Thomas Jefferson in his letter to Nehemiah Dodge said “The legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions ... thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”(Jefferson) The concept of the separation of religion from state has been battle that has endured through the furnace of time. While some may argue that religion and state should not be merged, a presumable equal population will agree that religion and state should not be separated. This paper will reflect on the history of religion and the State using the church as its point of reference. It will briefly discuss the existence of the Church before it merged with state, the church as it became one with the state, and subsequent its separation through the 16th century to the modern day 21st century. Focus on the separation of Church will be observed will relevant historical ground breaking discoveries in the field of natural law, technology, medicine among other disciplines. Thereby establishing the opinion that Church and State should be separated in order for both spheres of humanity will be fully optimized.
The early church was witness after the death and subsequent ascension of Jesus Christ. It was instituted and maintained by his apostles. The early Church experienced gross persecution and trials. One of its persecutor turned apostle Paul was responsible for church planting throughout the Roman Empire. Christianity was gradually spreading like fire set to a bush. Roman gods were perceived under threat then causing the prosecution of Christians and even execution. This continued until the Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity as his faith and subsequently turning it to be the State Religion. Constantine then allowed an edict called the “Edict of Milan” to be set in motion, which gave freedom for Christians to worship freely across the Empire.(Matthews and Platt, Readings in the Western Humanities)
The Church was therefore empowered thereafter, being a strong political as well as religious power. No key decision or policy was carried out without consultation from the Church or its involvement. In the Age of reason, also known as the age of illumination or enlightenment showed that the populace and even Christians were getting sceptical of their Religion, with new discoveries and scientific findings issues such as natural law was baffling religious people and a small group of thinkers, philosophers and scientist came together and formed the Deist Religion. The Deist Religion simply acknowledges God as the Supreme Being, the maker of the heavens and the earth and the laws governing. Deists believe that God kept man and the natural laws in place and did not interfere with them.(Matthews and Platt, The Western Humanities) I feel that Deists represent the people today that uphold their values on religion and try to merge it with the natural law in order to keep it from criticism.
In this phase of revolution among the people at that time, the people...