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Supreme Court Cases On Separation Of Church And State Clauses

2424 words - 10 pages

The United States of America was founded on the basis of religious freedom. Judgment on the legality of the Separation of Church and State should not be based on one’s religion. The phrase “Separation of church and state” sometimes known as the “wall of separation between church and state,” is a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson in understanding the two clauses of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States: the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. The Establishment Clause is prohibits the government fro making any laws dealing with religion. As the second clause, The Free Exercise Clause goes along with the Establishment clause stating that Congress cannot make any law pertaining to religion or a law that prohibits free exercise. The public education system felt the greatest impact as a result of the First Amendment of the Constitution in 1791, when the connection between God and the good of civilization was destroyed. God is slowly being taken out of classrooms, ceremonies and even sporting events. The entities of Church and State have not been separated, but it does affect many. When debating the subject, it should not matter what religion you are, but how people’s rights are affected. Since the beginning of America, there have been multiple Supreme Court cases in which people, schools and organizations have gone after the right to ban religious affairs in such settings where it should not be exposed, such as public schools. Students are in school to learn about facts and history, not to learn religious thoughts or ideas. The public education system was established so that children can obtain a good education, whether it is in mathematics, English, or science. The United States is all about embracing diversity, expressing freedom and believing in our own values beyond religion. Religion needs to be separated from education, so that students may distinguish fact from belief.
The American education system is one of the main places of controversy for the Separation of Church and State. Almost every child in the United States attends some type of school, many of them public systems. In such a school setting, these children are often exposed to the beliefs of their teachers and administrators, as well as their own classmates. In Greece, New York, ever since 1999, the town board has begun their monthly gatherings with prayer. Rev. Lou Sirianni begins his gathering by stating: "Be thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly," the prayer ended, "All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior" (Wolf 1). Recently in 2007, two residents who regularly attended board meetings, Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens, complained that the prayers were promoting more of a Christian community than any other religion (Masci 3). Although separation of church and state is stated briefly in the First Amendment, these two ladies had the right to go after the...

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