because their kid was forced to write a report stating that molecules evolved into men over a period of billions of years? That definately involved a violation of their beleifs... I think what we see is atheism being defended but not Christianit.y.

And interesting that you should bring up the scopes trial. It used to be illegal to teach Evolution; now it is illegal to teach Creation! Or even... (more »)

LissaBee said...
Aug. 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Actually, this "wall between church and state" is nowhere to be found in the Constitution.  It's in a letter from Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association. The Constitution says that:

"Congress...shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."-Amendment 1


"[N]o religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." - Article 6

fibonaccimathgenius said...
Jul. 30, 2010 at 4:05 pm
I didn't know there was the law passed forbidding schools to make the kids say the pledge.  I am forced to say the pledge everyday and I am an atheist!  hmmmmm
VirginieC This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 27, 2011 at 11:12 am
Me too, but I just didn't say it and I wasn't the only one.
Lilliterra replied...
Jun. 30, 2011 at 12:38 am
Are you absolutely sure they're actually MAKING you say anything?
writinggurl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 9, 2014 at 12:01 pm
Yes may not agree with the pledge but remember People are fighting for your right not to say the pledge.  I personally think if you cannot say the pledge you should go live somewhere else in the world.
ReflectionsofYou said...
May 30, 2010 at 5:15 pm

I think seperation of church and state is taken out of context way too often. If our founding fathers didn't want us to recognize God, they wouldn't have made him such a big deal. They wouldn't have left England to presue[sp?] religous freedom in the first place. That's the whole reason we're here.....

 Regardless, it is an interesting topic, and probably a difficult one to write about.

BuffaloSoldier replied...
Jun. 8, 2011 at 8:05 am
Please stop pretending you know anything about the founding fathers. Their plan for the country was that it would be a secularist country, not a religious one.
writinggurl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 9, 2014 at 12:03 pm
Most if not all the founding fathers were christians and would not like how the govt. has turned out. Christians have if not all their rights taken away. Answer this is it right that I have to learn evolution if I am a christian.
1Corinthians13:4_8 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 8, 2010 at 12:25 pm
i agree with zadarox101. as i was reading the article i was very confused on whether you were saying that speration of church and state was a good thing or not. since your artice was placed under point of view you should have made that more clear but other then that it was well written.  
ZadaRox101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 4:05 pm
Plus, our country was founded on God. It shouldn't matter what you (people in general) believe personally, you should at least care enough about the history of our country to respect the fact that it was based on God. That point being, "In God we trust" and "One nation under God"!
Persona replied...
Aug. 27, 2010 at 12:17 am
"In God We Trust" and "One Nation Under God" were BOTH added as our nation's motto and to our pledge(respectively), in 1954 during the Red Scare. "In God We Trust" was no more the nation's motto than the other motto still printed on our coinage. "E Pluribus Unum" which means, "Out of Many, One". The original pledge had no reference to god, NOR does the Constitution. I find it very curious that you believe the Founders wished to base the government on god, yet did not mention him a single time in... (more »)
TeaCat replied...
Apr. 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm
I agree with Persona.
TheJust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 15, 2011 at 6:59 am

"The Surpreme Judge of the world" you think they're referencing King George there? If you actually research the Constitution, you'll relaize they mention God throughout. They may not name Him by name, but that was because it was a respect issue, not a religious issue.

And fyi, the original pledge didn't even make mention to the specific flag. Just A flag.

Minrissie replied...
Oct. 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

While I won't argue about there being no reference to God in the Consitution (I'm not saying there isn't, I just don't know and am not going to go look for it right now), there are plenty of references to God in the Declaration of Independence, which is the "charter" document of this nation, and thus a very important one when discussing whether the US was founded on Christian principles. 

Aside from this, there are numerous quotes from Founding Fathers stating that our republic ca... (more »)

ZadaRox101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 4:03 pm
What exactly is your side? You give points, but never say what you believe.
jeanines said...
Mar. 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm
r u sarah brother?
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