The Necessary Separation of Church and State in America

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The Necessary Separation of Church and State in America On January 1, 1802, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut in which he stated: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should `make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” (Jefferson,1802, Letter to Danbury Baptist Association) The strongest phrase in Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 letter, “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,…” goes to the heart of American strength. It provides the foundation upon which this nation’s strength and resolve is built. It is the groundwork laid to allow American citizens to be who they are without government interference and that freedom allows the citizens to learn and grow from each other, building the foundation with the strength of cultural and religious diversity. America was built on this foundation and it is instilled in the heart of every proud American citizen. The content of this single letter and the resultant mirrored text within the United States Constitution has not only defined the way American society functions, but has lead to the growth of the country’s diversity and power in the world as a whole. The effect of separation of church and state in the United States evolved through hard won struggles and battles, resulting in great diversity among ... ... middle of paper ... ... is sent away from their homes and families to fight for the citizens of war torn countries. American soldiers volunteer their lives to defend these freedoms, both in America and abroad. America has built a foundation in history for its strength and resolve, and its citizens are willing to fight to keep this foundation in place for future generations. References Special Delivery. (Jan. 2002). The Danbury Baptists’ Letter and President Jefferson’s Response. Church & State, 55, p.13(1) Katzenstein, P.J. and Keohane, R.O. (Oct. 2003). The Flavors of Anti-Americanism, In Essence, p.18. Lewis, B. (September 1990) The Roots of Muslim Rage: Why So Many Muslims Deeply Resent The West, and why Their Bitterness Will Not Be Easily Mollified. The Atlantic v.266, pp.47(11). Lee, C. (Aug. 2006) New Image for America Begins at Home, The Washington Post, p.A11.
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