Relations Essay

1607 words - 7 pages

The relationship evolved from the original European settlement to the time of the Constitutional Convention and the creation of the U.S. government in 1789. Ties between church and state started out as virtually the same and should be practiced as one such as when the Puritans pilgrims first come to the colony. The Puritans were the first to be allowed to have a decent amount of liberty regarding religion and were a well-known religious group from England that founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They completely tied religion to the government. Some of the rules tying government to religion included only Congregational Church members being allowed vote and you could only become a member if you believed and lived the way the church considered fit. The church also dictated clothing, how to do business, education and recreation. Puritans would harass, extreme persecution like public whippings, and force individuals out of the settlements. This did not set well with Roger William or William Penn. Roger William fought for religious freedom and later bought a piece of land known today as Rhode Island allowing this idea. William Penn founded Pennsylvania and was someone who spoke for religious freedom. He is also the founder of a new church called Society of Friends or Quakers. These two men helped pave the path for religious freedom we practice today. This influenced the American government formation in 1789. Two individuals that led this movement were Thomas Jefferson, the President of America during this time, and James Madison who is considered the father of the Constitution. During the writing of the Constitution Madison agreed saying that the relationship between religion and government need to be separate in the Constitution of the United States. In agreement Thomas Jefferson wrote the “Danbury Letter” saying the American people had a "wall of separation between church and state” according to the First Amendment. The necessity and value of this evolution allows us to be safe from ridicule for not following a certain religion. In many cases before the Constitution was written Puritans would throw out people who didn’t support them causing many people to not fully express themselves spiritually. This caused a conflict in America which held us back from being united. With this issue resolved and the Constitution in place we can now function as a democracy rather than a theocracy.
The conventions process and ultimate decision on the first amendment was the general consensus of the public. Boston cites in his article an early draft of the First Amendment to illustrate that the founders didn’t just want America to not have a national church but to have zero connection with any religion. Boston also mentions the historical record which indicates that the Framers intent was to ban multiple establishments. Jefferson and Madison argued that the First Amendment would protect both religion and government leading them to see church-state separation...

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