Church and state shouldn’t merge
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 15:10
In the United States, the separation of church and state is an issue that should not be overlooked.
It is understood that the church and state are supposed to operate alone, but the two often merge together and create a grey area. Often one influences the other and problems arise in both organizations.
Church and government are two separate institutions that should act alone without the influence of the other.
While the Constitution’s First Amendment allows Americans the freedom of religion, some government and church officials believe that a strong connection between church and state would unify the country.
Although Americans do want to be unified, the joining of church and state would not aid this cause.
There are so many religions practiced in America; therefore, no one would know which religion to follow, and chaos would ensue. Because of this, the church and the government should be independent of each other.
Unity is a possibility; however, any move towards the connection of church and state is a direct violation of The Constitution, due to the First Amendment’s clause that prohibits the government from placing a restraint on or showing favor for any religion.
Personally, I do not like the idea of anyone telling me what to practice. It just leans too close to the government or the church taking control of my whole life. No one has the right to tell you what religion to practice.
In the Constitution, every American citizen is granted the right to practice their own religion freely without fear of oppression from the government. It would be an infringement upon the rights of certain citizens if a church and the United States merged together.
If the United States and the Catholic Church, or any church, were to come together, Americans would lose their identities and freedoms.
An example of people attempting to merge the church and state is prayer in public schools. Public schools throughout the world prefer students to avoid the subject of religion.
For those who send their children to public schools because they either practice a certain religion or have no religious affiliation, the act of prayer is an infringement on their rights as Americans.
Courts have barred the practice of prayers at public school graduations because the prayers are usually specific to one religion.
Some parents argue that their children should have the right to say prayers in classrooms at public schools. Children have the right to discuss religion at public schools, but it is discouraged to avoid conflict with other students who do not practice the same religion.
However, some argue that stopping a student from praying at his or her graduation is an infringement against the right to freedom of speech.
The major question in the public school situation is whether taking religion out of the school, or not allowing the students to speak of religion, is an infringement on the rights of religious students. However, is it not also an infringement on the rights of nonreligious students to place religious icons in a building that is supposed to be considered a religion neutral environment, such as public schools?
The controversial matter of saying prayers in public schools has been argued in the United States for many years now. Although the United States has many religious schools, parents send their children to public schools for the benefits of not paying yearly tuition; yet some parents still complain that children should receive a religious education.
The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes are offered for children that wish to receive an education on the Bible, but the experience is different from attending a Catholic school.
Maybe Catholic schools should be cheaper for those parents that cannot afford to send their children there but would like to give their kids a Catholic education.
Or maybe we should not be arguing about freedom of speech any more.
Having the church and state connected would create government-controlling affairs pertaining to religion, meaning that the government would basically control every aspect of life.
The government has no right, according to the Constitution, to favor or prohibit any religion in the United States. The Framers of the Constitution intended for church and state to remain separate in order to keep the government from controlling every aspect of Americans’ lives.
People of other religions have the right to practice their religions freely in America, but that does not mean that they can infringe on the rights of others by openly flaunting their beliefs. Worship has a proper place and time to be done.
Kaitlyn O’Connor is a history sophomore and can be firstname.lastname@example.org