The Separation of Church and State:Freedom of Religion or Freedom from Religion

Essay by LothosCollege, UndergraduateA+, June 2009

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Running Head: The Separation of Church and StateThe Separation of Church and State:Freedom of Religion or Freedom from ReligionAxia College of University of PhoenixAbstract: There are movements across the country to remove religious references from all aspects of public life. From schools, to courtrooms religion no longer appears in the public eye. Is America protecting its citizens from being exposed to alternate faiths or are we forcing our faith to hide from others? We will look at history making events to determine whether America is a nation founded on religious freedom or on the removal of it.

"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."(Jefferson, 1802). When President Thomas Jefferson wrote these words to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, he may not have been aware the impact his letter would have on the citizens, institutions and the future of America.

The Separation of Church and State has been one of the most discussed topics for over 200 years and is the most widely misunderstood interpretation of the first amendment, due largely to the...