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True Meaning Behind The Separation Of Church And State

842 words - 4 pages

This is perhaps one of the most misrepresented and misunderstood idea in the Philippine Constitution. Everyone has opinions; however, many of those views were undeniably misinformed. That was what Fr. Joaquin Bernas wanted to straighten up in his article entitled, “Sounding Board; Fundamentals of church – state relations.”
In his article, Fr. Bernas aimed at setting up a common ground in every Filipino’s perception on the underlying message of the said principle. The separation of church and state is exceedingly important to be understood so that opinions shared would be based on a common understanding of such important concept. That is probably one of the few points on which everyone on ...view middle of the document...

It is notable to mention that in the said principle, we cannot be talking about a single, literal church and a single, literal state. According to Austin Cline, those terms are metaphors, meant to point to something larger. The “church” should be construed as any organized religious body with its doctrines or teachings and “state” should be construed as any governmental body or any government-run organization (n.d).

So, with that thought in mind, why does our constitution concern itself with the separation of the church and state? I reckoned that one of the reasons why the Philippine Constitution stated such concept is because it wanted to change what had happened in the past during the time of the colonization of the Philippines under the Spanish rule. It was in the exercise of the political and economic powers of the Spanish clergy that we can perceive clearly the disunity between the Church and State (Agoncillo, 1990). There was a high influence of the church on the state that the church can meddle in civil governance which is what we’re trying to avoid.
Moreover, the separation of church and state ensures that private citizens, when acting in the role of some government official, cannot have any aspect of their private religious beliefs imposed upon others. School teachers cannot promote their religion to other people’s children. Government leaders cannot make members of other religions feel like they are unwanted nor are second-class citizens by using their position to...

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