The First Ammendment and Dealing with the Separation of Church and State

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The First Ammendment and Dealing with the Separation of Church and State

Is it unconstitutional for local, state or federal governments to favor one religion over another? Government can show favoritism toward religion by displaying religious symbols in public places at taxpayer expense, by sponsoring events like Christmas concerts, caroling, by supporting the teaching of religious ideas, or even by supporting the teaching of creationism in public schools. It appears the United States government has had a history of favoring Christianity. The United States government's favoritism of Christianity is a clear violation of the First Amendment. This amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an
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Even in the early stages of American history there was an urge to put legally protected freedoms into written government documents. The result was the drafting of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, by James
Madison (Klinker: 110-111). The applications of the personal freedoms described in the
Bill of Rights, particularly the freedom of speech, have been challenged repeatedly in
American courts of law and elsewhere. These incidents and challenges of authority reflect the defensive American attitude toward the ever important freedom of expression and the growing significance of personal rights throughout American history. The church became intermingled with politics and became a strong entity. The policies delivered from the church had more authority than the local rulers and magistrates of the developing feudal system. For example, St. Augustine wrote about war and what justified its enactment against fellow men (Witt, 1998: 99). This policy was followed and adhered to for hundreds of years after St. Augustine wrote it. Another example, is the use of the Bible as a guideline for establishing governing systems. Scripture portrayed God as choosing the king of the people. The Pope, being
God's "representative" was then given the authority to crown the king. This crowning process gave the Pope large influence in the political arena. This ritual continued for a number of centuries (Witt: 100). One could recognize the

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