Tag Archives: Separation of Church and State

Religion In The State


My take on the separation of church and state is that we don’t want to create a national religion that would allow the leaders of the church to be the leaders of the state.  As was the case when folks first left England for the “new land”.  At that time, the King of England was also the head of the Church of England.

Of course, over time, here in America we have taken this concept and twisted it to all kinds of silly that now prevents us from offering a prayer before graduation, before a football game.  It prevents kids from singing Christmas carols during winter concerts.  Local governments are unable to display mangers.

Not, in my opinion, the intent.

Mississippi seems to be going the other way in an equal manner:

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a bill that could lead to student-led prayer over school intercoms or at graduations or sporting events.

It says all school districts must adopt a policy to allow a “limited public forum” at school events such as football games or morning announcements, to let students express religious beliefs. The policy must include a disclaimer that such student speech “does not reflect the endorsement, sponsorship, position or expression of the district.”

In the same way and manner that I don’t think that we should forbid coaches from holding a small prayer before hitting the hardwoods, I don’t think that we should be mandating a forum either.

However, when we begin to legislate stuff like this we end up with all kinds of twisted and tortured legislation that, when boiled down, is really meant to say, “Just leave me alone!”

My hope that this might just be a good common sense codified is the ACLU’s response:

Bear Atwood, legal director for ACLU of Mississippi, says the group will wait to see if there’s proselytizing in schools before deciding whether to file a lawsuit.

What else can ya expect from a dude named “Bear”?

Kansas Day of Prayer

There is some amount of controversy in Kansas:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is urging Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to rescind his religious proclamations and opt not, in his official capacity, to attend or endorse the overtly Christian event “Going to the Heart,” which is scheduled to broadcast live from Topeka, Kan., on Dec. 8 from 3-6 p.m. CST.

Brownback not only publicly declared Dec. 8 a “Day of Restoration,” but recorded a promotional video for the national simulcast, calling on citizens to “pray to God, in humility and in unity to ask for his favor and assistance in these difficult times.”

I happen to feel that the United States is explicitly founded on the basis of a nation endowed by the Creator; we are a Spiritual nation.

However, I am further convinced that we are not an explicitly Christian nation.  Further, I’m aware of the rulings of the Supreme Court that has severely restricted any government involvement in matters spiritual.

The worry that occupied the framers was not the public displays of religion or of government officials calling on days of prayer; indeed, Washington himself was very explicit regarding his belief that America was a Divine Experiment and often issued orders of prayer.  Rather, the concern was that the government not establish a religion.  That the government not pass laws requiring the joining of any religion or of passing any legislation that would require taxes to fund a state religion.

That being said, what would the general public say if, instead of asking citizens to “pray to God” implored them to “pray to Allah?”

Especially interesting because both the Christian God and the Muslim Allah are the God of Abraham.  In other words, the same divine entity.

War On Christianity: No Christian Present

So the claim is that there’s a “war on religion” going on.  And when you hear that you can safely substitute “religion” for “Christianity.”  I’m not sure that war is the right word, but there is clearly an over-reach by the left when it comes to the separation of the church and the state.

We know what they meant when they crafted the nation.  They meant that the “officers” of the church were not to be the “officers” of the state.  The two couldn’t be the same.  They most certainly, and clearly, did NOT mean that there was to be no religion in the state.

Continue reading

Religious Freedom: Double Standard

When I think of the proper separation of church and state I think of the concept of the institutions.  I really think the intent of the separation came about because back in the history of the founding, the head of England was also the head of the church.  They were, in many respects, the same.

This lead to the condition where the official function of state was to discourage, and even make it illegal to practice, other religions.  I don’t think it was the goal of the time to make sure government didn’t contain religion, only that it not BE religion. There are numerous instances of examples of this belief.

Continue reading