Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Does the U.S. Constitution Provide For Separation of Church And State?

Yes!That concept is firmly ingrained in the First Amendment.

The first 16 words of that amendment state, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." This provision creates the separation of church and state.

James Madison, the primary author of the First Amendment, said the separation of church and state is "strongly guarded" in our Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson insisted that the American people through the First Amendment have built "a wall of separation between church and state."

Short paraphrases are often used to describe constitutional principles. For example, the Constitution guarantees a "speedy" and "public" trial before an "impartial" jury. It says nothing about a "fair trial," yet this concept is widely accepted as an important legal principle and is recognized by the courts.

More to the point, the words "religious liberty" appear nowhere in our Constitution. Yet who would doubt that the principle is part of that document?

Separation of church and state is an important part of American life.

Those who attack this vital principle by saying it's not in the Constitution are primarily interested in using the power of government to force their narrow understanding of religion onto everyone else.

To learn more, visit Americans United.

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