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Church Vs. State Essay

1873 words - 8 pages

Many of us may misunderstand the meaning of the “separation of church and state”. The Founders’ notion of the separation of church and state is incredibly different from what the present-day notion is. The Founders’ notion of the separation of church and state was not to erase religion from public life but that the church would not determine governing laws and the laws would also not determine church doctrine: the Founders encouraged religion, as they believed religion was an essential and vital part of the new nation (Spalding, p. 312, 2008).
The Founders acknowledged the importance of religion in our country. Even when they thought their homes were being barraged and overrun, they took ...view middle of the document...

Sometimes we may have seen Christians act in ways that we thought was hypocritical and wrong. Silverman, sometimes referred to as an atheist, notes that states in which slavery was legal had the highest percentage of Christians. He continues to state that in order for America to understand and solve human problems, we need to be dedicated to the application of reason, science, and experience and not religion as our actions need to be more significant than our doctrines (p. 325, 2008). Every religion is a personal decision, and whether we accept the teachings, or not, it’s entirely up to us. I believe that just because you call yourself a Christian, if your actions are not in accordance with the Christianity beliefs, then you simply are not a Christian. Silverman’s statement of the slavery in states with the highest percentage of Christians could have been modified to state ‘in the states with the highest percentage of people that claim to be Christians’. Silverman states that our actions need to be more significant than our doctrines. I believe that either way, our actions need to reflect who we are; all the same, Christianity plays an immense role in teaching us how we are supposed to act. Christianity has taught me different values such as treating others with respect, in spite of how they have treated me. If I acted upon experience all the time, I would have been a menace to society.
Loconte states that genuine faith is a religious as well as a political necessity and religious values have supported American values such as the freedom of conscience and exercising an uncoerced conscience, and having and exercising our right to disagree and fight for what we believe in (pp. 359-360, 2008). Religiously, what we believe is our choice, and will fight for it. This transfers to our American values; what you choose to believe in is your choice, and you have the right to fight for it. There are not many countries where people can openly voice their opinion, especially when disagreeing with the government. There’s no freedom to act this way. In America however, we are able to exercise our conscience and fight for our rights (such as the civil rights movement).
I do believe that religion is necessary to morality. I think of all the teachings we find in religion, and I can’t imagine life without religion. I believe that our morals are greatly influenced by religion. Religion played a big part in the founding of the nation. Religion teaches us imperative lessons, and helps mold us, making us better human beings. Being a better human being means that you have good values, morals and virtues. These virtues and morals are vital to a successful nation. According to Novak, freedom in a republic is not possible without virtue in the republic, and virtue cannot be sustained eventually without religion (p. 309, 2008). Simply put, “No republic without virtue; no virtue without religion” (Novak, p. 310, 2008). Novak also agrees with Washington’s final...

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