Church and state
Church and state, phrase that refers to the relations between organized religion and organized government. This question, which for centuries has been a source of controversy, is whether the religious and political powers in a society should be kept clearly separate from one another. In the United States, due to various legislative acts, neither a state nor the federal government can openly or secretly participate in the affairs of a religious organization, and vice versa. This has led directly to the barring of prayer in U.S. public schools.