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mazingerz88's avatar

If there was never a separation of church and state in the US, how would it be now today?

Asked by mazingerz88 (18445 points ) August 8th, 2011

Just wondering.

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16 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Frankly, I don’t even like to consider it. Yikes.

everephebe's avatar

Have you seen the movie Franklyn? It wasn’t any good but I’m picturing a Meanwhile America.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Rhode Island would have refused to ratify 2 Corinthians, the fourth commandment would have been overturned for being anti-capitalistic, and the DOJ would have an unofficial memo floating around outlining the reasons why we aren’t really bound by any of the passages forbidding murder or torture thanks to a “genocide loophole” found in the Old Testament.

Also, we’d all be dead:

“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.”
—James Madison

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Honestly, I have never considered it, but maybe it would actually be way less of a big deal.

Isn’t England pretty relaxed about religion and they have the Church of England? We seem to be the ones who have insisted on a separation, and the only ones who have people arguing about evolution and prayer in schools.

josie's avatar

Since some of the States had established churches at the time of ratification, it is possible that there might have been a Federal church.

ddude1116's avatar

We’d be more a dictatorship than a democracy, there’d be a Church Of America, much like the Church Of England, and the President would be God.

flutherother's avatar

Joel Osteen has been President for the last 20 years. We are at war with Islam and have invaded at least two Moslem countries. Copies of the Koran are burned in public.

JLeslie's avatar

Difficult to know. The government for part of our history would have tried to govern religion. Probably not at its inception, seeing that many of our founders were notof that mind, but if the foundation of the US allowed for church and state to mix more than it does in practice already, eventually someone in power would have taken advantage of the possibility.

There may have been more pressure to be Christian, and Christian holidays might be treated as more about religion then the santa and bunny parties they are today in America.

What’s hard to know over time is if the US would actually be more secular by this point as a reaction to the bullshit the church tried utilizing to control the citizenry in history. Usually one extreme swing to one side of the pendulum devlops an equal swing out to the other side. So far it seems our country’s premise of freedom of religion has allowed religiosity to flourish in many partsof the country.

amujinx's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought Many of the people who came from England initially came because they were being persecuted in England for how strict their beliefs were. The American colonies actually tended to have more devout and strict religious practitioners than England did. Since many churches were established then (or by people who grew up in churches from that time), and many people who immigrated here later went to established churches, it developed citizens who tended to be more conservative religiously than what occurred in England.

starsofeight's avatar

The thing about separation is that it was not conceived or implemented to keep the church out of g’ment affairs, as many today believe. It was put in place as a safeguard of personal religious freedom, in other words, to limit g’ment interference in church and religious matters.

Originally, Christians fled to America because of bad and oppressive authority. Without a legal remedy for g’mental interference, likely the nation would have corrupted from with, or lost to the British. Freedom loving, God-fearing people would have once again been forced to look elsewhere for a land in which they could truly be free.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@amujinx Thank you.That is a very insightful take on it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I wouldn’t be here. Although, there is not all that much separation, actually. Not a single congressperson or assemblyperson is willing to admit they’re an atheist, on record. What the hell is wrong with that picture?

wundayatta's avatar

It would be more like a European country. And there would be blasphemy laws. More witch hunts. I don’t know if it would have changed things all that much.

MacBatman31's avatar

They mess up enough on their own, it would be one big mistake if they were together!

Blondesjon's avatar

Yeah, like we really live in a country with a separation of church and state.

It is still nearly suicide to run openly as an atheist and it wasn’t that long ago that there was open speculation about Kennedy being Catholic instead of just a good ole regular Christian. God is on our money, in our pledge, and being called upon to bless the United States of America every time our highest elected officials finish a speech. The only real separation I see is that religious organizations don’t have to pay any fucking taxes.

Sure, folks might be able to sue and get the nativity taken off the courthouse lawn but if you really believe we live in a country where church and state are truly separate, well, God bless you.

Nullo's avatar

We would look like modern China, with state-approved churches. SOCAS blocks in both directions, don’t forget.

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