“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” – First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States
Once again the question of the “separation of church” and state has made its way into the news. This frustrates me because people confuse this idea with the “separation of church and state.” I figure most people mistakenly think this idea is the same as “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
The way I see it (and please feel free to argue the point with me), every time the courts of this land decide we cannot have prayer in school or at a school event, the court — a branch of our government — is establishing a religion.
If the U.S. Supreme Court decides a small town in the United States cannot open council meetings in prayer, the high court is establishing a religion. Every time we use the excuse that we need to remove all references of God from our public lives, we are permitting the establishment of a state religion — the very thing “we the people” seem to be afraid of.
I am a Protestant, but I really don’t get offended by a non-Protestant prayer. I do, however, get very offended when I’m told that I can’t pray in public because it might be offensive to somebody. I do not understand a lot about religions other than mine, and to be honest I might not understand all that much about my own religious upbringing, but I do respect the right of all people to pray. I find nothing offensive about another person’s prayers.
To get back to the point of this column, if we permit all references of God to be removed from all state-controlled functions, we are creating a vacuum that will be filled by the state. Therefore, with every decision the courts make to remove God, the state is establishing a religion.
Some people think “In God We Trust” should be taken off of our money. If this ever happens we may as well replace this motto with “In the Government We Trust.” Take a good look around your world. How many people are trusting in politicians to take care of all their needs? This has nothing to do with liberalism or conservatism; they both can become the established religion of the state.
Whatever replaces our trust in God becomes the religion of this nation.
You might want to think twice before not wanting to offend somebody. I think it is far better to have freedom of religion than freedom from religion.
No religion is in itself a religion.