The Impact Of Separation Of Church And State

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Growing up in the U.S. it is common to hear the phrase, “separation of church and state” regarding religious doctrine and the power of the government. As a child, I never gave it much thought, but as an adult, it has become one of the most important topics for me. I thought that the First Amendment to the Constitution said this. I figured it was an inalienable right. Sadly, the only guarantee given by the First Amendment is that the government cannot dictate a national religion. Over the last few election cycles, I felt that the impact that religion was having on my choices was out of control and that we were straying far away from where the “founding fathers” had intended. I never realized how much religion impacts who is or is not elected or the fact that it has been this way since before I was born. Society’s view has, however, changed a bit over the years. At one point in time, the concern was not whether you believed in God, but rather to which religion you were affiliated. In today’s political climate God is everywhere, and a majority of the populace feels that church doctrine should dictate social controls. One cannot help but wonder what past politicians would think about today’s elections. …show more content…
Kennedy, who was Catholic, spent lots of time reassuring the American public that he, “believed in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act (Cooper, 2015).” There was a concern, at the time, that he would let the Pope dictate his actions should he be elected. Kennedy continued to fight an uphill battle to gain the nomination, and during the West Virginia primary, Kennedy gave an impassioned speech which, oddly enough, is still relevant concerning many of the negative stereotypes that persist even today. Here is part of what Kennedy said in that

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