This I Believe

Amelia - Hickory, North Carolina
Entered on May 15, 2006

I believe in the separation of church and state. The United States, historically, was the first nation to be established with a complete separation of church and state. The U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation.

In the United States there is a separation of church and state. This is because you cannot govern the people under one religion because not all Americans share the same faith. Since freedom of religion is a constitutional right, the government cannot govern the people by one religion, which would force the people of America to have the one faith. Having one faith wouldn’t represent the people, and a lack of representation is one of the reasons America separated from Britain. Yet why hasn’t the separation of church and state affected the south? In today’s society there is a separation between the North and the South because of religious freedom arguments. A strong issue argued against is the theory of evolution which is taught in school through scientific textbooks. Many people of faith believe in creationism. Kansas added creationism to their scientific textbooks as an alternative to the theory of evolution. Charles Krauthammer, a journalist from Time Magazine, stated in an article that “Kansas is the beginning of a creationist wave” and “as science, creationism is too fundamentally frivolous”. Science text books are for teaching just that, science. They need to be the consensus belief of the scientific community, not the opinions of religious leaders or state legislators. No person is forced to believe the theory of evolution; it is merely a scientific theory. However, there is no evidence about creationism; it is left for people to believe in through their faith. Thus, creationism shouldn’t be in science textbooks; as such a device would be imposing one’s religion upon the entire country. People have to the right to teach their children creationism, however it is a faith based theory and should therefore be taught through their church or religion.

The separation of church and state is a constitutional guarantee that the majority opinion will not be imposed on the entire nation, which is a cornerstone of our democracy.