One of the unique qualities of the United States of America are the freedoms that exist in this country. One of the biggest freedoms that was established in the very beginning was the free choice to choose any religion or the right to not participate in religion at all. There are no laws or regulations that in anyway limit or enforce certain religions. The separation of church and state is something that can be viewed differently depending on your perspective.
Freedom is what this nation was founded on, but the separation of church and state in some ways can infringe on freedoms. It simply depends on how you view this metaphor and what you take it to mean exactly. It doesn’t really matter how you interpret the separation of church and state, there can be a case made that both pros and cons exist. Taking a closer look at the pros and cons attached to the separation of church and state allows you to have a better understanding of the subject.
Pros of Separation of Church and State
Freedom of Religious Choice
One of the biggest pros associated with the separation of the church and state is the regulation that the government by no means can make any type of law that forbids or proclaims that one religion is the official religion. This means that the church and the state are forever separated and the state has no bearing on your religious views in any way. You have the right to believe whatever you want and the government or state can’t impose their will on what you should believe. Having the ability to freely believe whatever religion you choose is a huge benefit that is protected by the separation of church and state.
Public School Influence
Another benefit of the separation of church and state is the fact that the public school system can in no way teach from a religious point of view. This means that religious beliefs can’t be taught within public schools and children will not be influenced in this manner. Teachers can’t stand up for one right religion or even really make their religious preferences know in the public school setting. There are even some schools that are so strict with eth separation of church and state that they do not even allow decorations during the holidays that could be considered to have ties to religion.
Having the separation of church and state also ensures that discrimination can’t take place based on religious views. This means that no organization has the right to discriminate against any individual due to their religion. Religion can’t be used as the basis to deny any individual their basic rights.
Cons of Separation of Church and State
Can’t Speak on Religion
One of the downsides to the separation of church and state is that you are not able to freely have religion as a part of government in any form. This means that in public schools or in other aspect of state there can be no teaching of religion and it can’t be included in curriculum.
What is the Separation of Church and State?
The separation of the church and state is a common metaphor that is well recognized. In basic terms, it is designed to outline the fact that the state or government should in no way become involved with religion. Many people wrongly assume that this metaphor or phrase is included in eth constitution, but it actually is not. This metaphor was first coined by Thomas Jefferson in a letter that he first wrote to Danbury Baptists in 1802. This metaphor was specifically mentioned to mean that the state would stay out of the business within the church.
How Does it Impact the Constitution
This metaphor is not specifically used within the constitution, but it is stated that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This means that there are no restrictions placed on religion and that no one religion can become the state religion.
Confusion in the Metaphor
The wording of this metaphor can lead to some confusion or misunderstanding among different viewpoints. Some take the separation of church and state to mean that religion has no place in public in any form, but others simply feel that it means to protect both the church and the state. No matter how you view the separation of church and state as a metaphor, it can’t be argued that there are both pros and cons to this for both the church and the state. How this effects the church and the state is what should be considered and understood fully.