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What Does 'Separation of Church and State' Really Mean?

Does the Constitution really require a strict separation of church and state? That phrase has become so commonplace that many people actually believe it is in the Constitution itself. It is not, of course. Indeed, the phrase reflects a view exactly opposite to what our nation’s Founders actually believed. For them, religion was indispensable for fostering the virtues necessary for successful self-government, and they sought to encourage it wherever they could. The Constitution’s prohibition on the “Establishment of Religion” was designed simply to prevent the federal government from creating a national religion and coercing people to support it, so that religion could flourish and individual freedom of conscience be protected. The fact is, as one Supreme Court justice famously noted, “We are a religious people, whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.” Watch the video and learn more.