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

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The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 15 Mar 2019, 06:54
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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.


4. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. question a constitutional principle, followed by a debate that weighs the pros and cons of that principle.
B. present a fundamental policy rooted in American constitutionalism, as well as the perspectives of those who interpret its meaning.
C. outline an argument that supports why the intentions of those who drafted the Constitution should not be important.
D. evaluate the assumption of a constitutional debate.
E. discuss the historical context for a legal doctrine and propose explanations that raise concerns on its relevance.


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Originally posted by rohan2345 on 27 Nov 2018, 03:33.
Last edited by rohan2345 on 15 Mar 2019, 06:54, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2019, 21:33

+1 kudos to the posts containing answer explanations of all questions


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Re: The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2019, 23:51
Can somebody explain question number 1?
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Re: The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2019, 11:50
Can somebody please post the answers for this.
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Re: The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2019, 22:37
rohan2345 : Please provide the answers to these questions.
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Re: The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2019, 20:46
Hi rohan2345 SajjadAhmad

Please post OA's for Questions 1,2 and 3.
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Re: The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2019, 21:33
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.

Settlers of Massachusetts Bay were concerned about the ties between church and state. So, the question asks which of the following would solidify this statement.
1. The settlers established a govt. body (like police) in the colony(colony is something similar to state) so that the settlers could ban clergy (member of the church) from holding an office position.
2. The Anglican church was headed by the King. The king also looks after country's affairs/State affairs. So this means there are ties between church and state and the settlers did not agree with this.
3.This choice does not talk anything about the relation between church and state.
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Re: The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2019, 21:41
3. Which of the following best describes how the quote in the last paragraph functions within the passage?

'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.'

The author is saying that debate will continue but it is clearly mentioned in the testament that state and church should not have ties. Give what should be given to Caesar and give what should be given to God.

So a perspective from the Bible is given which supports the theme of the passage.
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Re: The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2019, 21:50
4. The primary purpose of the passage is to

The whole passage talks about the ties between church and state. It gives different perspectives of accommodationists (those who believe that church should be part of the state) and separationists (those who believe there should not be any ties between church and state).

A. question a constitutional principle, followed by a debate that weighs the pros and cons of that principle. (No advanatages or disadvantages of the inclusion/separation of church from state are discussed.)
B. present a fundamental policy rooted in American constitutionalism, as well as the perspectives of those who interpret its meaning.
C. outline an argument that supports why the intentions of those who drafted the Constitution should not be important. (No such viewpoint is mentioned)
D. evaluate the assumption of a constitutional debate. (No evaluation is done)
E. discuss the historical context for a legal doctrine and propose explanations that raise concerns on its relevance. (No such expalanations or concerns are discussed. Just two perspectives of a situation are presented)
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Re: The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2019, 21:53
Can somebody explain the second question.The interpretation of the American Founders' intentions regarding church and state is an important issue for constitutional discourse.
Where is such a thing mentioned?
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Re: The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 00:01
mounicadatti wrote:
Can somebody explain the second question.The interpretation of the American Founders' intentions regarding church and state is an important issue for constitutional discourse.
Where is such a thing mentioned?

Hi,

I came to option C by POE.
Going by the options:
Quote:
Because separation of church and state is not historically justified, then correcting this misconception has great implications.

A) This option says separation is not justified, but as per passage it's just one interpretation ( incorrect)
Quote:
The framers of America's political system did not intend for religious parties to hold office.

B) The intention of forefathers is also a matter of interpretation
Quote:
The interpretation of the American Founders' intentions regarding church and state is an important issue for constitutional discourse.

C) Hold as of now
Quote:
It is difficult to build sound constitutional doctrine on a misinterpretation of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses.

D) there is no misinterpretation as per the passage, its just two types of interpretations

Quote:
The intentions of the Founding Fathers need to adapt and be reevaluated as societal norms change over time.

E) In the last passage the author mentions debate WILL continue. Author does not say that intentions need to be re-evaluated.

So C comes out as Best.

Also, if we infer the option C as a whole, it mentions that the interpretations will set a proper constitutional discourse.
It is correct because once they have a proper interpretation of the Founders, they will be able to decide whether to put government or religion together or keep them apart. Thus the interpretation forms an IMPORTANT part to set the political/constitutional discourse.

Please correct me or suggest if my reasoning is flawed.

Regards,
Rishav
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Re: The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame   [#permalink] 19 Mar 2019, 00:01
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