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Freedom Of Religion In The United States

1484 words - 6 pages

In this great country we live in, we have the luxury of having the freedom to participate in any religion we Choose to be involved in. It is right there in the first amendment of the United States Constitution. It reads as follows, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Many other countries in the world today do not share the same sort of rights as we do. A lot of them have to abide by the state governments religious practices and if you make the decision to follow another route to a different religion then you may be punished. Some of us should be very thankful that God placed us in this country. If we lived somewhere else we may not have the freedom to practice any religion that we choose. There should be a wall or barrier between the church and the State. It should not be the government that paves the way of our thoughts and beliefs. This gives the people the right to think and confirm in their heart what is right for them. We do not need the State to tell us what we should be praising or worshiping."A wall of separation which would bar that spirit from making itself felt in secular concerns can never be built, because it would have to bisect the human heart." (Marnell) This amendment did a very positive thing for the people of the United States. It gave the people the power to think on their own.What is most important here is the Religious Establishment clause. This brings to mind one very important question involving the establishment clause.The question is as follows, what is the nature or make up of this wall that separates the church from the State? The answer is not very clear but over the years we have progressed to three different alternative explanations. "1. The Religious Establishment Clause erects a solid wall of separation between church and state, prohibiting most, if not all, forms of public aid for or support of religion.2. The Religious Establishment Clause may erect a wall of separation between church and state, but that wall of separation forbids only the favoring by the state of one religion over another-not nondiscriminatory support or aid for all religions.3. The Religious Establishment Clause only prohibits the establishment of a national religion." (Epstein & Walker) Michael J. Malbin found that most of the Framers supported views 2 or 3. These people took the accommodationist position. The minority went with view 1 taking the separationist position, which would put up the biggest wall between state and church. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison actually leaned towards view 1, feeling that the government should have very little to with religion. "Because the Framer's did not speak with one clear voice on the matter, Supreme Court justices have frequently come to very different conclusions regarding the intent of the Framer's in proposing the Establishment Clause. (Lee & Epstein) The majority of the time they rule in favor between 1 and 2....

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