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The Separation of Church and State in America Church and State seem to be two words which are entirely inseparable from each other Religion in politics and the government has been present since the federal government was first put into place The issue of religion is present in such varied topics as the public school system presidential elections right down to the National Anthem The fact of the matter is Church and State are very far from being separate in the United States Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof These opening words of the First Amendment of the Constitution set forth a guarantee of religious freedom in the United States The Establishment clause was intended to accomplish this end by in the words of Thomas Jefferson creating a wall of separation between Church and State The First Amendment prevented the government from interfering in its citizens religious lives It did not however prevent the federal government from engaging in its own The Fourteenth Amendment Ratified in 1868 states that No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the Unites States nor shall any State deprive any person of life liberty or property without due process of law nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws This Amendment one of the Civil War Amendments would later be used by the Supreme Court to extend the religion clauses of the first amendment beyond the country and to the states After the Civil War President Grant moved for the state governments in addition to the federal government to be kept out of the citizens religious affairs In 1876 James G Blaine proposed an Amendment to congress to accomplish this task extending the religious clauses of the first amendment and adding a prohibition of aid to parochial schools Senator Frelinghuysen who opposed the
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