Separation of church and state is one of the concepts, which have been misread, distorted, and criticized, mostly in the current spiritual, lawful, and political debates (Wilson, 34).
According to Cline, there is an argument presently by some of the Christians, that the idea of separating church and state was not considered by the founding fathers. They, rather, think that it is a modern and harmful policy that was brought up between the 1950’s and 60’s by the decisions of the Supreme Court. As Cline indicates, this is not true. The idea is as old as 1802, when Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the union of Danbury Baptist as a response to a letter the Baptist Association had written to him. The letter of the Baptist Association regarded to a gossip that concerned a certain denomination, which was said to be recognized as a national denomination.
According to Cline, in his response, he reassured them that none of the Christian denominations would be recognized by the government to be the national denomination. He indicated that an obstacle of separation had been raised to separate the Church and the State.
The issue of separation of the church and the state is so critical in today’s political climate. According to Cline, the idea, which evolved from the Bible, came up with Christians.
Prior to Jefferson picking it up, the preachers had applied it for 200 years. In the letter, that Jefferson wrote to the union of Danbury Baptist he made it specific that due to separation, the government would never barricade with public activities carried out by religions. The expression was appended to the Free Exercise Clause of the first Amendment. Cline adds that, in the subsequent 150 years, the words “separation of church and state” were applied to express religiously in public, as well as keep government from materializing the public (Wilson, 45). It was later in the late 1940’s that the Court came up with the idea that Jefferson rather muddled up. They thought that instead of him appending the expression to the Free Exercise clause, he would have appended it to the Establishment Clause. This has made separation today to be denoted that the government can obstruct any spiritual doings.
Secularists can go against overpowering the greater part of the nation by using this idea. The uncertainties concerning separation have been ancient. Separation of church and state is a concept that many do not understand and so misinterpret.
The key players are separationists, who support separation, non- preferentialists, who call for close relationships between the government and the spiritual groups, and lastly, the accomodationists, who are against the separationists’ approach, which unfortunately is leading in courts (Wilson, 62). Separation of church and state is a discussion that looks at what the Bills of Rights and Constitution mean. Some think that the government is given authority by the constitution to control some features of faith, and that the First Amendment avoids the launching of a national church only. Others believe that the government, via the constitution, has no authority over faith, and that the First Amendment ought to be largely read to forbid any kind of meddling with faith. According to Cline, because religious authorities and civil authorities are different, the same persons, or organizations should not be assigned to them.
This means that municipal power cannot order, or manage structured spiritual bodies. The concept being a two-way traffic denotes that religious bodies cannot order, or manage the government. As Cline indicates, the concept makes certain that when private populaces are performing in the position of some government official, they cannot have any feature of their private spiritual beliefs forced on others. This calls for ethical self-control on government representatives, and to an extent, on private populace. Self-control is important for a spiritually pluralistic culture to live on, without going down into spiritual public battle. It makes sure that the government remains a government of all, but not that of one spiritual tradition, or denomination.
It also ensures that political allotments are not drawn beside spiritual lines, with Christians or Catholics fighting Protestants, or Muslims, in order to receive what is publicly meant to be theirs. Separation of church and state is a concept that is important in the constitutional liberty, protecting the public from oppression. It defends everyone from spiritual oppression of any spiritual group, or culture, and it defends everyone from a government aim of oppressing some, or any spiritual group.
The founding fathers did not mean for separation of church and state to be carried out as it is carried out today by the courts. They wrote what they wrote purely to protect the freedom of religion. The term “separation of church and state” is not found anywhere in the Constitution, or in the documents of the founding fathers. What the founders were aiming for was to defend the human being autonomy, and freedom of ethics, not generate a nonbeliever culture that is devoid of even the declaration of God publicly (Wilson, 71). As Cline indicates, The Bill of Rights denotes to faith, and not place of worship. This means that Marxists, Humanistic –spiritual faith structures, Novel Age conservationism, among others, are all covered up when it comes to the subject of the state prying in the free implementation of belief, or autonomy of ethics.
Separation of church and state is an ancient issue. From the above research, many people do not understand the concept.
Some think that it is included in the constitution, while others think that the state can interfere anytime with the affairs of the church. The courts today are considering actions that are done in the name of religion like polygamy, immorality promotion, among others as unconstitutional, and hence punishing them (Wilson, 67). The concept that was developed by the founding fathers, meant to protect religion, but not to be handled the way it is being handled by the courts today. The most important detail according to the concept is to avoid religious oppression, and war amongst denominations (Wilson, 92).
Cline, Austin. Separation of Church and State 101. Issues, People, and Arguments. < http://www.
scribd.com/doc/185292/Separation-of-Church-and-State-101-from-About-com>. Wilson, James Q.
American Government: Institutions and Policies. Lexington, Mass: D.C. Heath, 1986. Print.