Religion in Government: A Recipe for Success, or Disaster?

958 Words4 Pages
Have you ever thought about how your religion plays a part in your everyday life? How about the religion of your senator, governor, or even your president? You may apply your religious beliefs into your everyday decisions, but what are your thoughts on elected officials being able to apply their beliefs into policies that may have an effect on your life? The first amendment, while not directly calling for the separation of church and state, does give the freedom of religion. However, there is a debate on whether political figures should allow their religious beliefs to influence their political views.

The first side we can look at on this issue is the supporting side. One of the first arguments made is that many people today like to use the words of Thomas Jefferson to their own advantage, and twist them to fit their opinion of separation of church and state. In 1802, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Church, in response to them asking him to support them against their states oppressive religious requirements, which were not all that uncommon at the current time. Part of the context of his letter included the following, stating that the American people’s legislature “should make no law respecting one establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building and wall of separation of church and state.” While many people may view this as proof that religion has no place in legislation, this was not Jefferson’s purpose. He wanted to appear neutral, supporting the Danbury Church while making sure to not speak negatively about their state government. His words were to establish the fact that religious matters were the responsibility of the states, not that of the federal government, and defin...

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...te documents stating church and state to be separated, politicians allowing their religious beliefs to influence their policy decisions is a touchy subject today. While it isn’t clear if religion and governing can exist together, many hope that this is the case. There’s a very fine line on which politicians walk in regards to this issue.

Works Cited

Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "Church and State Should Be Separate" Civil Liberties. Roman Espejo, Ed. Opposing Viewpoints® Series. Greenhaven Press, 2009.

Huston, Warner Todd" There Should Be No Separation of Church and State" Atheism. Beth Rosenthal, Ed. Opposing Viewpoints® Series. Greenhaven Press, 2009.

Victor, Jeffrey S."The Introduction of Religious Beliefs into Policy Decisions Must Be Opposed" Church and State. Lynn M. Zott, Ed. Opposing Viewpoints® Series. Greenhaven Press, 2012.
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