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Seperation Of Church And State Essay

2494 words - 10 pages

The United States is a notoriously religious country by nature. Two very prominent topics in U.S citizens day to day lives are their political and religious beliefs and over the course of the past hundred plus years the two seem to have become inseparable. The struggle of religion in politics has been a hot debate for centuries. Presidents and politicians alike have been preying on people’s religious beliefs for votes for as long as time can tell. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, “Throughout the nation’s history, political and social movements- from abortion to women’s suffrage to civil rights- have drawn upon religious institutions for moral authority, inspirational leadership and organizational muscle.” The United States has a long standing tradition of separating church and state but almost all politicians run on a campaign that encompasses many religious ideals. According to Pew recent elections more than ever have had religion deeply woven into the fabrics of politics. Religion has found its way into almost all of the fabrics of our lives and has been leaking its way into one thing that was originally supposed to be kept separate. This controversy even dates back to twenty- three B.C and can be found deep in the roots of the Roman Empire, can be found in the constitution, and Ronald Reagan even created a new political frontier.
The idea of Church and State has roots dating thousands of years ago. The first collaboration of politics and religion can be seen in Roman law. Augustus the emperor of Rome in twenty-three B.C was very religious and he considered religion to be the cornerstone of a strong state. With this belief “he restored traditional priesthoods, that had fallen into disuse in the lat Republic, rebuilt many ruined temples and shrines, and constructed new ones to honor the Roman gods”(Spielvogel 151). Augustus also founded a new religious cult that would serve to strengthen the empire. Augustus built his empire on the idea of church and state being intermingled and left a legacy of combining the two practices. He believed that religion would strengthen the state and that the people he was ruling over would have a stronger community because of the combination. In ancient Rome religion was so important that when Christianity began to gain popularity and Christians refused to partake in other religious practices and they were said to have “undermined the security of the state and hence constituted an act of treason, punishable by death”(Spielvogel 173). Religion and politics were so intermingled that Roman law could not separate the two; they were one in the same.
After a long fought battle by Christians to belong Christianity flourished and spread throughout the Roman Empire. “Christianity, the core religion of the West, was born within the Roman Empire and was greatly influenced by Roman law and organization”(Perry 167). Whether or not Rome wanted Christianity it was there...

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