Friday, March 04, 2005

Is Separation of Church and State a Myth?

I've been wrestling with this one for a while. The reichwingers seem to think that the ideal, set down concretely by our founding fathers, of the separation of Church and State is unattainable, at best, and undesirable, at the very least.

I submit to the flaws of men, and realize many have failed at the goal. This is not to say that our leaders, past and present have been or need be agnostic. Even so, perhaps our forefathers were smarter than we give them credit for as they were much closer to governments operated when states and church entities were so entwined, they were one and the same.

Certainly, in the days when thinking over preaching prevailed, the drafters of our great Constitution were smarter, and prescient.

We may have failed. And in the W. Rove and Co administration, where Attorneys General drape statues for their offenses, we most certainly have a quasi-theocracy. But does this mean we should not strive to avert the disastrous shortcomings of the fornicating Church & State governments?

Hence my questions for the weekend. Is the separation of Church and State a myth? If so, which God should be installed in the Whitehouse; Allah, Buddha, or yours?


Ken Grandlund said...

I don't think that we've failed in separating the church and state in this country, at least not yet. Despite the vocal minority of Christians who would have this happen, the unspoken majority of Christians have a better understanding that this would not be in their best interests. Governmental sanctioning of Christianity as a state religion would necessarily entail deciding which sect of Christianity would become the chosen one of the state. Too much partisanship, even within their own ranks for that to get settled easily, and they know it.

Not being religious myself, I can only keep pointing out that when the state adopts a religious creed as a legal dogma, everyone loses.

Anonymous said...

The Arkansas House of Reps recently voted down a resolution that would have affirmed the body’s support of “the principle of separation of church and state.” The legislation also highlighted language in the state constitution that arguably goes even further, mandating that “no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment, denomination or mode of worship above any other.”

Anonymous said...

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pia said...

Agree with Ken, I hope.

After spending much of the weekend debunking Cao, I feel much more hopeful.

As long as Cao and her very stupid friends keep on spewing filth, people are going to step back, and say what a second, that's not what I mean, or want.

I'm very tired of telling the story behind the making of the First Amendment as a retort to their revisionist history.

Did you know that the ACLU promotes polygomy? Learned that today. But as long as Cao's friends say those things the majority of Americans, who are rational, will maybe begin thinking

SheaNC said...

In my lifetime, we've never had complete separation of church and state. Religious slogans on the currency, "under god" add to the pledge of allegience, christian prayers at public events, and so on. And, in the rural fundamentalist area where I grew up, it got pretty hardcore sometimes.

I'm now a non-christian, and I often feel as though I see inappropriate religious expressions that christians seem to take for granted. I accept this because I understand how important peoples' religious beliefs are to them. But I loathe theocracy, and I
remain ever sensative toward religion-based abuses of power.

The Bush administration is a taliban-in-the-making. Here is an editorial that speaks it nicely: Hidden Passages

SheaNC said...

Oops, sorry about the typos!

Anonymous said...

Hidden passages

There are always going to be Easter Eggs, no pun intended. Speeches are meant to work on many levels. If Bush's supporters find them and think he's speaking only to them, that's their problem. For the rest of us who ''get them,'' the allusions, the King James bible is embedded in the language. It's a manner of speaking. I'm not offended by Bush's manner of speaking. The bible was and is a guide to good conduct.

Watch what Bush does, not what he says. He's another hypocritical preacher, taking the poor's money. Maybe they'll be clever enough next time not to vote for someone who's never done an honest days work.