Separation of Church and State Introduction (Part 1) Sponsored link

15. Because in its practical consequences it is endangering the prosperity and even the existence of old and young countries. The rich and the promising countries of South America have been already nearly wrecked by their mad financial management; at this moment, it is doubtful if the United States can adopt a free trade policy, however strongly desired by a large part of the people, on account of the extravagant expenditure to which the country has been committed, and which, once incurred, necessitates a tariff; New Zealand has for many years been struggling to repair the frightful mistakes into which she was led by allowing a few men the power of compulsory dealing with the property of others; some of the Australasian colonies are suffering acutely from past extravagance, and fortunately for themselves have experienced a difficulty in borrowing; India is in a condition that should cause the gravest anxiety as regards her future; in Europe, Spain, Portugal and Greece are apparently nearly outside the possibilities of financial salvation; France has large chronic yearly deficits; Germany, Austria, and Italy—the last country in an almost ruinous condition—stagger along under burdens which they cannot bear, and which will, if persisted in, drive them over the abyss; and Russia lives in a state of constant financial difficulty, which is only partially concealed by official statements that do not err on the side of candor. Here and there are to be found some examples of saner management; but even in Great Britain, where the national debt is diminishing, municipal debt and expenditure are increasing with alarming rapidity, in Mr. Albert Pell's words, “with very little to show for it,” and are now threatening the industrial prosperity of the provincial cities. In other countries, the municipal governments of Paris, Vienna, Florence, Rome and Madrid, repeat in each instance the story of excessive expenditure, excessive burdens, and, in some instances, of grave corruption; in the United States the “boodleism” of New York has become a by-word in most parts of the world, and Boston and other cities have been removed from the hands of their municipal authorities, and placed under commissioners.

Yes There Is a Constitutional Separation of Church and State

It wouldn’t be until many years later that separation of church and state became a law.

Roger Williams and the Legacy of Separation of Church …

What then did Montesquieu add to seventeenth- and early-eighteenth-century English thought on the separation of powers? Clearly his view of the functions of government was much closer to modern usage than his predecessors’—he was one of the first writers to use “executive” in a recognizably modern sense in juxtaposition with the legislative and judicial functions. His emphasis upon the judicial function and upon the equality of this function with the other functions of government, though (as we have seen) by no means altogether new, was nevertheless of great importance. The judiciary had a position of independence in his thought greater than that of earlier English writers, and greater than it was in practice at that time in England. Although he used the idea of mixed government he did not allow it to dominate his thought, as had the writers on the balanced constitution in England; consequently he articulated the elements of the constitution in a different way, and a clearer view of the separation of legislative and executive branches was now possible. He had gone a long way, in fact, towards the transformation of the theory of mixed government from its position as a doctrine in its own right into a set of checks and balances in a system of agencies separated on a functional basis. Perhaps the most significant difference between Bolingbroke and Montesquieu is that the latter placed the King outside the legislature. In some ways, then, Montesquieu moved back towards the emphasis that was placed during the Protectorate upon separate and distinct powers; he was certainly closer to the pure doctrine than his English contemporaries, but he did not go all the way. He had a more realistic, more articulated system, with an amalgam of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century ideas woven into a new fabric. Sometimes it is difficult to know whether the changes he introduced into the stream of political thought on constitutionalism were wholly intentional, or whether they resulted rather from his method of writing. We shall never know—but it does not matter. The very defects of his style gave him an influence which a more precise and less interesting thinker would never have achieved, but more important than this is the fact that by changing the emphasis that English writers of the preceding half century had placed upon legislative supremacy and the mixed constitution, he paved the way for the doctrine of the separation of powers to emerge again as an autonomous theory of government. This theory was to develop in very different ways in Britain, in America, and on the continent of Europe, but from this time on, the doctrine of the separation of powers was no longer an English theory; it had become a universal criterion of a constitutional government.

The Separation of Church and Sky - Ask the Pilot

A collection of essays by a leading late-19th century radical individualist and follower of the ideas of Herbert Spencer. Herbert discusses the moral problems of state coercion, especially when applied to state education, and outlines the principles of “voluntaryism”.

Auberon Herbert, The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State and Other Essays (LF ed.) [1885]
This isn’t the first time the separation of church and sky has been an issue

Some Lawmakers Are Making The Separation Of Church …

There is very much more to be said as regards this matter of state power and state interference with the lives of men. I ought to point out the extravagance and bad management of state departments. It is not often that we see people spend the money that belongs to others either quite honestly or quite intelligently, and state departments are no exception to the rule. I ought to point out the jobbery and the stupidity that so often cling to state undertakings; the unfitness of the agents that governments are obliged to employ; the necessarily bad methods, whether by competition or official nomination, of selecting them; the unfitness of the universal systems which are applied to all parts of a nation, to those who ought by the very law of their being to be differing from each other, and yet are forced to be alike; the dull, heavy routine into which these undertakings fall within a few years after they have been commenced and have ceased to attract public attention–a routine only broken by the spasmodic revolutions in their management to which they are subject, when some flagrant abuse brings them now and again under the public eye. I ought to point out how reckless in all countries becomes the rivalry of the great political parties which hope to obtain the good things that go under the name of office; the increasing deterioration of the people when invited on all hands to judge everything from the one standpoint of their own immediate advantage; the inconsistency of what is said and done by each party, when acting as government or as opposition, and the hypocrisy that is begotten while they serve their own interests under the cloak of the interests of the people. I ought to point out how heavy and sore a discouragement for labor is the load of taxation, that is thrown upon the nation to support all the grand institutions, which politicians love to look at as their own handiwork; and I ought to show that the really successful nation in the industrial competition that is now springing up so fiercely between all nations will be the one that has fewest taxes, fewest officials, and fewest departments to support, and at the same time possesses the greatest power in its individual units to adapt themselves readily to the industrial changes that come so quickly in the present day. I ought to show you that all that encourages routine, dislike of change, dependence upon external authority and direction, is fatal to this habit of self-adaptation, and that this self-adaptation can only come where the free life is led. I ought to show that all great uniform systems–clumsy and oppressive as they must always be in their rude attempt to embrace every part of a nation–clumsy and oppressive, for example, as our education system and our Poor Law system are—are always tending (sometimes in very subtle and unsuspected ways) to stupefy and brutalize a nation in character; and, as far as the richer classes are concerned, to destroy those kindly feelings, that sympathy for the pains of others, and that readiness to help those who need help, which grow, and only can grow, on a free soil. If by official regulations you prescribe for me my moral obligations toward others, you may be sure that in a short time my own moral feelings will cease to have any active share in the matter. They will soon learn to accept contentedly the official limit you have traced for them, and to drowse on, unexercised because unrequired, within that limit. Indeed, I believe that if you only taxed us enough, for so-called benevolent purposes, you would presently succeed in changing all the really generous men into stingy men. Again I ought to show how all great uniform state systems are condemned by our knowledge of the laws of nature. It has been owing to the differences of form that come into existence that the ever-continuous improvement of animal and plant life has taken place; the better fitted form beating and replacing the less-fitted form. But our great uniform systems, by which the state professes to serve the people, necessarily exclude difference and variety; and in excluding difference and variety, exclude also the means of improvement. I ought to show how untrue is the cry against competition. I ought to show that competition has brought benefits to men tenfold–nay, a hundredfold–greater than the injuries it has inflicted; that every advantage and comfort of civilized life has come from competition; and that the hopes of the future are inseparably bound up with the still better gifts which are to come from it and it alone. I ought to show, even if this were not so, even if competition were not a power fighting actively on your side, that still your efforts would be vain to defeat or elude it. I ought to show that all external protection, all efforts to place forcibly that which is inferior on the same level as that which is superior, is a mere dream, born of our ignorance of nature's methods. The great laws of the world cannot change for any of us. There is but one way, one eternally fixed way, and no other, of meeting the skill, or the enterprise, or the courage, or the frugality, or the greater honesty that beats us in any path of life, whether it be in trade or in social life, in accumulating wealth or in following knowledge, in opening out new countries or in conquering old vices, and that way is to develop the same qualities in ourselves. The law is absolute, and from it there is no appeal. No Chinese walls, no system based upon exclusion and disqualification and suppression, can do this thing for us; can bring efficiency to a level with inefficiency, and leave progress possible. I ought to show how far more flexible, adaptive, and efficient a weapon of progress is voluntary combination than enforced combination; how every want that we have will be satisfied by means of voluntary combination, as we grow better fitted to make use of this great instrument; whether it be to provide against times of depression in trade and want of employment, of sickness, of old age; whether it be to secure to every man his own home and his own plot of ground; or to place within his reach the higher comforts and the intellectual luxuries of life.

Auberon Herbert, The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State and Other Essays (LF ed.) [1885]

Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest

Let us then take the bolder, the truer, the more manful course. If we believe in property, as a right and just thing; if, as the product of faculties, we believe it to be inseparably connected with the free use of faculties, and therefore inseparably connected with freedom itself; if we believe that it is a mere bit of word mockery to tell us, as our socialist friends do, that they are presenting the world with the newest, the most perfect, the most up-to-date form of liberty, while from their heights of scorn for liberty they calmly deny to all men and women the right to employ their faculties in their own way and for their own advantages, offering us in return a system beyond all words petty and irritating, a system that would provoke rebellion even in the nursery, and which, as a clever French writer wittily remarked, would periodically convulse the state with the ever-recurring insoluble question, might or might not a wife mend the trousers of her husband; if we believe that the socialist, treading in the footsteps of his predecessor, the autocrat, has only discovered one more impossible system of slavery, then let us individually do our best to end the great delusion that has given birth to the socialist, and made him the power that he is today in Europe—that property belongs, not to the property owner, but to those who are good enough to take the trouble to vote.

Religious laws Menu: "Separation of church and state" issues

Free Pardoner's Tale papers, essays, and research papers.

It is idle to talk of freedom, and, while the word is on one's lips, to attack property. He who attacks property, joins the camp of those who wish to keep some men in subjection to the will of others. You cannot break down any of the defenses of liberty, you cannot weaken liberty at any one point, without weakening it at all points. Liberty means refusing to allow some men to use the state to compel other men to serve their interests or their opinions; and at whatever point we allow this servitude to exist, we weaken or destroy in men's minds the sacredness of the principle, which must be, as regards all actions, all relations, our universal bond. But it is not only for the sake of liberty—though that is far the greater and higher reason—it is also for the sake of your own material progress—that you, the workers, must resolutely reject all interference with, all mutilations of the rights of property.