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# The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First

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General GMAT Forum Moderator
Joined: 29 Jan 2015
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WE: General Management (Non-Profit and Government)
The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 27 Nov 2018, 20:19
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The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution read, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Secularity of government and freedom of religious exercise form the basis for the separation of church and state doctrine, the political and legal principle that posits that the government is to remain neutral in matters of religion. The language of separation traces back to an 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association, in which he referenced the First Amendment as building a wall of separation between Church & State.

There is much debate over whether the framers of the Constitution truly intended government and churchly organizations to be both separate and independent. Interpreting the Founding Fathers' intentions has sparked much discussion of such contemporary issues as prayer in schools, school vouchers, government funding of faith-based organizations, and religious displays on government property. Accomodationists argue against separatism, claiming that the Founding Fathers based this nation and the Constitution on Biblical values and beliefs, and want to see theology play an important role in the governing and legislation of America. They cite the word Creator in the Declaration of Independence -- "(all men) are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights.... "as evidence that the framers of the Constitution meant the US to be ruled according to divine law. Separationalists say that the Declaration of Independence, signed thirteen years before the Constitution was ratified on March 4, 1789, is not the law of the land; therefore, the First Amendment prohibits all intrusion between government and religion. They also claim that those who ratified the US Constitution were enlightened Rationalists and evangelical Christians who, like the Puritans who fled the Church of England's persecution and settled in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629, were concerned by entanglements between church and state.

The debate over whether the Constitution intended churchly institutions to be separate and independent from government will continue. Yet it can be argued that according to the New Testament (Matthew 22:21), when asked whether taxes should be paid to Caesar, Christ replied, Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.

1. Which of the following, if true, would support the assertion that the settlers of Massachusetts Bay Colony "were concerned by entanglements between church and state"?
I. They established a body of government in the colony that barred members of the clergy from holding public office.
II. They disagreed with the governing foundation in England in which the Anglican Church was headed by the King.
III. Because of their persecution, the early American settlers wanted to ensure their own freedom of religion in Massachusetts Bay.

A. I only
B. II only
C. III only
D. I and II
E. I and III

2. With which of the following statements would the author of the passage most likely agree?

A. Because separation of church and state is not historically justified, then correcting this misconception has great implications.
B. The framers of America's political system did not intend for religious parties to hold office.
C. The interpretation of the American Founders' intentions regarding church and state is an important issue for constitutional discourse.
D. is difficult to build sound constitutional doctrine on a misinterpretation of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses.
E. The intentions of the Founding Fathers need to adapt and be reevaluated as societal norms change over time.

3. Which of the following best describes how the quote in the last paragraph functions within the passage?

A. A perspective is given that supports a viewpoint that was presented earlier.
B. An additional argument is raised that does not deserve further questioning.
C. A viewpoint is presented that disqualifies the theme of the passage.
D. An irrelevant outlook is given that intends to offer an alternative explanation for a debate.
E. A controversial view is outlined that aims to clarify the interpretation of a constitutional doctrine.

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If you liked my post, kindly give me a Kudos. Thanks.

Originally posted by rohan2345 on 27 Nov 2018, 02:33.
Last edited by workout on 27 Nov 2018, 20:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First  [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2018, 20:32

+1 kudos to all the posts containing proper explanations for all questions

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Re: The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First &nbs [#permalink] 27 Nov 2018, 20:32
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