Separation of Church and State Benefits Everyone Essay

Separation of Church and State Benefits Everyone Essay

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Two of America’s well known thinkers, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, created the precedent for how political and ecclesiastical groups would exist autonomously in order to guarantee a favorable outcome for both. To allow for proper functioning and success, an entity must be able to act independently without reliance on another. If one party is disadvantaged, those disadvantages way on both sides. If one party is successful but to the point of dominance, the other becomes weakened and its needs placed in the shadow. Because of this, separation of the church from the state allows for both groups to function at their fullest without fear of being suppressed by greatness or burdened by the others vulnerabilities.
The word of God would not be what is ruling our souls but instead it would be the opinion of men if the state were to be dominant. Jefferson gave commentary on this factor in “The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom”, written in 1786. He explained how the nature of men can tend to lead to a reign of hypocrisy and malice which departs from the true nature of God. God created men to think independently and any attempt to alter or coerce the mind, including governmental punishments and burdens, deviates from this religious design. Coercion is unacceptable, presumably because any leaders that begin to have dominion over the faith of citizens and who act without a connection or valid instruction from God could lead to godless opinions taking the place of the only true word. According to the word of God as understood by the then dominant Christian faith, the Lord chose not to propagate our decisions by coercion and neither should men, because man should not be able to hold such power. “For by grace you have been ...

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...ernment that attempts to serve both civil and religious liberties equally sets itself up for a false mission. History has proven that the two do not exist in harmony but can prevail separately. Both are ideas expressed by Jefferson, Madison and other great thinkers then and now. Though the Constitution may seem godless, its lack of religion assures the protection of church rights and vice versa. The separation of church and state is equally beneficial to both parties.

Works Cited

"Online Library of Liberty." Online Library of Liberty. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov. 2013. "The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom - Religious Freedom Page." The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom - Religious Freedom Page. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov. 2013.

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