Home > Uncategorized > Separation of Church and State??

Separation of Church and State??

Today I got into a little Facebook political argument that resulted in sadness.  One of my former co-worker’s posted an article slamming Christine O’Donnell for being an idiot at her recent political debate for not knowing that the 1st Amendment of the Constitution includes the Establishment Clause which is the foundation for separation of church and state.  Christine O’Donnell was defending keeping the education of Creationism in schools.  This is the Christian view of the beginning of the universe, which as Catholics does not necessarily contradict scientific teaching that IS accepted and taught in public schools.  Chris Coons attacked O’Donnell for not knowing that this is unacceptable teaching in public schools because of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause.  I do not defend Christine O’Donnell’s lack of knowledge of the Constitution Amendments, and it seems pretty clear to me excluding the over-attack of the media from my opinion, that she’s not the most ideal candidate.  However, I want to argue that Coon’s use of the 1st Amendment to remove religious teaching in schools is complete bullshit.

The Establishment Clause was inserted into the 1st Amendment to ensure that the United States would never become a Theocracy and declare a single religion as the only lawful practiced religion.  This was written by our early politicians who understood that America was made up of people who had recently fled countries where they were persecuted if they didn’t practice the specific religion of their former country.   In other words, the establishment clause was inserted into the first amendment so that we would be free to practice religion without interference from the government.  Instead it seems we have the opposite effect taking place in which these words are being manipulated to slowly remove the freedom to practice any religion at all.  With the exception of behind the closed doors of a church and within the comfort of my own home, tell me where it is going to be still accepted for my daughter to be a practicing Catholic?

My brief Facebook argument was a rude awakening to the futility of political views ever reconciling together when at the core they are separated by ideology and religious principles.  In the deceitful and cunning name of tolerance we are stripping out the very existence of God in society.  Where is the tolerance for the majority of us that are religious??  As this abuse of Constitutional interpretation continues, individuals practicing religion will only become more legally inhibited to when, where, and how they will be able to practice their beliefs.  If Hell can be defined as the complete absence of God, then what does that say about the direction of our country as politicians use the law to gradually strip God out of our daily lives?

 

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  1. October 20, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Well-written, but I’d much rather an occasional blonde moment than a self-proclaimed bearded Marxist.

    If you haven’t already, I would highly recommend reading Persecution by David Limbaugh. Its scary as hell but sooo important for all believers to know!

  2. October 20, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I wanted to add something to your post, something that has bugging me lately. As a lot of people may not know, former president Lyndon B Johnson was successful in adding an amendment to the tax code, know as the Johnson Amendment (wonder how long it took to come up with that name). Anyways, the amendment prohibits nonprofit organizations, such as churches, from endorsing or opposing candidates. This was created under the “claim” of separation of church and state. But, as you clearly state, and correctly, I might add separation of church and state is to prevent the government from promoting, or interfering with religion, not the other way around.

    Recently a Protestant Minister in Minnesota endorsed candidates for this years election with the hope of starting a legal battle in hopes of overturning the law. I applaud him as there needs to be a fight against this and this country needs to remember it’s own roots. Our faith should be instrumental in our politics if we ever hope to keep this union alive and thriving.

  3. October 20, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I enjoyed this post. I would argue that while you are correct in that the establishment clause alone doesn’t really prohibit teaching religious principles like creation in schools, teaching such faith-specific principles in public(ly funded) schools does kind of toe a line that borders government endorsement of particular religions and/or sects. I think one could argue pretty easily that the establishment clause does prohibit that.

    As to your point regarding God being stripped out of society, I’m curious where you see that happening. I do see religion being stripped out of *government* in some places (I happen to think that’s a positive, but that’s not really related to your point), though I also see it being added to government in others. I think that’s different than “stripping God out of society”, though. To my knowledge, believers of any faith can still gather wherever they like and practice wherever they like. I guess what I’m saying is that (repectfully) I don’t think that preventing government endorsement of particular religious principles impedes anyone from practicing whatever religion they choose out in the open.

    Just my two cents (and apologies if this comment looks a mess; its was done via Blackberry)

    • October 20, 2010 at 10:20 pm

      Sherm, I would argue that the establishment clause in no way prohibits the teaching of faith-specific principles in publicly funded schools. Steve hit it on the head when he said:

      “The Establishment Clause was inserted into the 1st Amendment to ensure that the United States would never become a Theocracy and declare a single religion as the only lawful practiced religion.”

      The exception being taken here is not that public schools aren’t teaching Christian principles or beliefs, it’s that academia as a whole has rejected the idea of a supreme being and fights like hell to keep it that way. Public schools SHOULD be teaching religious principles, not writing religion off as insanity, which seems to be the present situation.

      I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine who has 4 kids. He mentioned that he would rather have his children scandalized by sin, rather than by prayer. This is the opposite of the current situation in our schools (both public & private!).

      Admittedly my opinion is focused by my convictions of an objective truth, but isn’t there something RIGHT about the above statement?

  4. Albert
    October 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    What did you mean by this?

    “I do not defend Christine O’Donnell’s lack of knowledge of the Constitution Amendments”

    I think it’s clear the O’Donnell knows what the first amendment is and that the establishment clause has nothing to do with public schools.

    Anyway, I think the government shouldn’t have anything to do with schools, certainly not the central government.

  5. Josh Mincher
    November 5, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Excellent Article!

    The Federal Government is certainly attempting to exclude the belief in God from government. It is also attempting to seperate the community’s self-government from its practice of religion. The notion that a person, or a community of persons, can live a fragmented life in which their self-governance is absolutely seperated from their practice of religion is a gibberish misconception of the very words “self-government” and “religion”.
    The founders understood that acknowledgement of the existence of God was not a matter of “faith” but of reason. Hence their widely stated assertion that human law rests upon the law of Nature, the absoluteness of which rests upon the Absoluteness of its origin, namely God (not necessarily the Judaeo-Christian God). The self evident truths were accessible to the minds of all men precisely because they were grounded in the Eternal, Absolute thought of God. God, in other words, was the common wealth of mankind, because His reasons (freedom and self-government) were accessible to the minds of all men.
    Atheism was pointedly singled out by the Founders as inadequate for self-government because it denied the notion of truth, and atheists could not then be trusted to tell the truth under oath. Now, one can argue the truth of this idea, but its disingenuous for today’s politicians and academics to blithely avoid such relevant data.
    Faith was pertinent to the affairs of theology and religious sects. The founders explicitly stated that religion was necessary for self-government (see John Adams, for example), and in the Northwest Ordinances, passed by Congress, they established public schooling explicitly so that religion and morals would be taught.
    What we have today is the enshrinement of a humanist ideology, with all the trappings of a religion, that denies our ability to govern ourselves by any truths, self-evident or held by faith. This leaves us only raw power as a source of governance.

  1. October 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm

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