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Where does it say “Separation of Church and State”?

These words are not found in the Bill of Rights, the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence!

The first amendment states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Separation of Church and State is not here! The concept MAY be here but it is not a “clear-cut” separation as we have been led to believe.

In our elected officials, is it even possible to separate what a person believes from what it takes to make the decisions theses officials are expected to make? If there is a bill to vote on that goes against ones moral standard, ( morals most likely based on a religion ) would not this standard rightfully have a part in the making of the decision? If this is a true assumption, and I’m sure it is, then it is impossible to ( as we have been led to believe ) separate church and state. It would thus also seem a logical assumption that —- You can take the “state” out of “religion” —- but you can’t take “religion” out of the “state”!

So, an example of the only legal separation is this:
When students want to pray in school, the Bill of Rights restrains any government employee from making any statement regarding it! The Bill of Rights plainly states there is no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion therefore there is only one thing government employees should be legally able to do…..and that’s to keep their mouths shut! This is the only true “Separation of Church and State” we all should be seeing, nothing more and nothing less!

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7 comments on “Where does it say “Separation of Church and State”?

  • The Return of the Ghost of Hunghugely

    May 31, 2010 at 1:54 am

    In the deluded minds of liberals.

  • You’re being a bit too literal. That exact phrase doesn’t need to be present for the underlying principle to be present.

  • The phrase comes from a letter by Thomas Jefferson referencing a “wall of separation between Church & State”. It is a popular shorthand that obviously misses some of the nuance in the amendment and the law, but is nonetheless a useful way of referring to the principle.

  • James is correct ONLY in that the phrase comes from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association. Actually reading the letter shows the intent is the exact OPPOSITE of how the term is currently used. Jefferson was assuring the Danbury Baptist;s that the 1st amendment created a ‘wall of separation’ to keep government from interfering with the church. Citizens were EXPECTED to bring their religious beliefs into the political arena.

  • The language of statutes and constitutional documents is often open to interpretation. The language implies lots of things, and exactly what’s supposed to be implied…well, that’s for the Courts to decide. And the Courts have decided.

    Thomas Jefferson interpreted the first amendment as creating a “wall of separation” between church and state.

    James Madison, principal drafter of the Bill of Rights, has similar published writings.

    The Supreme Court adopted Jefferson’s language in 1878, and while there have been qualifications on the principle, it has generally been upheld.

    Bottom line: You’re entitled to read the first amendment however you like, but your reading does not determine the law. The law is determined by the interpretation of the Courts, which – if my understanding of American constitutional doctrine is accurate – is substantially informed by the intentions of the founding fathers. And both are at odds with your idiosyncratic interpretation.

  • It doesn’t appear in these documents nor does anyone with a brain CLAIM that it appears in these documents. It is a key principle on which our forefathers based our entire system of government. It can be found first in letters written by Thomas Jefferson about a theory contrived by John Locke in England before the US declared its independence. Jefferson was not Christian, and in fact abhorred Christianity and thought that it had too much influence in some governments in Europe. When he wrote the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson based many of his assertions on those of Locke and Sir Francis Bacon, both Deists (non-Christians) who felt that there should be no connection between government and faith. In 1797, in the Treaty of Tripoli, signed and ratified by the US Congress, our forefathers state “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion”. This treaty was written by George Washington, Jefferson, and other member of Washington’s cabinet. In 1802, Jefferson said, in reference to the first amendment,”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.” In 1808, James Madison, primary author of the Bill of Rights, said “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States, practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government is essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.” The US Supreme Court has referenced separation over 25 times, as when it ruled that polygamy was illegal regardless of whether it was a tenet of the Mormon faith or not. That all laws were “independent of faith, and that no person may use faith to circumvent the law of the United States of America, as put forth by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.” So, it is quite clear when you study the words of our forefathers and their own interpretation of the Constitution and its amendments, that most believed in total separation. There were certainly people who disagreed, as there are now, but it cannot be argued that the original authors of the framework documents of our government did not believe that any faith, Christian or otherwise, had a place in the running of our nation. Good enough?

  • You won’t find “freedom of religion”, “right to a fair trial”, “right to privacy” or many of the other principles we hold dear in this country in the Constitution either.

    That the founders fully supported and included the concept of separation of religion and government in the Constitution IS a fact. You CANNOT have a free country without it. People came to this country FLEEING in terror from Christian nations that did not have such a wall!

    I guarantee you that if Muslims ever became the majority population in this country you Christians would be adding bricks to that wall.. you’re only against it because you have a very blatant agenda to turn this country into a Christian theocracy.

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