Separation of religion and state

Separation of religion and state

 

Separation of church and state is a political andlegal doctrine that government and religiousinstitutions are to be kept separate and independent from each other.[1] The term most often refers to the combination of two principles:secularity of government and freedom of religious exercise.[2]

The phrase separation of church and state is generally traced to the letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists, in which he referred to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as creating a “wall of separation” between church and state.[3] The phrase was then quoted by the United States Supreme Court first in 1878,[4] and then in a series of cases starting in 1948.[5] This led to increased popular and political discussion of the concept.

The concept has since been adopted in a number of countries, to varying degrees depending on the applicable legal structures and prevalent views toward the proper role of religion in society. A similar principle of laïcité has been applied in France and Turkey, while some socially secularized countries such as Norway have maintained constitutional recognition of an official state religion. The concept parallels various other international social and political ideas, including secularismdisestablishmentreligious liberty, and religious pluralism.

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Antimilitarism

Antimilitarism

Antimilitarism is a doctrine commonly found in the anarchist and, more globally, in the socialist movement, which may be both characterized as internationalist movements. It relies heavily on a critical theory of nationalism and imperialism, and was an explicit goal of the First andSecond International. Whereas pacifism is opposition to violence in general, antimilitarism is opposed to war between states in particular and, of course, militarism.

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Civilian control of the military

Civilian control of the military

 

Civilian control of the military is a doctrine in military and political science that places ultimate responsibility for a country’s strategicdecision-making in the hands of the civilian political leadership, rather than professional military officers. One author, paraphrasing Samuel P. Huntington‘s writings in The Soldier and the State, has summarized the civilian control ideal as “the proper subordination of a competent,professional military to the ends of policy as determined by civilian authority” [1].

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Separation of powers

Separation of powers

 

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Secularism

Secularism

Secularism is generally the assertion that governmental practices or institutions should exist separately from religion or religious beliefs. Alternatively, it is a principle of promoting secularideas or values in either public or private settings over religious ways of thought.

In one sense, secularism may assert the right to be free from religious rule and teachings, and freedom from the government imposition of religion upon the people, within a state that is neutral on matters of belief, and gives no state privileges or subsidies to religions. (See also Separation of church and state and Laïcité.) In another sense, it refers to a belief that human activities and decisions, especially political ones, should be based on evidence and fact rather than religious influence.

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