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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 06 Oct 2018, 10:37
Question 1
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C
D
E

based on 41 sessions

24% (03:36) correct 76% (04:50) wrong

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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.


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

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New post 07 Oct 2018, 19:00
Official Explanation

Correct Answer: B

(A): This response is incorrect because the intention of the author is not to question the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, but to simply present this principle and provide the rationale of those who agree and disagree with how it is to be interpreted. (B): This is the correct answer. In the first paragraph the author presents the policy of separation of church and state as dating back to the First Amendment of the Constitution. He then goes on to compare the perspectives of the accommodationists and the separationists on how the Constitution should be interpreted. (C): The author does not suggest that the intentions of those who wrote the Constitution are unimportant. In fact, the author would probably agree that their intentions are relevant. (D): The word evaluate means to examine and judge or determine the worth of something. The author is not judging the worthiness of the arguments for and against the intended meaning of the separation of church and state. Thus, this response is incorrect. (E): The author does not raise concerns on whether the historical context of this principle is relevant.

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The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame &nbs [#permalink] 07 Oct 2018, 19:00
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The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Ame

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