Separation Of Church And State

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Throughout history, religious and government officials have ruled over countries and kingdoms as a cooperative force and have often ignored the will of the people. The United States of America is one of the few nations that, at least at one point in time, strived for a complete and irreparable rift between the clergy and the governing body (Ingersoll 4). Despite the secular nature of the constitution, an increasing number of United States citizens are pushing for the acknowledgement that the United States is a Christian nation. The religious right mistakenly cites documents such as the Declaration of Independence to justify their claims; however, the only document that has any authority over United States policy making is the Constitution ("Separation …show more content…
Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers, used the phrase in a letter to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut. The Baptist congregation was concerned that the "free exercise" clause meant that the rights to worship were given by the government "as favors granted" (Barton 1). Jefferson had spoken on this issue several times prior, saying that "[N]o power over the freedom of religion... [is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution," and "I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions... or exercises" (Barton 2). The phrase that is almost unanimously used to describe one of the First Amendment freedoms was popularized by a private letter to comfort a religious organization (Barton …show more content…
The phrase "Separation of Church and State", misleadingly believed to be created by Thomas Jefferson, was actually coined by Roger Williams, a theologian, in 1664 in response to the "misuse and corruption by political leaders" (Epps 6). The phrase was originally used to describe the fact that the church needed protection, so the government and the clergy were unable to bend the Gospel for the benefit of their own avarice. The First Amendment was meant to protect citizens from the government (Epps

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