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Separation of church and state

69 bytes added, 17:09, 7 January 2009
The [[Treaty of Tripoli]], drafted during [[George Washington|Washington]]'s presidency, ratified by unanimous vote of the [[United States Senate |Senate]] June 7th, 1797 <ref>[ Journal of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America, 1789-1805]</ref> and signed by [[John Adams ]] three days later, states that "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 tranquility of Musselmen (Muslims[[Muslim]]s),-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation (Islamic), 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"<ref>[ Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11.] Ratified in 1796 and again in 1797.</ref> Many proponents of a Christian America point out that the treaty was superseded by the [[Treaty of Peace and Amity]] in 1805 when the United States had more of an upper hand against the pirates. It has also been noted that since the war was against an Islamic regime, that the United states did not want to make it seem like it was a Crusade of Christianity against Islam, but rather that the kidnapping actions of the government regardless of their religious views was what was being objected to.<ref></ref>
== Separating the Church from the State's Influence ==
==Only a Limit on Federal Power==
[[Pat Robertson ]] has argued that the [[Establishment Clause]] was intended merely to prevent the Federal government from imposing a state religion, as many of the original 13 states already had their own official religion.<ref></ref>
:''Let's look again at the constitution's intent to empower the legislature. With Congress holding such power, the states got nervous. They reasoned that relinquishing so much power to the Congress threatened state sovereignty. After all, this is a United States of America. It is not one vast democracy of homogeneous people. It is Maryland. It is Connecticut. It is Massachusetts. It is New York. These are separate states. So the Constitution was enhanced by the Bill of Rights. The first point in the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment to the Constitution, said "Congress shall pass no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." There were certain states at that time that had established religions. Massachusetts was a case in point. They had a state religion. And they didn't want this enormously powerful Congress to superimpose a religious system on their state system. To guarantee the states retained critical rights, the tenth amendment said, "All the power that is not expressly delegated to the federal government is reserved for the states." The intent? The people, i.e. the states, have delegated power. They gave up some powers, but they did not give up all powers because they are sovereign states.''
:Pat Robertson, [[Yale University ]] Law School, March 25, 1986
== References ==
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