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Separation Of Church And State: Right Or Wrong? Essay, Research Paper

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11-2-2000

English 111-11

Michael Guzman

P3- Final Draft

Separation of Church and State: Right or Wrong?

Separation of church and province is a really sensitive subject in today? s society. Most people see the phrase? separation of church and province? and believe it is concrete, constitutional, cogent evidence that nil spiritual should put pes in anything associating to authorities. The purpose of this paper is to show an alternate position of separation between church and province. Through researching this controversial issue, this paper will touch on the history of separation of church and province, the rules of separation of church and province, and the simple solution to church and province dealingss.

Today? s Laws Concerning Separation of Church and State

Today? s Torahs refering church and province dealingss are really rigorous. The Torahs today treat spiritual ethical motives as if they are harmful, and are traveling to badly take away from whatever they come in contact with.

The impression that faith should be excluded from about all aspects of authorities related issues is a really new idea. The really first Supreme Court instance taking any signifier of faith out of schools, ( and hence authorities, ) was in 1962. In the Engel v. Vital Supreme Court instance, supplication was taken out of schools. A twelvemonth after this instance, Bible reading was taken out of schools in the Murray V Curlett Supreme Court instance. Seventeen old ages subsequently, in 1980, the 10 commandments were taken out of schools in the Stone V Grahm Supreme Court instance. ( Hall, ? United States Supreme Court Decisions? ) I have mentioned these tribunal instances to demo how recent this? new? position of separation of church and province rhenium is. This new position of separation of church and province is called pluralism. The definition of pluralism is: jurisprudence being decided by the bulk or by the governing group or single apart from an nonsubjective ethical motives. Today? s position is that the authorities should be tot impersonal, and have no spiritual or moral biass when doing Torahs. ( Coyle, ? Separation of Church and State? )

Establishing Fathers View of Separation of Church and State

Society, until recent times, besides supported separation of church and province. The lone difference was that people in the yesteryear had a tot different position of this separation. Our establishing Fathers? definition of separation of church and province was non pluralistic. They did non believe spiritual ethical motives should be tot separated from authorities. They entirely viewed separation of church and province as a manner to protect themselves from papalism and Erastianism. Papalism is defined as the church taking the taking function in authorities. Our establishing Fathers actu left Europe to acquire off from a Papalistic Catholic Church. Erastianism is merely the antonym of papalism. Byzantinism is the province going almighty, and stating the church what and what non to make. Our establishing Fathers wrote the First Amendment of the Constitution to guard against papalism and Erastianism. ( Coyle ) They did non compose the first amendment to wholly separate spiritual values from authorities. In researching our establishing Fathers? Hagiographas, one can see what a devout spiritual foundation this state originated from.

Beginning of the Phrase? Separation of Church and State?

Most people think the phrase? separation of church and province? comes straight from the Constitution. This common misconception is really deceptive. Peoples repeat the phrase? separation of church and province? as if it is an important Constitutional statement. This phrase is found nowhere in the United States Constitution. The phrase separation of church and province originated in a missive from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association. The Baptists were concerned with a rumour they heard that the authorities was traveling to name a national faith. The Danbury Baptist Association wrote to the current President, Thomas Jefferson, to see if this was true. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Baptist association back and assured them that no such jurisprudence was traveling to be passed by stating, ? I contemplate with autonomous fear that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislative assembly should? do no jurisprudence esteeming an constitution of faith, or forbiding the free exercising thereof, ? therefore constructing a wall of separation between church and State. ? ( Jefferson ) In measuring this quotation mark from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association, it can be seen that the now overused statement? separation of church and province? was to guarantee scared citizens that they were non traveling to be subjected to papalism or Erastianism.

Interpretation of the First Amendment

In the missive to the Danbury Baptists, Jefferson quotes portion of the First Amendment, ? Congress shall do no jurisprudence esteeming an constitution of faith, or forbiding the free exercising thereof & # 8230 ; ? Most people today will state that this proves their pluralistic position of separation of church and province. In fact, the lone thing the First Amendment says is that Congress can? t make a national faith or denomination. This is a jurisprudence against Erastianism and papalism, non a jurisprudence against holding faiths ethical motives and presuppositions in authorities. ( Coyle ) Since the Constitution was written, the Supreme Court has interpreted the first amendment as a jurisprudence against Erastianism and papalism and non a jurisprudence against morality and faith in authorities. This position has been held by the Supreme tribunal since the birth United States and continued until 1962, when supplication was taken out of schools.

An illustration of how the Supreme Court once interpreted the First Amendment comes from a statement by Mr. Justice Brewer as he delivered the sentiment of the tribunal in1892 in the instance of Trinity v. United States

. Justice Brewer stated,

? It is the right every bit good as the responsibility of all work forces in society publically and at declared seasons, to idolize the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the existence: . . . As the felicity of a people and the good order and saving of civil authorities essenti depend upon piousness, faith, and morality, and as these can non be gener diffused through a community but by the establishment of the public worship of God and of Public instructions in piousness, faith and morality & # 8230 ; ? ( Tussman, ? The Supreme Court On Church & A ; State? 39 )

Justice Brewer understood how of import spiritual ethical motives were to the saving of authorities and society every bit good.

The Myth of Neutrality

Besides the pluralistic position of separation of church and province being a bad reading of the First Amendment and Jefferson? s missive, pluralism is liter impossible. It is impossible to successfully regulate a state with out absolute ethical motives. The prototype of a state without absolute ethical motives was Germany. Without a higher jurisprudence to give us absolute ethical motives, we as worlds can perpetrate hanus offenses such as and other such dictators have done.

A statement that is quoted rather frequently says, ? we can? t legislate morality. ? ? You can? t legislate morality, ? is a really defective stating. Rousas Rushdoony argues that, all statute law is concerned with morality. Our Torahs are moral Torahs, stand foring a system of morality. Laws against manslaughter are moral Torahs that echo one of the 10 commandments, ? Thou shalt non kill. ? Laws against larceny, slander, and fraud are moral Torahs reiterating another commandment, ? Thou shalt non bear false witness. ? Any and every jurisprudence in the jurisprudence books are morality based. Even traffic Torahs are moral Torahs. The intent of traffic Torahs is to protect life and belongings. Laws holding to make with penalty especi have to make with morality. It is impossible for a justice to do any sort of opinion without a moral value system. ( Rushdoony )

Today? s Thoughts Refering Religious Morality

One ground people might non desire spiritual ethical motives in schools and authorities is that spiritual ethical motives wear? t condone behaviour such as immoral life, substance maltreatment, and other such questionable issues. Peoples might state that spiritual values prevent tolerance of other positions and ways of life. True, the Bible does learn strong absolutes, but it besides teaches to? love your enemies, do good to those who you? ( Luke. 6.27 ) True Christians are the most accepting and loving people I know.

Decision

Our Establishing Fathers ne’er intended the construct of separation of church and province to intend what it does today. James Madison said, ? We have staked the whole hereafter of America non on the power of authorities, far from it. We have staked the hereafter of all of our political establishments upon the capacity of each and all of us to regulate ourselves harmonizing to the 10 commandments of God. ? ( qtd. Barton, Americas Godly Heritage ) This is a powerful statement from the 4th president, who is frequently called the Father of the Constitution. How could person who played such an of import portion in composing the Constitution mean to sum extract spiritual ethical motives from about all facets of society. George Washington, another great initiation Father said in his farewell address as he left the presidential term,

Of all the temperaments and wonts which lead to political prosperity, faith and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that adult male claim the testimonial of nationalism who should labour to overthrow these great pillars of human Happiness & # 8211 ; these firmest props of responsibilities of work forces and citizens.

Washington goes every bit far as to state that person who tries to overthrow morality and faith is disloyal. There is no manner our initiation Fathers had a pluralistic position of separation of church and province. Furthermore, the pluralistic position of separation of church and province is about impossible. It is ineffectual for a good authorities to do any determinations without looking through some sort of moral grid. Our society needs moral absolutes. Where do we acquire these absolutes? From ourselves? From what the bulk says? It is far excessively hazardous to look to ourselves for these truths. In 1844, Supreme Court Justice Story answered these inquiries. He said, ? Where can the purest rules of morality be learned so clearly or so absolutely as from the New Testament? ? ( Tussman, ? The Supreme Court On Church & A ; State 9 ) From all this information, we need to do an of import determination. Do we float farther and farther off from the absolute ethical motives of spiritual instructions our establishing Fathers implemented, or do we get down seeking to use the same spiritual ethical motives that have so good served us in the past. We need a higher jurisprudence to give us absolute ethical motives and maintain us in cheque. As the authorities throughout the history of America has done, today, more than of all time, our authorities needs to obtain absolute ethical motives from faith.

Plants Cited

David Barton. America? s Godly Heritage. 1990.

Bible. Luke 6.27

Coyle, Doug. Personal interview. 12 October 2000.

Hall, Kermit L. United States Supreme Court Cases. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Tussman, Joseph. The Supreme Court On Church & A ; State. New York: Oxford University Press, 1962.

Rushdoony, Rousas J. Law and Liberty. Vallecito: Ross House Books, day of the month terra incognita.

David Barton. America? s Godly Heritage. 1990.

Bible. Luke 6.27

Coyle, Doug. Personal interview. 12 October 2000.

Hall, Kermit L. United States Supreme Court Cases. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Tussman, Joseph. The Supreme Court On Church & A ; State. New York: Oxford University Press, 1962.

Rushdoony, Rousas J. Law and Liberty. Vallecito: Ross House Books, day of the month terra incognita.

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