Viewed Through the Eyes of the Founding Fathers

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Separation of Church and State Viewed Through the Eyes of the Founding Fathers Bradley Hinson ENG/102 Research Writing October 2, 2011 Patricia Chaffin Separation of church and state Viewed through the Eyes of the Founding Fathers Separation of church and state is one of the most hotly debated topics of the last fifty years. In this essay I will present a third image of the subject rather than the black and white picture the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Christian Right present. Through the words of the founding fathers I will show that they did not intend for religion to stay out of government but rather for government to stay out of religion. According to”Historic Words From Those Who Made History. " (2011), President John Adams, signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, in an address to military on 10/11/1798 said "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions if they're not bridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and a religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." The Founding Fathers made references to God in both their public and private lives. Even a quick scan of their speeches and correspondences one can find many allusions to God. The Founders understood that theocracy was tyranny, but they did not feel they could or should try to banish religion from public life altogether. George Washington, the first President of the United States, improvised “So help me, God” at the end of the first presidential oath and kissed the Bible on which he had sworn it. This act itself would be a violation of church and state according to the interpretation by the ACLU. According to "The University Of Oklahoma College Of Law" (2009.) It would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent
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