Separation of church and state is a commonly confused concept, one that is NOT rooted in the constitution, but in the conversations of the men who discussed it. The concept was originally attributed to a conversation with Jefferson at the time the constitution was written, which is why it is commonly assumed to be a Constitutional law. However, the concept of separate church and state powers were around long before Jefferson brought it up in conversation. It continues today with people railing about keeping these ideas and organizations separate to an extremist measure. Has America slid backwards or moved too far in the opposite direction? There are books and movies that certainly suggest both.
Separation of Church and State Books
Whether the novels are factual and based on the lives of political and/or religious separatists, or the novels are a projection of a writer's imagination loosely based on true events, these novels are still quite gripping. For example, a Roger Williams historical novel might have many facts in it about Roger Williams, a Puritan in the late seventeenth century who argued for the separation of church and state, almost one hundred years before Jefferson's famous conversation on the topic. Another may be a Roger Williams biography, which touches on the matter that makes so many modern Americans touchy but tells about Williams' life rather than expand and expound upon what he said and did.
Similarly, novels about Jefferson and his conversation on the topic are quite popular. As people rediscover history in a new light, they are often hungry to learn more about actual events than spouting off what they have been told or taught. Sir Thomas Moore was also a religious and political separatist, albeit one that favored the Church of Rome. Still, there is a lot to learn from these historical figures and the concept that frequently rocks this nation.
In the Movies
Movies such as God Is Not Dead 2 and Wall of Separation address the issue of separation of church and state. One is a fictional work that directly deals with how people are treated when they cross the supposed "constitutional line" on this issue, while the other is a revealing, factual documentary on this concept and its history in America. If you do not have time to read novels, you can learn quite a bit from watching movies and documentaries of this sort. Your local library will have them all.
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