I am trying to research and better understand these two concepts from an applied and practical perspective.
Any suggestions, ideas and advice on better understanding this will be much appreciated.
My thinking at this point:
FIRST REFORMATION - 1500's (Religion vs Society)
The First Reformation began as an ill conceived attempt to reform the irreformable namely Religion. Religion just morphed and mutated so as to better hide that it is inherently an enemy of science and society. However its power weakened from which flowed many of the freedoms we now take for granted in society. Society (the laity) became protected from religion having also the power of state - a totally unchecked hegemony.
SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE - 1800's - First Amendment
Some of the gains of the First Reformation of Society became undone by the spurious notion that religion needed protection from the state. In fact both the state and individuals needed and continue to need protection from religion. The outcome and intent of keeping Church and State separate is and should still be to protect us all from (authoritarian) religion having also the power of state. A Church-State union is bad precisely because religion is bad. What really was the intent of the first amendment and Thomas Jefferson's comments? Have we lost the plot, or was it Thomas Jefferson?
A side note for those to whom it may be relevant: I now identify as SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious). Apparently 1 in 5 Americans identify as SBNR, and this number rises to about 3 in 4 in young adults. I consequently distinguish between Religion/Religionists/Religiosity and its antithesis namely authentic organic Faith and Spirituality. In scripture Jesus and Paul were both against religion. Ironically Rascal Rutherford was also against "all religion" which he explained "is a snare and a racket". Religion as always puts the cart in ahead of the horse. Back then it was the sun revolving around the earth making Galileo a heretic and his telescope blasphemous against the "orthodoxy of the moment". Now religion (like the Pharisees) falsely holds out (supremacist) legalism, moralism, ethnocentrism, and Gnosticism as prerequisites for faith, spirituality and a relationship with God (when in fact this superficial "whitewashing of graves", "cleaning the outside of the cup", "gnat straining" and "camel gulping" actually underpin perpetual dysfunction in society).
I would love to contemplate other perspectives... Please hit me with all you have...