Total Separation of Church and State

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Robert Gardner
English IV
9 January 2013
Total Separation of Church and State

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The first Amendment of the Bill of Rights within the Constitution and an amendment that comes with support, rejection, and controversy. The amendment was made because the forefathers didn’t want a bloodbath that had plagued most of the world. Since 1618, at least 23 million people have been killed during a war revolving around religion issues. The wars have been fought over land, where separate countries claim a spot of land was promised to them, which is similar to the hostility that is going on between Israel and Palestine, and beliefs, like the Taliban and Syrian rebels attacking the United States Embassy’s because of a movie showing the face of the Islamic prophet Allah, and portraying him as a foolish, sexist pig. Many wars were fought “in the name of God”, which caused many men, women, and children to parish. When the forefathers came to North America, they didn’t want a repeat of the hostility. Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase “separation of church and state” in a letter to a political friend, and the phrase stuck, with James Madison saying, “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe for centuries.” Because of the senseless fighting in Europe, separation was widely celebrated. But for separation to work, it needs to be enforced and to be strict. Strict separation is desirable for several reasons. First, it is a way of ensuring that we can all, as Americans, feel that it is “our” government, whatever our religion or lack of. If government becomes aligned with a particular religion or religions, those of other beliefs are made to feel like outsiders. The total separation of Church and State would benefit all citizens because it would end the persecution...
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