Separation of Church and State – Amazing how many people don’t know…

Someone wrote to me on Facebook yesterday, saying that it is wrong for Christians to promote voting Biblical values because of the Separation of Church and State. The writer spoke of being offended because I was coming against the sanctity of Separation of Church and State by asking people to pray to God before voting, and vote God’s values. People think that the original intent of SOCAS was to keep God’s Church from ruling the government. Actually, the opposite is true. Separation of Church and State is intended to prevent exactly what the government is trying to do currently. The government is attempting to muzzle the voice of God’s people by punishing the right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

 

THE HISTORICAL TEST: THE JUDICIAL STANDARD EMERGING FROM COLONIAL POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS HISTORY TO BE APPLIED TO CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES BASED ON THE RELIGION CLAUSES OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT

by
Tayra de la Caridad Antolick
© May 2002

The Law and Liberty Foundation gratefully acknowledges the author’s permission to use this Brief as part of the Foundation’s mission of “education in the public interest.” (Click on the author’s name above to read about her.) The popular idea of Separation of Church and State is one of the most intellectually dishonest, and legally indefensible ideas to ever come down the pike. John Sterling

Read full article here.  http://www.lawandliberty.org/chur_sta.htm

Excerpt:

 

The current use of the “wall of separation” between church and state as a legal defense for the removal of the expression of American religious culture from governmental institutions and the prohibition of the free exercise of individuals working within them goes contrary not only to the original intent of the Founders and the Framers but also to the religious, political, and legal history and traditions of the United States of America. Courts, county school boards, teachers, and individuals, unwittingly devoid of the knowledge of the substantial role religion (primarily Protestant Christianity) played in the birth and formation of the United States are taking the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment beyond its scope: they are using it as a weapon against the free exercise of religion and abusing it by extending its interpretation beyond separating the jurisdiction of each institution. If the historical reasons or contentions for the separation of church and state were to be applied to the Establishment Clause as they were argued, it can be deduced that neither Congress nor any state legislature, after the incorporation of the First Amendment to the states, has never violated the clause, since there has never been a governmental declaration of a legally recognized national denomination or religion. The two jurisdictions have remained separate since the beginning. However, the presence of American religious culture within the public sphere has also been present since the birth of this country. Therefore, the “separation of church and state” can only be interpreted as the separation of jurisdiction of each institution and not the separation of the American religious culture from the public sphere.

 

Jefferson’s reply to them reassured that the “wall of separation” was a wall barring only the legislative body of government, the external entity, from establishing a particular sect of the Christian religion and prohibiting the free exercise of all religion. The text does not indicate that the people are barred from any action. Contrary to Kramnick and Moore’s view that “a wall of separation, after all, prevents trespassing in both directions,” [61] the First Amendment is only prohibiting one party from such trespass. A physical wall may prevent two parties from trespass, but a legal wall may prevent only one party from acting—much like an injunction—and that one party is the legislative branch, whether it is Parliament or Congress (emphasis added).

It is not difficult to deduce from historical revolutionary pamphlets and other documents that the consensus among the colonists and the consequent intent of the Framers was that government could not bestow special privileges to one Christian sect and deny them to others. Government could not legislatively establish one Christian sect over another in the same manner that the Church of England was the national church nor could government compel members of nonconformist religions to pay taxes to support a government-approved established religious institution. If one sect was endowed with special privileges, all should receive the same consideration. Furthermore, government could not bar anyone from public office because of the content of his or her religious convictions or lack thereof. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment has already effectively accomplished all these goals, and participation in the republican form of government guarantees representation in the legislature to secure the equal treatment. Nothing in the Clause or in the historical record alludes to the prohibition of government funding of religion as long as it is available to all religions, even if one religion is in the majority within a particular community. Thus, the Dworkin “conception” within the Establishment Clause is very narrow. Its enlargement can occur only by ignoring colonial history.

Read full article here.  http://www.lawandliberty.org/chur_sta.htm

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