A crooked view of separation of church and state
By Lee Russ
Monday, January 01, 2007 at 11:37 AM
The modern day attacks on separation of church and state flow from many sources, and illustrate a tremendous range of understanding of the doctrine itself and of the role of religion in our nation's "moral underpinnings."
Not to make undue fun of a single person, but take a look at the claims and reasoning in the following letter to a small town newspaper.Emphasis added:
Separation of church, state can only weaken our nation
I think the so-called "separation of church and state" greatly hinders our country. Without church and religious influences in making laws, no one has a reason to care about each other. All morals and basic principles are based on religious beliefs about equality, fairness, and sovereignty.
When religious references are removed from courthouses and government buildings, it really mars society. Even if you don't believe in a God, the religious references in courthouses are just basic morals that any person, religious or not, would have no problem observing
It is hard to believe that in a moral society, some of the greatest moral codes are being removed from government buildings. Government makes laws based on general morality.
That's some set of assertions.
- Without church and religious influences in making laws, no one has a reason to care about each other Now there's a truly nasty, utterly pessimistic view of life and people. No God? Well, hell, lets rape and pillage to our hearts content; surely there's no innate sense of right and wrong, no innate ability to empathize with others. It's God or the chaos, for sure.
- All morals and basic principles are based on religious beliefs about equality, fairness, and sovereignty Seems to me to be more plausible that people reason out equality, fairness, etc. from circumstances in the real world, then incorporate those views in the religion of their choice.
- Even if you don't believe in a God, the religious references in courthouses are just basic morals that any person, religious or not, would have no problem observing. That's patently wrong. The ten commandments are a common source of church-state conflict and the very first of those commandments is "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Number 2 is "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." Number 3 is "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." Number 4 is "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy."
Then there's the whole Constitution thing. And the fact that all our supposedly religious-based moral codes haven't really had much success in coaxing moral behavior out of the populace, or even the clergy.
The letter has it completely inverted. The caption out to read "Lack of separation of church, state can only weaken our nation."