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The United States Constitution, like the Declaration of Independence, is a "democracy" text that defines the rights of US citizens. Both men are free, according to the Declaration of Independence, and they are entitled to basic unalienable rights such as life, liberty, and the “pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence, 1776, p.XLV). The authors of this text-based their case on Bible passages that say that all humans were made in God's image (Genesis 1:27). This paper also empowers men to overthrow governments that threaten these inalienable rights. Similarly, the US Constitution states that “the US government exists to serve its citizens” (The Constitution of the United States, 1787, p.8). It also entitles citizens to immunities and privileges.
These documents had also some differences. For instance, Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 whereas the US Constitution was written in 1787. The Declaration of Independence was written earlier than the US Constitution to express the desire of the states in the US to govern themselves. The achievement of the main goal of the Declaration of Independence paved way for the writing of the US Constitution. These documents also served different purposes. The Declaration of Independence was aimed at informing the Great Britain that the 13 United States required freedom from the British rule (Declaration of Independence, 1776, p.XLVI). The US Constitution, on the other hand, was written to provide the structure together with the powers of the federal government in addition to elaborating various rights as well as protections the US citizens need to enjoy.
In signing the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence, the signers ensured they have separated the church from the state to prevent infringement of religious freedoms as well as to prevent the church from regulating the roles of the state.
Comparison of US Constitution with Thomas Jefferson’s Letter
The US Constitution and “Jefferson’s letter to the Baptists” are historical documents that emphasized the importance of human freedom. Although the US Constitution does not have the term church-state separation like Jefferson’s letter, the document emphasizes the importance of the right to assemble. Just like the US Constitution that allowed people exercise freedom of speech and assembly (The Constitution of the United States, 1787, p.11), Jefferson’s letter claimed that all persons were entitled to exercise their religious opinions without interference (Thomas Jefferson’s Letter, 1801, p.1). These documents also clearly separated the church from the state. According to the US Constitution, the state recognizes as well as protects the “right to assemble”. Similarly, Jefferson’s letter stated clearly that the religious privileges were part of freemen rights (Thomas Jefferson’s Letter, 1801, p.1).
Comparison of Thomas Jefferson’s Letter with Declaration of Independence
Both Jefferson’s letter and Declaration of Independence emphasize the importance of human freedom. According to the Declaration of Independence, the 13 states in America wanted to exercise their freedom that was infringed by the British (Declaration of Independence, 1776, p.XLV). Through his letter, Jefferson also wanted to enjoy their religious privileges through regulating the powers of the government on religious freedom (Thomas Jefferson’s Letter, 1801, p.1). However, these documents served different purposes. While the Declaration of Independence was concerned with the freedom of the states, Jefferson’s letter fought for the right of persons with different religious opinions. Jefferson’s letter was also written following the claim that the government was planning to come with a national religion (Thomas Jefferson’s Letter, 1801, p.1).
Genesis 1:27 King James Version
The Constitution of the United States. (1787). Retrieved from https://constitutioncenter.org/media/files/constitution.pdf
The Declaration of Independence. (1776). Retrieved from https://www.providenceforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/decind.pdf
Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists. (1802). Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Retrieved from https://www.au.org/files/images/page_photos/jeffersons-letter-to-the.pdf
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