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What Does the Separation of Church and State Really Mean?

The popular notion among many people about the separation of church and state is that people cannot express their religious views in public places. They are of the opinion that since public facilities like schools, hospitals and other public areas are funded by the state, they cannot be used as places for expression of one’s religious faith. Although the founding fathers of the United States were overtly Christian and based the constitution on the Biblical values and ideas, there have always been others who have opposed the involvement of religion in state affairs. So, the row over the separation of church and state is not a recent issue.

In reality, separation of church and state means that the state does not have the right to interfere in religious affairs of any kind. The state does not have the right to prohibit prayer, worship or any other religious activity. Religion is something that needs to be governed by the church and the state has neither the authority nor the capability of dealing with it. Although many people who prefer the former interpretation would not want to believe it, this is the right interpretation of the separation of church and state.

David Barton, the founder of WallBuilders, is a collector of many early American documents. He states that there is ample proof in the original documents that the founding fathers of the nation firmly believed in the church acting independently without any form of interference from the state. David has been featured in Time magazine, ABC, the Fox News Channel and National Public Radio.


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