Separation of Church and State

The establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can it force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect a wall of separation between Church and State.

~ Hugo Black (born:1886-02-27 died:1971-09-25 at age:85) Supreme Court Justice, Everson vs Board of Education

Despite this ruling, there have been many violations including faith-based initiatives, teaching of creationism and subsidies to faith-based schools. Black apparently did allow the state to subsidise churches by providing them services such as sewer, water, fire and police without paying taxes.