Despite the constitutional guarantee, the U.S. has not always lived up to the ideal of the separation of religion and state. Early laws favored Protestant Christians over Catholics, Jews and First Nation peoples. However, guided by the First Amendment, the general trend has been an increase in religious liberty. Since the beginning, there have also always been people who oppose this principle, who have sought to favor their own belief systems - for example, the so-called "Faith-based initiatives" and attempts to define marriage as "between a man and a woman." Thus, the preservation of the wall of separation between religion and state requires constant vigilance.
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Last updated on Tuesday, August 23, 2011.