The separation of church and state is a legal and political principle derived from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . Separation of church and state is a Political and Legal Doctrine that Government and religious institutions are to be kept separate The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the United States Bill of Rights that expressly prohibits the United States Congress . . " The phrase "separation of church and state", which does not appear in the Constitution itself, is generally traced to an 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, where Jefferson spoke of the combined effect of the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Thomas Jefferson (April 13 1743 – July 4 1826 was the third President of the United States (1801–1809 the principal author of the Declaration of Independence Separation of church and state is one of the primary theological distinctions of the Baptist tradition The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment refers to the first of several pronouncements in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, stating that " The Free Exercise Clause is the accompanying clause with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It has since been quoted in several opinions handed down by the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the federal judiciary. 
Early immigrants to the American colonies were motivated largely by the desire to worship freely in their own fashion, particularly after the English Civil War, but also religious wars and disputes in France and Germany. American immigration ( emigration to the United States of America) refers to the movement of non-residents to the United States. The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492 although there was at least one earlier colonization effort This article refers to the religious act For the album by Michael W The English Civil War (1642-1651 was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists.  They included a large number of nonconformists such as the Puritans and the Pilgrims, as well as Catholics (in Baltimore). Nonconformism is the refusal to conform to common standards conventions rules customs traditions norms or laws A Puritan of 16th and 17th century England was an associate of any number of religious groups advocating for more "purity" of Worship and Doctrine, A pilgrim is one who undertakes a Pilgrimage, literally 'far afield' Catholic is an Adjective derived from the Greek adjective '' / 'katholikos' meaning "whole" or "complete". Despite a common background, the groups' views on broader religious toleration were mixed. Religious toleration is the condition of accepting or permitting others' religious beliefs and practices which disagree with one's own While some notable examples such as Roger Williams of Rhode Island and William Penn ensured the protection of religious minorities within their colonies, others such as the Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony had established churches. Roger Williams ( December 21, 1603 &ndash April 1, 1683) was an English theologian, a notable proponent of Religious Rhode Island ( officially named the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the United States William Penn ( October 14, 1644 – July 30, 1718) was founder and "Absolute Proprietor" of the Province of Pennsylvania, Plymouth Colony (sometimes New Plymouth or The Old Colony) was an English colonial venture in North America from 1620 until 1691 The Massachusetts Bay Colony (sometimes called the Massachusetts Bay Company, for the institution that founded it was an English settlement on the east coast of North America The Dutch colony of the New Netherlands had also established the Dutch Reformed Church and outlawed all other worship, although enforcement by the Dutch West India Company in the last years of the colony was sparse. New Netherland (Dutch Nieuw-Nederland, Latin Novum Belgium or Nova Belgica) 1614–1674 is the name of the former Dutch territory on the eastern coast Dutch Reformed Church (in Dutch: Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk or NHK was one of many branches of churches coming out of the Protestant Reformation in Europe Dutch West India Company ( Dutch: Geoctroyeerde Westindische Compagnie or GWC; English: Chartered West India Company was a company of Part of the reason for establishment was financial: the established Church was responsible for poor relief, and dissenting churches would therefore have a significant advantage. Under the terms of the Elizabethan Poor Law 1601 poor relief was help given to the poor
The Flushing Remonstrance shows support for separation of church and state as early as the mid-17th century. The Flushing Remonstrance was a 1657 Colonial American Petition to Peter Stuyvesant, the Governor of the Dutch colony of New Netherland The document was signed December 27 1657 by a group of English citizens in America who were affronted by persecution of Quakers and the religious policies of the Governor of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant. Stuyvesant had formally banned all religions other than the Dutch Reformed Church from being practised in the colony, in accordance with the laws of the Dutch Republic. The signers indicated their "desire therefore in this case not to judge least we be judged, neither to condemn least we be condemned, but rather let every man stand or fall to his own Master. " Stuyvesant fined the petitioners and threw them in prison until they recanted. However, John Bowne allowed the Quakers to meet in his home. Bowne was arrested, jailed, and sent to Holland for trial; the Dutch court exonerated Bowne.
New York Historical Society President and Columbia University Professor of History Kenneth T. Jackson describes the Flushing Remonstrance as "the first thing that we have in writing in the United States where a group of citizens attests on paper and over their signature the right of the people to follow their own conscience with regard to God - and the inability of government, or the illegality of government, to interfere with that. The New-York Historical Society is an American organization located in New York City and dedicated to the preservation of the city's history Kenneth Terry Jackson (born 1939 is a Professor of History and Social sciences at Columbia University. "
Given the wide diversity of opinion on Christian theological matters in the newly independent American States, the Constitutional Convention believed a government sanctioned (established) religion would disrupt rather than bind the newly formed union together. The Philadelphia Convention (now also known as the Constitutional Convention, the Federal Convention, or the " Grand Convention at Philadelphia An established church is a church officially sanctioned and supported by the government of a country e George Washington wrote in 1790 to the country's first Jewish congregation, the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island to state:
All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. George Washington (February 22 1732 December 14 1799 served as the first President of the United States of America (1789&ndash1797 and led the PLEASE TAKE NOTE************ Rhode Island ( officially named the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the United States It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it were by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. 
There were also opponents to the support of any established church even at the state level. In 1773, Isaac Backus, a prominent Baptist minister in New England, observed that when "church and state are separate, the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other: but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued. Isaac Backus (1724 &ndash 1806 was a Baptist Preacher and a delegate to the First Continental Congress. History See also History of New England New England's earliest inhabitants were Algonquian -speaking Native Americans including the " Thomas Jefferson's influential Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was enacted in 1786, five years before the Bill of Rights. Thomas Jefferson (April 13 1743 – July 4 1826 was the third President of the United States (1801–1809 the principal author of the Declaration of Independence The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was written in 1779 by Thomas Jefferson. A Bill of Rights is a list or summary of rights that are considered important and essential by a group of people
Most Anglican ministers, and many Anglicans, were British loyalists. This article concerns Loyalists in the American Revolution. For information on the role of those Loyalists in Canadian history after their emigration see United Empire The Anglican establishment, where it had existed, largely ceased to function during the American Revolution, though the new States did not formally abolish and replace it until some years after the Revolution. In this article the inhabitants of the thirteen colonies that supported the American Revolution are primarily referred to as "Americans" with occasional references to "Patriots"
The phrase "[A] hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world" was first used by Baptist theologian Roger Williams, the founder of the colony of Rhode Island. Roger Williams ( December 21, 1603 &ndash April 1, 1683) was an English theologian, a notable proponent of Religious Rhode Island ( officially named the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the United States  It was later used by Thomas Jefferson as a description of the First Amendment and its restriction on the legislative branch of the federal government, in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists (a religious minority concerned about the dominant position of the Congregationalist church in Connecticut), assuring that their rights as a religious minority would be protected from federal interference. Thomas Jefferson (April 13 1743 – July 4 1826 was the third President of the United States (1801–1809 the principal author of the Declaration of Independence The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the United States Bill of Rights that expressly prohibits the United States Congress Separation of church and state is one of the primary theological distinctions of the Baptist tradition Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing Congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently Connecticut ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. As he stated:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their "legislature" should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
Jefferson's letter was in reply to a letter that he had received from the Danbury Baptist Association dated October 7 1801. In an 1808 letter to Virginia Baptists, Jefferson would use the same theme:
We have solved, by fair experiment, the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.
Jefferson and James Madison's conceptions of separation have long been debated. James Madison Jr (March 16 1751 – June 28 1836 was an American Politician, the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817 and one of the Founding Jefferson refused to issue Proclamations of Thanksgiving sent to him by Congress during his presidency, though he did issue a Thanksgiving and Prayer proclamation as Governor of Virginia.  Madison issued four religious proclamations while President, but vetoed two bills on the grounds they violated the first amendment.  On the other hand, both Jefferson and Madison attended religious services at the Capitol.  After retiring from the presidency, Madison argued in his detached memoranda for a strong separation of church and state. Madison's original draft of the Bill of Rights had included provisions binding the States, as well as the Federal Government, from an establishment of religion, but the House did not pass them. A Bill of Rights is a list or summary of rights that are considered important and essential by a group of people
Jefferson's opponents said his position was the destruction and the governmental rejection of Christianity, but this was a caricature.  In setting up the University of Virginia, Jefferson encouraged all the separate sects to have preachers of their own, though there was a constitutional ban on the State supporting a Professorship of Divinity, arising from his own Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was written in 1779 by Thomas Jefferson.  This arrangement was "fully compatible with Jefferson's views on the separation of church and state". 
Jefferson's letter entered American jurisprudence in the 1878 Mormon polygamy case Reynolds v. U.S., in which the court cited Jefferson and Madison, seeking a legal definition for the word religion. This page is about the 1878 US Supreme Court case about polygamy and religious duty as a defense to criminal prosecution Writing for the majority, Justice Stephen Johnson Field cited Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists to state that "Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order. Stephen Johnson Field ( November 4 1816 &ndash April 9 1899) was an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court from " Considering this, the court ruled that outlawing polygamy was constitutional.
Jefferson and Madison's approach was not the only one taken in the eighteenth century. Jefferson's Statute of Religious Freedom was drafted in opposition to a bill, chiefly supported by Patrick Henry, which would permit any Virginian to belong to any denomination, but which would require him to belong to some denomination and pay taxes to support it. The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was written in 1779 by Thomas Jefferson. Patrick Henry ( May 29, 1736 June 6, 1799) was a prominent figure in the American Revolution, known and remembered for his " Similarly, the Constitution of Massachusetts originally provided that "no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the fundamental governing document of the United States Commonwealth of Massachusetts. . . provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship," (Article II) but also that:
the people of this commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require, and the legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies politic, or religious societies, to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God, and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality, in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.
And the people of this commonwealth have also a right to, and do, invest their legislature with authority to enjoin upon all the subjects an attendance upon the instructions of the public teachers aforesaid, at stated times and seasons, if there be any on whose instructions they can conscientiously and conveniently attend. (Article III)
Since, in practice, this meant that the decision of who was taxable for a particular religion rested in the hands of the selectmen, usually Congregationalists, this system was open to abuse. The Board of Selectmen is commonly the executive arm of Town Governments in the New England region of the United States. It was abolished in 1833. The intervening period is sometimes referred to as an "establishment of religion" in Massachusetts.
The Duke of York had required that every community in his new lands of New York and New Jersey support some church, but this was more often Dutch Reformed, Quaker or Presbyterian, than Anglican. James II of England and Ireland James VII of Scotland (14 October 1633 &ndash 16 September 1701 was King of England, King of Scots, Later that same year James Dutch Reformed Church (in Dutch: Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk or NHK was one of many branches of churches coming out of the Protestant Reformation in Europe Presbyterianism is a family of Christian denominations within the Reformed branch of Protestant Western Christianity Anglicanism is a tradition of Christian faith Churches in this tradition either have historical connections to the Church of England or have similar beliefs Some chose to support more than one church. He also ordained that the tax-payers were free, having paid his local tax, to choose their own church. The terms for the surrender of New Amsterdam had provided that the Dutch would have liberty of conscience, and the Duke, as an openly divine-right Catholic, was no friend of Anglicanism. New Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam was a 17th-century Dutch colonial settlement that later became New York City. The first Anglican minister in New Jersey arrived in 1698, though Anglicanism was more popular in New York. 
Connecticut had a real establishment of religion. Connecticut ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. Its citizens did not adopt a constitution at the Revolution, but rather amended their Charter to remove all references to the British Government. As a result, the Congregational Church continued to be established, and Yale College, a Congregational institution, received grants from the State until Connecticut adopted a constitution in 1818 partly because of this issue. Yale College was the official name of Yale University from 1718 to 1887
The absence of an establishment of religion did not necessarily imply that all men were free to hold office. Most colonies had a Test Act, and several states retained them for a short time. The Test Acts were a series of English Penal laws that served as a Religious test for public office and imposed various civil disabilities on Roman This stood in contrast to the Federal Constitution, which explicitly prohibits the employment of any religious test for Federal office, and which through the Fourteenth Amendment later extended this prohibition to the States.
For example, the New Jersey Constitution of 1776 provides liberty of conscience in much the same language as Massachusetts (similarly forbidding payment of "taxes, tithes or other payments" contrary to conscience). The Constitution of the State of New Jersey is the basic governing document of the State of New Jersey. It then provides:
That there shall be no establishment of any one religious sect in this Province, in preference to another; and that no Protestant inhabitant of this Colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious principles; but that all persons, professing a belief in the faith of any Protestant sect, who shall demean themselves peaceably under the government, as hereby established, shall be capable of being elected into any office of profit or trust, or being a member of either branch of the Legislature, and shall fully and freely enjoy every privilege and immunity, enjoyed by others their fellow subjects. 
This would permit a Test Act, but did not require one. The Test Acts were a series of English Penal laws that served as a Religious test for public office and imposed various civil disabilities on Roman
The original charter of the Province of East Jersey had restricted membership in the Assembly to Christians; the Duke of York was fervently Catholic, and the proprietors of Perth Amboy, New Jersey were Scottish Catholic peers. East Jersey, together with West Jersey, was a distinct separately governed Province of New Jersey that existed for 28 years between 1674 and 1702 Perth Amboy is a city in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. The Province of West Jersey had declared, in 1681, that there should be no religious test for office. New Jersey was governed as two distinct provinces East Jersey and West Jersey, for the 28 years between 1674 and 1702. An oath had also been imposed on the militia during the French and Indian War requiring them to abjure the pretensions of the Pope, which may or may not have been applied during the Revolution. The French and Indian War (1754&ndash1763 was the North American chapter of the Seven Years' War. That law was replaced by 1799.
The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 provided:
And each member, before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz:
And no further or other religious test shall ever hereafter be required of any civil officer or magistrate in this State.
- I do believe in one God, the creator and governor of the universe, the rewarder of the good and the punisher of the wicked. The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 has been described as the most democratic in America and was authored primarily by Timothy Matlack, Dr And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine inspiration.
Again, it provided in general that all tax-paying freemen and their sons shall be able to vote, and that no
" man, who acknowledges the being of a God, be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on account of his religious sentiments or peculiar mode of religious worship. "
Article Six of the United States Constitution provides that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States". The "no religious test" clause of the United States Constitution is found in Article VI section 3, and states that Article Six establishes the United States Constitution and the Laws and treaties of the United States made in accordance with it as the supreme The Test Act of 1673 in England obligated all persons filling any office civil or military to take oaths of supremacy and allegiance to subscribe to a declaration against Prior to the inclusion of the Bill of Rights, this was the only mention of religious freedom in the Constitution.
The first amendment to the US Constitution states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" The two parts, known as the "establishment clause" and the "free exercise clause" respectively, form the textual basis for the Supreme Court's interpretations of the "separation of church and state" doctrine.
The First Congress' deliberations show that its understanding of the separation of church and state differed sharply from that of their contemporaries in Europe. As 19th century Union Theological Seminary historian Philip Schaff observed:
“The American separation of church and state rests upon respect for the church; the [European anticlerical] separation, on indifference and hatred of the church, and of religion itself…. The constitution did not create a nation, nor its religion and institutions. It found them already existing, and was framed for the purpose of protecting them under a republican form of government, in a rule of the people, by the people, and for the people. ”
An August 15, 1789 entry in Madison’s papers indicates he intended for the establishment clause to prevent the government imposition of religious beliefs on individuals. The entry says: “Mr. Madison said he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience. . . . ”
Some legal scholars, such as John Baker of LSU, theorize that Madison’s initial proposed language—that Congress should make no law regarding the establishment of a “national religion”—was rejected by the House, in favor of the more general “religion” in an effort to appease the Anti-Federalists. Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, generally known as Louisiana State University or LSU, is a public, Coeducational To both the Anti-Federalists and the Federalists, the very word "national" was a cause for alarm because of the experience under the British crown. The term " federalist " describes several political beliefs around the world  During the debate over the establishment clause, Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts took issue with Madison’s language regarding whether the government was a national or federal government (in which the states retained their individual sovereignty), which Baker suggests compelled Madison to withdraw his language from the debate. Elbridge Thomas Gerry (ˈgɛri (July 17 1744 November 23 1814 was an American statesman and diplomat Central government or the national government (or in Federal states the Federal government) is the Government at the level of the Nation-state
Following the argument between Madison and Gerry, Rep. Samuel Livermore of New Hampshire proposed language stating that, “Congress shall make no laws touching religion or the rights of conscience. This article is about the New Hampshire lawyer and politician for the New Orleans lawyer and legal scholar see Samuel Livermore (legal writer. ” This raised an uproar from members, such as Rep. Benjamin Huntingdon of Connecticut and Rep. Peter Sylvester of New York, who worried the language could be used to harm religious practice.
Others, such as Rep. Roger Sherman of Connecticut, believed the clause was unnecessary because the original Constitution only gave Congress stated powers, which did not include establishing a national religion. Roger Sherman ( April 19, 1721 ( JC) April 30, 1721 ( GC) July 23, 1793) was an early The enumerated powers are a list of specific responsibilities found in Article 1 Section 8 of the United States Constitution, which enumerate the authority granted Anti-Federalists such as Rep. Thomas Tucker of South Carolina moved to strike the establishment clause completely because it could preempt the religious clauses in the state constitutions. Thomas Tudor Tucker ( June 25, 1745 &ndash May 2, 1828) was an American physician and politician from Charleston South Carolina However, the Anti-Federalists were unsuccessful in persuading the House of Representatives to drop the clause from the first amendment.
The Senate went through several more narrowly targeted versions before reaching the contemporary language. One version read, “Congress shall make no law establishing one religious sect or society in preference to others, nor shall freedom of conscience be infringed,” while another read, “Congress shall make no law establishing one particular religious denomination in preference to others. ” Ultimately, the Senate rejected the more narrowly targeted language.
At the time of the passage of the Bill of Rights, many states acted in ways that would now be held unconstitutional. In the United States the Bill of Rights is the name by which the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known All of the early official state churches were disestablished by 1833 (Massachusetts), including the Congregationalist establishment in Connecticut. Connecticut ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is commonly accepted that, under the doctrine of Incorporation - which uses the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to hold the Bill of Rights applicable to the states - these state churches could not be reestablished today. Incorporation (of the Bill of Rights is the American legal doctrine by which portions of the Bill of Rights are applied to the states through the Due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that a person has a right to receive notice and be heard in an orderly proceeding in order to protect his or her The Fourteenth Amendment ( Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution is one of the post- Civil War Reconstruction Amendments, first
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. The United States Senate is the Upper house of the bicameral United States Congress, the Lower house being the House of Representatives Tripolis ( Arabic: طرابلس Ṭarābulus - also طرابلس الغرب Ṭarā-bu-lus al-Gharb Libyan vernacular: For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. The term Muslim world (or Islamic world) has several meanings 
This section of the Treaty has recently been a point of contention on the interpretation of the doctrine of separation of church and state. Supporters of the separation of church and state believe this article confirms that the government of the United States was specifically intended to be religiously neutral. Supporters of the "Christian Nation" theory dispute this.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Amendment XIV) is one of the post-Civil War amendments, intended to secure rights for former slaves. The Fourteenth Amendment ( Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution is one of the post- Civil War Reconstruction Amendments, first It includes the due process and equal protection clauses among others. Due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that a person has a right to receive notice and be heard in an orderly proceeding in order to protect his or her The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall… deny to any person The amendment introduces the concept of incorporation of all relevant federal rights against the states. Incorporation (of the Bill of Rights is the American legal doctrine by which portions of the Bill of Rights are applied to the states through the While it has not been fully implemented, the doctrine of incorporation has been used to ensure, through the Due Process Clause and Privileges and Immunities Clause, the application of most of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights to the states. The Privileges and Immunities Clause ( US Constitution, Article IV Section 2 Clause 1 also known as the Comity Clause) prevents a state from treating
The incorporation of the First Amendment establishment clause in the landmark case of Everson v. Board of Education has impacted the subsequent interpretation of the separation of church and state in regard to the state governments. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment refers to the first of several pronouncements in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, stating that " Everson v Board of Education, 330 US 1 ( 1947) was the seminal United States Supreme Court case in Establishment Clause law in the  Although upholding the state law in that case, which provided for public busing to private religious schools, the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment establishment clause was fully applicable to the state governments. A more recent case involving the application of this principle against the states was Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994). Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v Grumet, 512 U
The phrase "separation of church and state" became a definitive part of Establishment Clause jurisprudence in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U. Jurisprudence is the Theory and Philosophy of Law. Scholars of jurisprudence or legal philosophers hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature Everson v Board of Education, 330 US 1 ( 1947) was the seminal United States Supreme Court case in Establishment Clause law in the S. 1 (1947), a case which dealt with a state law that allowed the use of government funds for transportation to religious schools. While the ruling upheld the state law allowing taxpayer funding of transportation to religious schools as constitutional, Everson was also the first case to hold the Establishment Clause applicable to the state legislatures as well as Congress, based upon the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that a person has a right to receive notice and be heard in an orderly proceeding in order to protect his or her The Fourteenth Amendment ( Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution is one of the post- Civil War Reconstruction Amendments, first
In 1962, the Supreme Court extended this analysis to the issue of prayer and religious readings in public schools. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the federal judiciary. Prayer is the act of attempting to communicate with a Deity or spirit In Engel v. Vitale 370 U. Engel v Vitale, 370 US 421 ( 1962) was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that determined that it is unconstitutional S. 421 (1962), the Court determined it unconstitutional by a vote of 6-1 for state officials to compose an official school prayer and require its recitation in public schools, even when it is non-denominational and students may excuse themselves from participation. As such, any teacher, faculty, or student can pray in school, in accordance with their own religion. However, they may not lead such prayers in class, or in other "official" school settings such as assemblies or programs, including even "non-sectarian" teacher-led prayers, e. g. "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country," which was part of the prayer required by the New York State Board of Regents prior to the Court's decision. New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous A board of governors is usually the governing board of a public entity As the Court stated:
The petitioners contend, among other things, that the state laws requiring or permitting use of the Regents' prayer must be struck down as a violation of the Establishment Clause because that prayer was composed by governmental officials as a part of a governmental program to further religious beliefs. For this reason, petitioners argue, the State's use of the Regents' prayer in its public school system breaches the constitutional wall of separation between Church and State. We agree with that contention, since we think that the constitutional prohibition against laws respecting an establishment of religion must at least mean that, in this country, it is no part of the business of government to compose official prayers for any group of the American people to recite as a part of a religious program carried on by government.
The court noted that it "is a matter of history that this very practice of establishing governmentally composed prayers for religious services was one of the reasons which caused many of our early colonists to leave England and seek religious freedom in America. "
Currently, the Supreme Court applies a three-pronged test to determine whether legislation comports with the Establishment Clause, known as the "Lemon Test". Lemon v Kurtzman, 403 US 602 ( 1971) was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Pennsylvania 's First, the legislature must have adopted the law with a neutral or non-religious purpose. Second, the statute's principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion. Third, the statute must not result in an excessive entanglement of government with religion. 
In 2002, a three judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sparked a substantial controversy in holding that a California law prescribing the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional, due to the inclusion of the phrase "under God. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is a federal court with Appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. " In reaction to the case, Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, both houses of Congress passed measures reaffirming their support for the pledge, and condemning the panel's ruling. Newdow v United States Congress Elk Grove Unified School District et al  The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, where hearings began in March 2004. It was ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court in June of 2004, but on procedural grounds not related to the substantive constitutional issue. Rather, a five-justice majority held that Newdow, a non-custodial parent suing on behalf of his daughter, had no standing to bring the lawsuit in the first place. Many commentators viewed this as a "punt," to avoid resolving the issue in the midst of a presidential campaign.
When the Louisiana state legislature passed a law requiring public school biology teachers to give Creationism and evolution equal time in the classroom, the Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional because it was intended to advance a particular religion, and did not serve the secular purpose of improved scientific education. The State of Louisiana ( or, État de Louisiane, pronounced) is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America The term public school has two distinct (and virtually opposite meanings depending on the location of usage in the United States, Australia and "Creationism" can also refer to Creation myths in general or to a concept about the origin of the soul. eVolution is the third Album by eLDee, it was due to be released in 2008  (See also: Creation and evolution in public education)
The display of the Ten Commandments as part of courthouse displays was considered in a group of cases decided in summer of 2005, including McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky and Van Orden v. Perry. The status of creation and evolution in public education can be the subject of substantial Debate in Legal, Political, and Religious circles McCreary County v ACLU of Kentucky, 545 US 844 ( 2005) is a case which was argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on March 2 Van Orden v Perry, 545 US 677 ( 2005) was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States of America, involving whether a government-sponsored While parties on both sides hoped for a reformulation or clarification of the Lemon test, the two rulings ended with narrow 5-4 and opposing decisions, with Justice Stephen Breyer the swing vote. Stephen Gerald Breyer (born August 15 1938 is an American Attorney and Jurist.
On December 20, 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in the case of ACLU v. Events 69 - Vespasian, formerly a general under Nero, enters Rome to claim the title of Emperor. Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is a federal court with Appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts Mercer County that the continued display of the Ten Commandments as part of a larger display on American legal traditions in a Kentucky courthouse was allowed, because the purpose of the display (educating the public on American legal traditions) was secular in nature. The Ten Commandments, or Decalogue, are a list of religious and moral imperatives that according to Judeo-Christian tradition were authored by God and given The Commonwealth of Kentucky ( is a state located in the East Central United States of America.  In ruling on the Mount Soledad cross controversy on May 3, 2006, however, a federal judge ruled that the cross on public property on Mount Soledad must be removed. The Mount Soledad cross controversy concerns the -tall cross (43 feet tall including the base) which was erected in 1954 on top of Mount Soledad in San Events 1491 - Kongo monarch Nkuwu Nzinga is baptised by Portuguese missionaries adopting the baptismal name of João Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. Mount Soledad is a prominent Landmark in the city of San Diego, California, United States. 
Some scholars and organizations disagree with the notion of "separation of church and state", or the way the Supreme Court has interpreted the constitutional limitation on religious establishment. Such critics generally argue that the phrase misrepresents the textual requirements of the Constitution, while noting that many aspects of church and state were intermingled at the time the Constitution was ratified. As such, these critics argue that a complete separation of church and state could not have been intended by the constitutional framers. Examples of the intermingling between church and state include religious references in official contexts, and such other founding documents as the United States Declaration of Independence, which references the idea of a Creator throughout, though these references did not ultimately appear in the Constitution nor do they mention any particular religious view of a "creator". The United States Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4 1776 announcing that the thirteen American colonies then
These critics of the modern separation of church and state also note the official establishment of religion in several of the states at the time of ratification, to suggest that the modern incorporation of the Establishment Clause as to state governments goes against the original constitutional intent. The issue is complex, however, as the incorporation ultimately bases on the passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868, at which point the first amendment's application to the state government was recognized. Many of these constitutional debates relate to the competing interpretive theories of originalism versus modernist theories such as the doctrine of the Living Constitution. The Living Constitution is a concept in Constitutional interpretation which suggests that the Constitution should be seen as continually evolving with the society
The "religious test" clause has been interpreted to cover both elected officials and appointed ones, career civil servants as well as political appointees. See also Bureaucrat The term civil service has two distinct meanings Branch of governmental service in which individuals are hired on the basis Politics Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions Religious beliefs or the lack of them have therefore not been permissible tests or qualifications with regard to federal employees since the ratification of the Constitution. Seven states, however, have language included in their Bill of Rights, Declaration of Rights, or in the body of their constitutions that require state office-holders to have particular religious beliefs. These states are Texas, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 
The required beliefs of these clauses include belief in a Supreme Being and belief in a future state of rewards and punishments. (Tennessee Constitution Article IX, Section 2 is one such example. The Constitution of the State of Tennessee defines the form structure activities character and fundamental rules (and means for changing them of the U ) Some of these same states specify that the oath of office include the words "so help me God. " In some cases these beliefs (or oaths) were historically required of jurors and witnesses in court. At one time, such restrictions were allowed under the doctrine of states' rights; today they are deemed to be in violation of the federal First Amendment, as applied to the states via the 14th amendment, and hence unconstitutional and unenforceable. States' rights refers to the idea in US politics and constitutional law, that U
While sometimes questioned as possible violations of separation, the appointment of official chaplains for government functions, voluntary prayer meetings at the Department of Justice outside of duty hours, voluntary prayer at meals in U. A chaplain is typically a Priest, Pastor, ordained Deacon, Rabbi, Imam or other member of the Clergy serving a group of S. armed forces, inclusion of the (optional) phrase "so help me God" in the oaths for many elected offices, FBI agents, etc. For the military meaning see Armed forces. For the Soviet sports society see Armed Forces (sports society Armed Forces , have been held not to violate the First Amendment, since they fall within the realm of free exercise of religion.
Relaxed zoning rules and special parking privileges for churches, the tax-free status of church property, the fact that Christmas is a federal holiday, etc. , have also been questioned, but have been considered examples of the governmental prerogative in deciding practical and beneficial arrangements for the society. The annual holiday of Thanksgiving, and the national motto "In God We Trust", are violations if strict separation is implied. Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a traditional North American Holiday, which is a form of harvest festival. In God We Trust is the official National motto of the United States and the U
Jeffries and Ryan (2001) argue that the modern concept of separation of church and state dates from the mid-twentieth century rulings of the Supreme Court. The central point, they argue, was a constitutional ban against aid to religious schools, followed by a later ban on religious observance in public education. Jeffries and Ryan argue that these two propositions - that public aid should not go to religious schools and that public schools should not be religious - make up the separationist position of the modern Establishment Clause.
Jeffries and Ryan argue that no-aid position drew support from a coalition of separationist opinion. Most important was "the pervasive secularism that came to dominate American public life," which sought to confine religion to a private sphere. Further, the ban against government aid to religious schools was supported before 1970 by most Protestants, who opposed aid to religious schools, which were mostly Catholic at the time. After 1980, however, anti-Catholic sentiment has diminished among mainline Protestants, and the crucial coalition of public secularists and Protestant churches has collapsed. Anti-Catholicism is a generic term for Discrimination, hostility or Prejudice directed at the Roman Catholic Church or its followers While mainline Protestant denominations are more inclined towards strict separation of church and state, much evangelical opinion has now largely deserted that position. As a consequence, strict separationism is opposed today by members of many Protestant faiths, even perhaps eclipsing the opposition of Roman Catholics.
Critics of the modern concept of the "separation of church and state" argue that it is untethered to anything in the text of the constitution and is contrary to the conception of the phrase as the framers understood it. Philip Hamburger, Columbia Law school professor and prominent critic of the modern understanding of the concept, maintains that the modern concept, which deviates from the constitutional establishment clause jurisprudence, is rooted in American anti-catholicism and Nativism. Columbia Law School, located in New York City, is one of the professional schools of Columbia University, a member of the Ivy League. Anti-Catholicism is a generic term for Discrimination, hostility or Prejudice directed at the Roman Catholic Church or its followers Nativism is an Opposition to immigration which originated in United States politics with roots in the country's historic role as a Melting pot. The modern conception of separation was supported by Nativist groups, including the Know Nothings and the Ku Klux Klan , and in 1947, of the nine Supreme Court Justices who held that the constitution required separation in Everson v. The Know Nothing movement was a Nativist American political movement of the 1850s Ku Klux Klan ( KKK) is the name of several past and present secret domestic terrorist organizations in the United States, generally in the southern states that are Board of Education, at least seven were Masons. The Roman Catholic Church has long been an outspoken critic of Freemasonry, and has continually prohibited members from being Freemasons since In Eminenti Specula Briefs before the Supreme Court, including by the U. S. government, have argued that some state constitutional amendments relating to the modern conception of separation of church and state (Blaine Amendments) were motivated by and intended to enact anti-Catholicism. The term Blaine Amendment refers to amendments or provisions that exist in most state constitutions in the United States that forbid direct Government 
J. Brent Walker, Executive Director of the Baptist Joint Committee, responsed to Hamburger's claims noting; "The fact that the separation of church and state has been supported by some who exhibited an anti-Catholic animus or a secularist bent does not impugn the validity of the principle. Champions of religious liberty have argued for the separation of church and state for reasons having nothing to do with anti-Catholicism or desire for a secular culture. Of course, separationists have opposed the Catholic Church when it has sought to tap into the public till to support its parochial schools or to argue for on-campus released time in the public schools. But that principled debate on the issues does not support a charge of religious bigotry"
Steven Waldman notes that; "The evangelicals provided the political muscle for the efforts of Madison and Jefferson, not merely because they wanted to block official churches but because they wanted to keep the spiritual and secular worlds apart. “Religious freedom resulted from an alliance of unlikely partners,” writes the historian Frank Lambert in his book The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America. “New Light evangelicals such as Isaac Bachus and John Leland joined forces with Deists and skeptics such as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson to fight for a complete separation of church and state. ”
Robert N. Bellah has argued in his writings that although the separation of church and state is grounded firmly in the constitution of the United States, this does not mean that there is no religious dimension in the political society of the United States. Robert Neelly Bellah, born February 23, 1927, in Altus Oklahoma, United States, is an American sociologist, now the Elliott Professor He used the term Civil Religion to describe the specific relation between politics and religion in the United States. The intended meaning of the term civil religion often varies according to whether one is a sociologist of religion or a professional political commentator His 1967 article analyzes the inaugural speech of John F. Kennedy: "Considering the separation of church and state, how is a president justified in using the word 'God' at all? The answer is that the separation of church and state has not denied the political realm a religious dimension. John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy (May 29 1917&ndashNovember 22 1963 often referred to by his initials JFK, was the thirty-fifth President of "
This is not only the subject of a sociological discussion, but also an issue for atheists in America. Sociology (from Latin: socius "companion" and the suffix -ology "the study of" from Greek λόγος lógos "knowledge" Atheism There are allegations of discrimination against atheists in the United States. Discrimination against atheists is a negative categorical bias against atheists.