(The Chewelah Independent looks at civic topics every week to explain some current hot topics in the headlines)
The principle that government must maintain an attitude of neutrality regarding religion. Many view separation of church and state as required by the First Amendment. The First Amendment not only allows citizens the freedom to practice any religion of their choice, but also prevents the government from officially recognizing or favoring any religion.
“Separation of church and state” is paraphrased from Thomas Jefferson in 1802 and used by others in expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”