CHURCH AND STATE IN AMERICA
\t͡ʃˈɜːt͡ʃ and stˈe͡ɪt ɪn ɐmˈɛɹɪkə], \tʃˈɜːtʃ and stˈeɪt ɪn ɐmˈɛɹɪkə], \tʃ_ˈɜː_tʃ a_n_d s_t_ˈeɪ_t ɪ_n ɐ_m_ˈɛ_ɹ_ɪ_k_ə]\
Definitions of CHURCH AND STATE IN AMERICA
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The relationship of Church and State in the United States differs from all previous relationships in Europe and in the colonies. In the colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut, the Congregational Church was established; in most of the others the Church of England. Rhode Island, Maryland and Pennsylvania early provided for religious freedom. The Revolution brought disestablishment and religious freedom in several States. There are two provisions in the Constitution of 1787 bearing on the question of religion, which secure its freedom and independence. In Article VI. it is declared that " no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." But this was not deemed a sufficient guarantee for absolute religious freedom, so the first amendment was to the effect that " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" In the Legislatures of some of the States a fear was early expressed that government might pass into the hands of Roman Catholics, Jews or infidels, but the spirit of freedom everywhere proved too strong to admit of religious tests in matters of government. State conventions held to ratify the Constitution all proposed amendments guaranteeing religious freedom. Hence followed the first amendment. There are of course certain limitations to religious liberty, which have been set by law. In 1882 in the case of the Mormons, Congress prohibited polygamy and was sustained by the Supreme Court.
By John Franklin Jameson