Disclaimer: I was feeling really rant-y today about this issue that’s been bothering me for a while. I’m interested in reading what your opinion about it is!
During (and even after) both the Canadian and American elections, I have heard the statement: ” the state should be separated from any kind of religious institution/beliefs.” However, I don’t think that is possible.
In addition, I have seen many people be bashed because they state: “because of my faith, x,y and z.” Quite a few of the bashers reply something along the lines of: “You shouldn’t let your faith/religion/etc. make the decision for you, etc.” “You’re backwards because you don’t agree with random statement x, etc.” However, it seems to me that people who are promoting anti-discrimination can be discriminating themselves.
For the vast majority of people who follow some type of religion, their faith is what they believe in. As people, we come to our conclusions about various issues through our life’s journey, similarly to everyone else on this planet. It doesn’t mean that anyone else’s opinions or beliefs are wrong, just different. For some people, myself included, a large part of their life’s journey has been exposed to a religious group and probably at some point, some or all of the beliefs were agreed to and taken on. How is this different from being exposed to any kind of secular train of thought and believing it?
So why isn’t it possible to separate the church and the state? Because if people’s personal beliefs are in line with a religious institution, chances are that they will elect people (ie. the state) who’s values agree the most with theirs. Since in Canada and the States we thankfully live in a democratic society, we have this freedom to choose our state and it reflects the majority* of the people’s beliefs. Thus, if enough people still believe in any religious institution, it will be impossible for the state to be separated from the church.
*majority of the people who bothered to let their voice be heard, anyways. But that’s a rant for another day. 🙂