A “Wall of Separation” Between Church and State
The separation of church and state I believe that the separation of church and state has made our country fall. What I mean by fall is, that we the people have let our morals slip. We seem to not have so much care for others or self respect for ourselves. I believe we have gained this new motto, “If it feels good, do it.” It does not matter what it may do to another person or how it may even affect you in the long run.
The Separation of Church and State America wastes a lot of time trying to create a democracy completely absent of the moral expectations that our ancestors have put into place. Our founding fathers’ dream of establishing a country in which all people would be accepted has begun to fall. In our attempt to rid our country of a democracy contaminated with any belief in a supreme power, we have rid ourselves of many of our values and morals. Perhaps it is impossible for religion to dominate our political country, but we have misinterpreted the original intent of “separation of church and state” and taken this concept too far.Let’s take a look at what our founding fathers thought: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceable to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The above quote is the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States. In no part does our constitution mention a “separation of church and state.” What it does mention is that Congress is forbidden to tamper with the religious beliefs and practices of its people. Separation of church and state was first mentioned in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association. This letter promised that the new form of American government would not overrun the churches or their religious practices.
In some areas, religious books have been used to justify discrimination against women, black people and atheists. George Bush’s administration was seen as one that was trying to create close ranks with certain religious groups that tend to transform secular democracy into a creeping theocracy. Many have termed this as a method of perverting the American value system. It is preferred that America should be committed towards applying reason, science and historic experience rather than using religion (Silverman, 1942). A key advantage of religion lies in the fact that religion has the ability to inspire principles that are considered diametrically contrary. Nations that are governed on the basis of religion are naturally strong. Democratic nations on the other hand are considerably weak. Additionally, in present times the erected wall is regarded as an emblem of separating dogmatic religious influences that are intolerant especially in the public sphere from governance. On the other hand, state courts have used the concept of wall separation to validate their censorship of religious expression such as stripping and Christmas crèches among many other practices (Dreiscach, 2007).
In the final analysis, in order to eliminate friction, they considered it reasonable to introduce the concept of religious freedom and change the outlooks on religion as a tool of controlling human consciousness. Introducing the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowed the America’s founders to establish equality among the individuals and prioritize the human right to choose religion irrespective of their political affiliations. Religion, therefore, has become an inherent right of each individual to choose, which gave rise to the concept of separation of church and state.
Dreiscach, L. (2007). The mythical wall of separation: How a misused metaphor changed church .state law, policy and discourse. New York: Heritage Publishers.
Novak, M. (2006). Faith and American founding: Illustrating Religion Influence. New York: Heritage Publishers.
Silverman, H. (1942). American Religion undermines American values. New York: Heritage Publishers.