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The constitution states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Both the free exercise clause and the establishment clause place restrictions on the government concerning laws they pass or interfering with religion.No restrictions are placed on religions except perhaps that a religious denomination cannot become the state religion.In addition, we need to examine the previous European historical background of the founders of our country to identify what specifically motivated them to place the "establishment" clause in the constitution.
Brian Fahling, senior trial attorney for the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy -- a conservative Christian group -- commented: "It is a sign of the times, I suppose that it took a Witch and a Satanist to secure the rights of inmates to worship." The term "separation of religion and state" would be a much less confusing term. It might not be as troublesome to Christians as "church and state" which can imply that there is some sort of a vendetta oppressing Christianity.
However, "separation of church and state" is firmly imbedded in the culture, and so we will generally use it here.
The government also substantially finances these churches out of state funds.
The American colonies had largely followed that principle as well.
This allows the true meaning of the words in the constitution to be effectively changed to the implied meaning of the metaphor and the effect of the "free exercise" clause to be obviated.
Another factor facilitating the icon to censor all forms of Christian theism in the public arena is a complete misunderstanding of the "establishment" clause.Separation of Church and State - The Metaphor and the Constitution "Separation of church and state" is a common metaphor that is well recognized.Equally well recognized is the metaphorical meaning of the church staying out of the state's business and the state staying out of the church's business.The principal religion in western hemisphere has been Christianity since the 16th century; it continues to be the choice of about 75% of the U. A 2005-MAY decision of the Supreme Court guaranteed the freedom of prison inmates to practice their religion. There have been some major cases involving other religions: A Supreme Court case which involved Native American Spiritual practices triggered a whole series of federal religious freedom laws which reduced the power of governments to interfere in religious matters. That is to be expected, because Christinas make up about 75% of the adult population, whereas the next largest organized religions -- Judaism and Islam -- are only about 1% eacy. involves much more than Christian churches; it includes: Humanists, secularists, Agnostics, Atheists, etc. Although some would consider them non-religious, if you ask an Agnostic what their religion is, they will probably reply "Agnostic." Many lawsuits about the entanglement of religion and government have involved conflicts between Christian churches or denominations and state laws and regulations.The 19th Century Russian government had an alliance with the Russian Orthodox Church; after the revolution, Atheism became the new official "religion." They have since made strides to again give the Russian Orthodox Church special status.The German government collects religious taxes from the public, and transfers them to the main Protestant and Catholic churches.We need to delineate between doctrinal and denominational religion.We also need to understand that the doctrinal religion being discussed is Christian Theism, which is defined by a belief in the Bible.