separation of church and state

Why Strict Religion-State Separation is Neither Real Nor Ideal

By: Ani Sarkissian

A common conception of religious freedom is that it is predicated upon the principle of “strict separation of church and state.” Debates around this issue in the United States often reference the First Amendment prohibition of any law “respecting an establishment of religion,” and many understand the legal subject of this constitutional protection to be the individual. Religious beliefs and practices, the thinking goes, are private matters entitled to protection from state interference. 

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