Separation of Church and State Essay

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Separation of Church and State

“Separation of Church and State,” is a theory derived from different parts of the constitution; primarily the first and fourteenth amendment. The first amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting and establishment or religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof....” The first amendment says that there can not be any laws against anyone’s individual religion. How far can we take this though? There are circumstances when you don’t want the government to intervene with your personal beliefs but is it sometimes necessary? What if there was a Satanist who believed in killing all other races. If the government was to punish them, wouldn’t that be suppressing their religious
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If the government made laws about religion, our country would turn back to where it fled from.

Prayer in school was legal until the late 1960’s, that’s a mere 40 years ago. Back then, schools would lead each morning with a Christian prayer. The students were required to say it, and no one would ever contest it because protesting against this right would categorize you as a lowerclass outcast. Everyone, well everyone worth mentioning, was white and Christian anyway so what did it matter? Eventually, there was no room for this sort of suppression with so many different types of people and religions. The public couldn’t take it anymore and prayer in school was finally ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the case of Engel v. Vitale in 1968.

Same sex marriage is the present day segregation. If you think about it, it is ridiculous that only 40 years ago did African Americans finally get the same rights as whites. Even then, there was still so much hostility. I can’t even think that my Grandma lived in a time like that. I’m hoping by the time I become 40 gays will have the same rights as everyone else. My children will probably think the same thing about me as I thought of my Grandma. “You lived in a time when people thought that that sort of behavior was ok?” I don’t understand how people can think that this doesn’t cross the line between church and state.

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