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THE EVOLUTION FROM ROGER WILLIAMS TO MODERN TIMESThe separation of church and state has been fiercely debated for more than three centuries Before America became an independent union some of the English immigrants known as Puritans were coming to this new land to break away from the rule of the Church of England The Puritans were attempting to create a new church all the while not separating from the old one Gaustad 50 However there were others who believed that in order to completely reform the church they should separate from the Mother Church Many of the diehard Puritans believed that the separatist attitude was ungrateful and consequently no one would take action Roger Williams a Calvinistic Puritan who later reformed to Separatism was a very prominent historical figure in fighting for the separation of church and state When the United States Constitution was being written the real debate over religious freedom began The words separation of church and state are never actually mentioned in the United States Constitution When the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment was written the writers considered the popular belief that God created free will in all people and that the Government should not be allowed to restrain that free will Another consideration was the taxation placed on the people for the purpose of financing all churches no matter what their beliefs Consequently people of one faith were being forced to contribute to churches of different faiths which in their eyes infringed on their God given right to freedom of religion Our forefathers saw a need to protect religion from the government and were very careful in choosing their words for the First Amendment There is very little difference in the fight for religious freedom even now in the 21st Century This battle is still being fought today in our society as it is heatedly debated in our Congress city hall and all the way to the Supreme CourtWhen Roger
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