Separation?

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. 🙂

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Separation?

  1. Oh my word! I just wrote a two-part rant today (that was left unpublished) and this was part (a). Wow!!

    I have said it before but my faith is intrinsic to what I believe, to how I vote, and who I am to the core of my being. I can’t seperate my beliefs from my politics so much as you could seperate your heart from your chest! (“Your” is a general term meaning no one in specific by the way.)

    You make an awesome point about the majority. Not that “true” Christians are a majority, it is just percieved that way by society. I think if more Christians voted and governed with their whole hearts to their faith this would be a much more AMAZING country to live in!!

    I encourage you to read this short quote from Thomas Jefferson about the “Wall of Seperation” seperating religion and government. This concept was based on the writings of Thomas Jefferson and it was taken DEAD WRONG. He wanted freedom OF religion, not FROM religion! Read for yourself…

    “Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. ”

    In short: if a government uses religious power it will disrupt our free will to participate in religion. It is necessary to seperate the two in order to ensure freedom of religion. Not in order to ensure the government is “safe” from religion.

    Sorry for the novel length comment, but this is something I am so very passionate about!

    Here’s more resources:
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/152648/defending_thomas_jefferson_freedom.html?cat=9

    [audio src="http://gileadtaylor.com/dwnld/a00482_15.mp3" /]

    The first is an article, the second is a very compelling audio sermon.

  2. P.S. I hope your appointment went well! 🙂

  3. I think always find it funny that a country that was founded on religious freedom and tolerance can’t do just that allow religious freedom or the tolerance of religion. And when it comes to the state and religion…look out.

    I agree with use of Jefferson’s letter in both regards – we can’t allow government to establish or even promote the exercise of religion. That cause too many issues as a result. But then again government should be free of religion as well – I’m going to stick with this.

    I want to preface my argument by saying that politics are the politicians and government is agencies and authority running the country.

    I think govt (actually running the country) has no place for religion in the sense it can be a whose side are you on scenario (Christian, Muslim, Judiasm then what type of Christian are you argument.) Like Manifest Destiny for example – its our God-given right to expand the US to the Pacific Ocean but at what cost? Do we expand through treaties with Native Americans or do we enter into combat with them knowing we have better technology? The result, we expanded all right and allowed a culture to be isolated and then assimilated to fit into the American image – it was policy that involved a theory that put religion as its central thesis.

    I think religion and state can garner three types of people:

    a) the zealots – I know a few.
    b) the religion must die and all those who believe must die with it see Bill Mahr.
    c) everyone else.

    In any case, religion and politics may be one thing (I really don’t care if the President goes to church) but religion and government is another – they are like oil and water. Trust me, you want science and logic on the side of running of country – at least in the policy areas of Education, Environment, Defense, State, etc.

    Its a hot mess.

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