The separation of church and state has been around in the U.S.
since 1802, when then-president Thomas Jefferson wrote the Danbury Papers assuring that the First Amendment did, in fact, ensure that the church and the state would exist as separate entities.
Nations that have not adopted the same ideals and whose leadership is rooted in religion seem to generally lag behind economically, socially, and technologically in comparison.
Examples of this include: Turkey (more economically and socially than technologically), North Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar,
and the majority of African secular nations (I realize that their lagging behind the rest of the world isn't solely due to leadership,
but the constant political turmoil and tension often resulting from the religion-based political rule prevents them from making any meaningful progress)
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