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The Freedom of Religion, GCSE Coursework Example

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GCSE Coursework

In their quest for the freedom of religion, Americans also sought to separate the principles of the church from matters of the government. Learning from the example of the Church of England; the monarchy, in which the King acted as the Pope, and vice-versa.  When writing down the Declaration of Independence, many advocates  wanted to build up a wall of separation between the Church and the Government. This was based on the idea to restrict the government’s involvement in their religious institutions. (Wikipedia, 2014) More particularly, many wanted the government to remain independent regarding the influence of religions. The majority of people today embrace the thought of religious freedom and government neutrality based on the democratic principles first outlined in the Declaration of Independence (1776). With regard to significant contemporary issues, such as abortion, the churches have just as much influence on the debate as other organizations. If religious people had increased influence over the society and government ruling, the courts would have decided a different direction for Roe v. Wade. (Wald, Calhoun-Brown, 2007)  The neutrality of the U.S. court systems allows judges and  consider all parties in the situation. In contemporary America people are free to practice their own religion, as the government treats each religious group the same.

When looking at the Early Americans and, their reasons for calling for the separation of church and state, it is evident that they wanted to emphasize the importance of freedom to personal ideology, including atheism and materialism as well as faith. (Wikipedia, 2014) Still, many wanted religious principles to be included in the procedures of the government, as they felt that Nature or God was endowing them with their rights. Those that objected wanted to be different from other governments, offering a true freedom of thought. (Nord, 1995)  Prior to the spreading of the idea of tolerance, people were being penalized and thrown in jail because they were religious dissenters. The colonies at the time were following in the footsteps of the British Government that would  impose penalties on those that they branded as heretics and dissenters of the majority faith. Early history in America was mirroring some of the same problems, and in fact, kept many from holding political offices because of their faith. In contemporary America, these problems of religious discrimination are not present, however, today, the discrimination of races and sexual orientation, despite the Civil Rights Movement still exists. Eventually, Americans were able to proceed in separating religion and the government.

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