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Freedom Of Religion Essay

1164 words - 5 pages

Bracken Ostler Business Law Paper #1 Mark Holland

Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion is an essential part of the Constitution of the United States and is included in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Freedom of religion involves two important components. The first is the prohibition on the “establishment of religion” by government- the separation of Church and State; and the second, ensures that the government allows for the practice of religion (Marroquin). Many important cases throughout history have also helped to further refine the limits of freedom of religion as laid out in the Constitution. This paper will discuss why freedom of religion was chosen as part ...view middle of the document...

Many of the framers were able to witness those issues in other countries that did not have freedom of religion. There were significant problems that arose from having no freedom of religion. Other countries (particularly European countries) had issues such as conflict between religious groups, preventing individuals from forming religious bodies, keeping individuals from engaging in religious practices, or forcing them into the religious practices of others (Marroquin).
Many framers also wanted a separation of church and government to prevent problems, and also because they felt that church and government should be separate. Thomas Jefferson was key in establishing freedom of religion in general, but more specifically in helping to establish the separation between church and state. Shortly after he was elected as President of the United States, some Baptists from Connecticut asked that he declare a national day of fasting in order to help the country recover from a bitterly fought presidential campaign (Robinson). He disagreed, feeling that the Federal Government should not recognize a day set aside for religious reasons. In 1802, he stated: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting and establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” (Robinson). “The Wall of Separation” term has become a common expression to describe the concept in the United States that the government and churches should keep out of each other’s way.
In those countries that did not have a “wall of separation”, religious minorities would frequently suffer a loss of freedom. Here are some examples of problems that arose in those countries: -Laws interpreted as requiring a divorce if a husband writes a book that is critical of the established state religion. -Capital Punishment for speech critical of the state religion. –Capital punishment for those who change their religious faith, unless it is to the state religion. -Laws originating in a religion that prohibited women from working outside the home. (Robinson) In my opinion, the framers of the United States...

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