Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Separation vs. Freedom

There is so much debate today about whether the Constitution was intended to keep religion out of the public square. If one reads the Constitution and looks at the acts of the Founding Fathers, it seems silly to think that they would have written a Constitution that limited religion in that way.

What they intended to limit was interference by the Federal Government in the practice of religion. This, of course, means that the government may not establish an official religion because that would inhibit other religions.

The Library of Congress has a brief summary of the First Amendment:

Freedom of religion is upheld by the First Amendment to the Constitution. Drafted by James Madison and adopted in 1791 with the nine other amendments that make up the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment asserts, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." However, the Continental Congress had formally endorsed the principle even earlier. In 1776, it resolved to honor the

…wise policy of these states to extend the protection of their laws to all those who should settle among them of whatever nation or religion they might be, and to admit them to a participation of the benefits of civil and religious freedom.

Read more on the Library of Congress site.

No comments: