By operating independently of government aid, the churches . . . avoid the resentment of those who do not want to be forced to contribute to churches to which they do not belong and of their own members who do not welcome being forced to contribute through government taxation.
Separation prevents the government from determining church policy, whether directly or indirectly.
Churches are healthier and stronger if they assume responsibility both for financing their own programs and for stimulating their members to accept that responsibility.
Since separation precludes financial support or special privilege from government, the churches are free to engage in prophetic criticism of the government and to work for social justice.
Government sponsorship of religious activity, including prayer services, sacred symbols, religious festivals, and the like, tends to secularize the religious activity rather than make government more ethical or religious.
[The Drafters of the Constitution] were intent on avoiding more than 100 years of religious intolerance and persecution in American colonial history and an even longer heritage of church-state problems in Europe.
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