References on Separation of Church and State?

I'm writing a persuasive essay that's FOR the separation of Church and State that is in the constitution, not the overblown stuff we see today.

I was wondering if anyone could help me get my hands on some statistics (based on prayer in school, crime rate, morality, etc) and any articles based on it. They can be for or against it, though I'm arguing a more moderate approach than many other people usually do.

Please, just stick the to question.


I'm aware that the term 'separation of Church and State' is not in the Const and is from Jefferson's letter where he talks about a wall between the two. I only used that term because it's what the name of the issue is.

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    See also the Supreme Court cases discussing the issue.

    The literal phrasing isn't in the Constitution because the concept was so obvious to the Founders that it went without saying. But it's nothing new to Constitutional scholars. The phrase was first adopted by the Supreme Court in 1878, who credit it to Thomas Jefferson as the originator of the quote. According to the Court, the phrase should be taken as "an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [1st] amendment thus secured." Reynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878).

    It's been US doctrine for almost 130 years, and was referred to in 1943 as "our accepted belief" and "cardinal in the history of this nation and for the liberty of our people". West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943).

    And then there are the words of the Treaty of Tripoli (1796). Just a handful of years after the Constitution was written, Congress said that "the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion". (Article 11 of the Treaty).

    From that basic premise -- that the govt and the church should be separate -- as in distinct, different, not the same -- it becomes a question of how to implement that -- which has led to the changing interpretations over time.

  • Chef
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Show me where "Separation of Church and State" is in the Constitution.

    You should start your research with the First Amendment, and try to understand what it means. I am feeling kind, so I will give you the text:

    Amendment I

    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 peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    I am feeling even more kind, so I will give you my conclusions:

    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE! In the spirit of the founders, every community should be able to pursue whatever they think as religion, and the government should have no say in it, even if their elected officials use that as a basis for their own policy decisions. It just so happens that the majority of Americans have beliefs based on Christianity. Why would that not be part of our culture and government?

  • 1 decade ago

    Actually "separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution. That phrase comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, so you may want to make sure you know what you're arguing first.

  • 1 decade ago

    Good question , but the seperation uis not in constitution that i know of . It has gotten carried away though but I try to think about what Christ said , Give honor were its do obey the laws of Govt unless its against God .( paraphrase)

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I will give you a hint. There is no separation of church and state clause in the constitution.

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