Separation of Church FROM State

tothesource would like to propose the following clarification (of the 1st Amendment). The U.S. Constitution does insist upon a separation: the separation of church
from state.
Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The U.S. Constitution is clear. Our founders did not want the federal government to interfere with religious life by establishing a national church. America was, after all, a nation founded by people seeking religious liberty. Liberty is not only negative; the freedom not to do or believe in something. It can also be positive; the freedom to do or believe in something. It was our founder’s intention that people of faith should be free from a national church but equally free to express their religious beliefs.
The founders concern was also strategic. They wanted to get the U.S. Constitution signed. States with existing established churches would not sign the U.S. Constitution if it allowed a national church to trump the established church of the state they represented such as the Congregationalist Church which was still legally established in Connecticut into the 19 th century. In fact, half of the original thirteen states not only had established state churches but continued to have these established state churches after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and after the adoption of the Bill of Rights.
Unfortunately, this decision that the federal government should be non-sectarian has evolved, by judicial mandate, into the common misconception that it and all state and local governments must be exclusively secular.
How did this happen? Some blame Jefferson’s famous “wall”. Others point to Everson v. Board of Education, the 1947 U.S. Supreme Court rejection of New Jersey’s state-subsidized busing of students to parochial schools.
No one can deny the recent successes of the A.C.L.U. in limiting religious expression by use of judicial intimidation. They seek to control this dispute solely from the bench.
So our founder’s fear that the church may yield its unique (dare we say set-apart) influence on the government by allowing the government to limit religious expression is in many ways more of a concern today than it was at our nations founding.
Government has a natural tendency to amass power. Because of this, it must not assert its considerable influence over religious congregations. What’s more, the church’s mission must not be hijacked by the state.
In contrast, only reasonable restrictions should be applied to our religious institutions asserting their influence on the government. On many moral issues, the church must lead. Because the church does not have established power in our governments, it must speak up (with all of its diverse voices) to be heard or it will be relegated to irrelevance.
Many in our culture reject this role for the church. They have turned the constitutional mandate of the separation of church from state on its head. They seek the isolation and the constraint of the church by the state.
From tothesource email.


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