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How did the United States, founded as colonies with explicitly religious aspirations, come to be the first modern state whose commitment to the separation of church and state was reflected in its constitution?

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35yoamom

Asked by 35yoamom at 3:16 AM on Aug. 15, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 20 (10,016 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • They came from England because they didn't like the Church of England. They wanted to be free states but before they were free, they were pretty much free. The colonists came to America (not called America then) and England left them alone for about 125 years to make up their own rules and whatnot. It wasn't until England wanted to start taxing and making up 'rules' did the people in the colonies start getting upset. From there things just blossomed and eventually when they wrote the constitution, the separation of church and State was written in it because they wanted to be ANTI-England. They didn't want the CHURCH to rule the states/government like it had in England. The issue was moot then though since everyone believed the same - of course there would be religion in schools because it wasn't even in their minds that other people would believe differently than they did.
    Blubuni99

    Answer by Blubuni99 at 3:27 AM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • separation of church and state is never specified in the constitution. Only possibly implied. They wanted to protect the church from the government not the government control the church. That is what they were trying to get away from. The Church of England was run by the government of England whatever it is called over there!
    Shaneagle777

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 4:14 AM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • The Church of England was run by the government of England whatever it is called over there!
    No it is not run by the government.  The reigning monarch is the head of the Cof E.


    Yes we use the word "government".  What a coincidence don't you think?

    beeky

    Answer by beeky at 7:23 AM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • We have separation of Church and state because people are moving away from church ideals and are become tolerant.
    dragonlady44

    Answer by dragonlady44 at 8:45 AM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • The founding fathers loved their PERSONAL FREEDOM, they also knew what drove THEM AWAY from THEIR homeland...


    While they wanted their own religion, they wanted everyone to feel free to practice their own


    War was also historically linked to religion

    sweet-a-kins

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 11:28 AM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • Well each colony had it's own religious aspirations which differed from the next. In orer for them to avoid the same thing that happened in Europe where different religions were persecuted in different areas they had to ensure that no one religion or religious denomination could establish rules. Hence the separation of Church and State. It not only protects the government and the people from religious persecution, but protects the churches from the government as well. The founding fathers based the Constitution on Rousseau's Social Contract. Other influences came from John Locke, David Hume,Kant, Voltaire, etc.
    The Magna Carta was also used as influence for our common law.
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 12:06 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • In point of fact, not all those who came here founded colonies with religious aspirations. While it is true that there were Puritan colonies, they did NOT tend to be the great majority. And seeing how many of those who did come here for religious reasons were doing so to get away from religious persecution, it's not a far leap to placing religious freedom in the founding documents.
    SabrinaMBowen

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:32 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • Do you get a cut from the book reviewers you copy all your questions from?
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:55 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • I never answer in here, but this appears to maybe be a history related question. I just finished my degree and one of my last classes was the history of religion and politics in America, a cross listed graduate level course.

    For one, you can thank Mr. Jefferson and the Virginia Statute on Religious Liberty. So important was religious freedom to Jefferson, that it is one of the three accomplishments in the epitaph on his tombstone. Mr. Adams, close friend was also a staunch separatist. While many, many, many of our early leaders were spiritual men, by the time the Constitutional congress came around, most had accepted that some form of religious liberty would be a good idea.

    It won't let me write much more, but anyways, it was a much longer journey than this forum has time to answer. Read Founding Faith, it's a great start.
    thelittlepecan

    Answer by thelittlepecan at 12:27 AM on Aug. 17, 2010

  • The separation of church and state was quite simply to prevent any one religion from becoming the governing civic body. The idea that God must and should be worshipped was fundamental to many of our founding fathers but the "how" was left up to the inidividual, including those who choose not participate in religion. A government that would be influenced by the moral code that God had set down but not a state run religion or a religion run state is more to the point.
    jessa1091

    Answer by jessa1091 at 11:50 PM on Aug. 20, 2010

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