Monday, December 8, 2008

Seperation from Government.

So, what's all this fuss about "Separation of Church and State"? Since Church and State are to be separate does religion really have a role in American culture?

When asked if religion should play a role in the culture around them most would agree, as long as it is within the confines of "separation of church and state". However, it would not be far amiss to assume that most American citizens are not certain of the origins of the phrase they so easily use to dismiss such things as, prayer in schools and the word ’Christmas’. It is largely thought to be found in the constitution, therefore giving it added weight. Of course, the phrase in question is not in the United States Constitution. It is actually found in a personal letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists in 1802. “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 and state.” Jefferson is simply elaborating on what the constitution so clearly already addresses in the Establishment Clause. He is reverberating that government should have no say in some one's religious choices. However, it does not follow that people's religion should have no say in government. A government void of people's individual beliefs would no longer be a government of the people, for the people. You can't separate and extract some one's values and beliefs from their opinions and judgement. Religion (an individuals way of thinking/believing) cannot be dissected from their actions and behaviors.

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