Seperation Of Church And State

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Separation of Church and State

How many times have you heard the term "separation of church and state"? Some people believe these five words have not been emphasized enough and other people think the government has taken them too far. How could you take that direct quote made by the founding fathers of the United States of America too far? You couldn’t. Unquestionably, Christian beliefs, or any religious beliefs, should not play a role in United States government.

Admittedly, David Barton mentions that pilgrims did come to the new country, to set up a theocracy, although, they left England because they were being religiously persecuted (33). The pilgrims set up a government where there were no religious differences. In addition, many people look at the Pledge of Allegiance and our currency to justify the link between church and state. However, according to one source, "under God" was not put in the Pledge of Allegiance till 1954, and "in God We Trust" was not added until 1956. The United States original motto chosen by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson was "Of Many, One" (Is America?). Furthermore, people think that the government is helping to keep the Sabbath holy by stopping the delivery of mail and closing government offices. Michael Harrington states that in 1810 Congress passed that mail be delivered seven days a week to emphasize that the government did not keep the Sabbath holy and in 1825 it was passed that there would be a commitment to public services on Sunday (27).

One reason everyone should agree on the concept of separation of church and state is because our founding fathers believed in it. According to Rob Boston, the Treaty of Tripoli was

between the United States and the North African Muslim nation of Tripoli in 1797. It states that “the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on Christian religion” and this was written under Washington’s presidency and approved by United States Senate under John Adams leadership (38). Because our nation was “not, in any sense, founded on Christian religion” we should not tie Christian beliefs to our government. American citizens should not expect their government to express and defend Christian beliefs.

Second, why would the United States government choose a preference of religion by putting one above another? There is a multitude of religions in America. I have a friend who is not of the Christian faith.

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