This essay Church And State has a total of 1686 words and 8 pages.
Church and State
What Went Wrong: An Examination of Separation of Church and State
By the middle of the 20th Century, the United States had emerged as a world
power. It accomplished this through its leadership in defeating Germany and
Japan in World War II. These two countries' main objective was to enslave the
world and destroy political, religious, and economic freedom. In Germany or
Japan, anyone who disagreed with these goals, or was different was destroyed.
This was a common practice in these two fascist countries. Unfortunately, at
the same time of its emergence as a world power, the United States began to slip
into a form of judicial fascism. This slide began when the U.S. Supreme Court
began to abandon the religious principles on which this nation was founded.
The abandonment officially began in 1947 in Everson v. Board of Education, when
the court announced, ?The 1st amendment has erected a wall between church and
state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the
slightest breach.? (Barton, Original? p.13) This exact case began the reversal
of Supreme Court trends and opinions that had lasted for one hundred and fifty
years. Now, for almost fifty years, the Supreme Court , and the United States
population in general, has used the phrase ?separation of church and state? when
referring to the religion clause of the 1st Amendment.
The 1st amendment's actual wording is ?Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.? (Barton,
America: To? p.15) But, because of the Supreme Court's continuous citing of a ?
wall of separation? and ?separation of church and state?, the public's idea of
the 1st amendment's religion clause has been shaped by phrases which do not
appear anywhere in the Constitution. The First Congress, which passed this
Amendment in 1789, intended to prohibit the establishment of a national religion.
In fact, they didn't mind the establishment of ?official? religions by states.
At the start of the American Revolution, nine of the thirteen colonies had
established religions, so obviously no one was opposed to the coupling of church
Unfortunately, this separation talk has been so furiously pounded into our heads,
that a picture is painted falsely into our heads; a picture of a roomful of
godless atheists, agnostics, and deists framing our Constitution in 1789. This
picture is gruesomely distorted. Most of the Founders belonged to orthodox
Christian religions, and some were even evangelical Christian ministers. (Barton,
The Supreme Court says that these men's intent was to keep religion and politics
separate. John Quincy Adams, in a speech on July 4,1837 asked the crowd, ?Why is
it, that next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and
venerated festival returns on this day?? He goes on to explain the important
ties between the birthday of the nation and the birthday of Jesus Christ. He
says that the Declaration of Independence was first organized on the foundation
of Jesus' mission on Earth, and that the Declaration ?laid the cornerstone of
human government upon the first precepts of Christianity. Adams stressed that
the major impact of the Revolution was that Christian principles and civil
government were connected in an ?indissoluble? bond. (Barton, America's p.17)
Why is the Supreme Court blind to such evidence as this? John Quincy Adams was
an extremely well educated man, so he is a very reliable source.
Other Founding Fathers were very outspoken about Christian beliefs.
John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and one of the men most
responsible for the Constitution declared, ?Providence(heaven) has given to our
people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege
and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christian rulers.?
(Barton, America's p.8) Doesn't this tell our Supreme Court anything? Shouldn't
they follow the suit of their predecessor?
Tragically, the group that suffers the most from these ?separation of church and
state ? rulings are the children of America. We are headed into the third
generation of people that do not know what it's like to pray in school in the
morning. Luckily, Catholic and private schools aren't affected by this
legislature, so some children can be free. School prayer and religious liberty
became hot debates following the 1962 supreme court case Engel v. Vitale.
Following this case, the Supreme Court began attacks on the traditional practice
of praying at the start of a school day.(Barton, America: To? ,p.14)
Since 1962, lessons which were commonplace in school texts have vanished,
because of their religious nature. For example, history textbooks for 150 years
contained a story about George Washington that most adults today have never
Topics Related to Church And State
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