Separation of Church And State

Posted in Democracy, History, Legislation, Politics, Religion on  | 4 minutes | No Comments →

In 1802, representatives of the Danbury Baptist Association wrote to Thomas Jefferson inquiring about his refusal to follow in the footsteps of presidents George Washington and John Adams, who declared religiously-based national holidays of fasting and thanksgiving. Jefferson’s response referred to a symbolic “wall of separation” between religion and the state, a phrase that finds expression again and again in the debate over the extent religion should play in the public arena.

The institutions of religion and government have been noted in most every world civilization since the inception of recorded history, and for better or for worse most all societies have attempted to marry the two. Whereas Muslims and Jews, for example, both operate under systems of government that could be defined as theocratic or God-centered, one of the fundamental attractions to theoretical American democracy was its refusal to go this route: enter the outdated concept of religious freedom.

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