Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

Separation of church and state?

I need opinions of those for it AND against it. Also, if you include a interesting fact about it then I will probably give you best answer.

6 Answers

  • Mutt
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think the term "Separation of Church and State" has been twisted and corrupted from the time Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists about it in 1802. The term is not used in the Constitution, but Jefferson used it ("building a wall of separation between Church & State") to help explain the combined effect of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .").

    This concept was test in 1878 before the U.S. Supreme Court (Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145). George Reynolds belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was convicted of bigamy. One of his arguments was that, as a Mormon, it was his "religious duty" to practice polygamy. Since the Constitution does not define religion, they used Jefferson's letter in it's argument against the "religious duty" claim, and ruled that "Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices." In other words, if they allowed polygamy because of religious beliefs, then religion would become the supreme law of the land.

    Am I for it or against it? I'm for it in the Jefferson context. I believe that the government should not sponsor any religion, nor prohibit any authentic religion (meaning you cannot start a religion for the purpose of bypassing a law). Many of our laws are based on Christian principles, and I have no problem with this, as long as it is still being respectful of other people's religions. Some of these laws I disagree with, but not because they are based on Christian principles. I disagree with them because I feel they violate some human rights (gay marriage is a good example).

    Source(s): Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists: To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut. Gentlemen The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing. 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. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties. I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem. Th Jefferson Jan. 1. 1802.
  • 1 decade ago

    I have always been against it.

    The forefathers never called for separation of church and state, the Amendment says :

    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.

    That means it won't give or take money from any one church or religion in-particular. It also says it won't make a law that dictates to the people how and where they must worship.

    The reason churches have a tax exempt status is because larger tax-paying churches would have influence in the government. Smaller churches would be wiped out eventually.

  • 1 decade ago

    I am for separation, although our country and the vary existence of our country is because of the church, Ok example and hot topic … Gay Marriage …constantly told that it is tradionly a union between man and woman right .. Well TRADIONLY means this is what the church says, and we are putting God in our schools every day by saying the pledge to the flag, then we go to the government and the election … we sit there and base who we are going to vote on by… well this republican is a catholic and this democrat is a southern Baptist … and if there was separation of church and state… then this topic would not even factor in … right. Well there you go more than you asked for I guess or just what you asked for more debate with an answer to a question.

  • DGS
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I have a hard time believing you're going to get anybody that thinks government mandated religion is a good idea. How could the absence of religious freedom possibly be a good thing?

    I think people's views of the separation of church and state are kind of messed up though. There's a difference between government establishing a civil/moral code for society (which is necessary) and mandating a certain religion.

    Source(s): Read up on pre-1776 colonial times when the Anglican church was the state-sponsored religion...and read up on the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedoms written by Thomas Jefferson. (
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  • 1 decade ago

    In an ideal world we would live according to the counsel of Jesus Christ, however because there is conflict between man's baseness and God's greatness, goodness and Mercy, in this day and age it would not work.

    It is up to each individual to live his or her life as close to the ideal of Christ as possible, this is the essence of free will .

    It is the responsibility of the state to allow freedom of religion and belief but it has to be said that secularism in government is almost universally used as a tool of Satan, in Britain Christianity is more and more being sidelined in favour of Islam.

  • 1 decade ago

    Not part of the constitution but the fact that government shall not endorse one religion over the other is.

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