Thursday, March 25, 2010

Separation of Church and State

The modern era has produced multiple examples of the reasons why separation of church and state is not only good philosophy but good practice. Russia, for example, after the revolution of 1917, insisted that its citizens not engage in religious practice nor acknowledge their faith in god. Consider Germany who reviled everything Jewish, burned synagogues, and murdered people only because they were Jewish. Look at Israel, who for 60 years has driven Muslims out; allowing only Jews to immigrate in. Take the Islamic Republic of Iran, who issues international death warrants for those who may have the audacity to criticize their religious teachings or leaders and denies that the European Jewish holocaust ever happened.

Why would American citizens ever wish to go backward into religious bigotry in attempting to establish a particular faith as the official religion of America? They are attempting to establish something which never existed while claiming that the Nation was founded on religious principles. Not so! The nation was founded on the ideas of liberal democracy which was originally a creation of the Greek city states more than 2,000 years ago and was anything but a religious movement.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the founding fathers who inducted the idea of separation of church and state into the national conscience...having been born about 50 years after the debacle of the Salem witch trials and the experiment of theocracy in Massachusetts. Over about 2-3 years more than 200 persons were jailed on the mere suspicion of witch craft. A return to this kind of thinking will accompany an official recognition of a national religion.

It is both wise and practical to maintain the principle and practice of the separation of church and state...practical because we are only human and can make gross mistakes while at the same time believing with great sincerity we are doing the right thing...wise because no examples of a successful marriage of church and state, where equality reigns, can be found.

No comments: