The concept of separating church and state is tossed around pretty regularly when issues like gay marriage and abortion are discussed in politics. Thomas Jefferson spoke about the need for separation between the two entities and, despite his strong religious convictions, believed government should never involve itself in religion.
Now more than ever, it’s time we adhere to this principle.
This country was founded on Christian principles and we believe the Constitution of the United States to be a divinely inspired article of legislation. However, the country has changed dramatically since the Constitution was written and more people of different ideologies, religions and ethnicities live here than ever before.
With the changes in our growing population, many people disagree with laws and regulations that are founded on fundamental and traditional Christian principles.
This week those people saw a victory for gay marriage in the Sreme Court and for abortion in Texas.
While the occasion is a joyous one for millions who fought for years to gain rights in these two categories, many others who have spoken out against them are saddened by what they see as a failing of morality in our government.
Because of the ongoing debate, feelings of resentment and anger have become far too prevalent on both sides of the argument.
Here’s where the separation of church and state comes in handy.
No matter how good the arguments, the truth is that religion has too often played a part in the legislative process, in this case in the realm of gay marriage and abortion. In other words, religion is not separated from state. While some may see this as a good thing, the truth is that there’s a serious consequence to operating in this fashion.
Separation of church and state works both ways — if the church is not separated from the state, then there’s no stopping the state from interfering with the church.
Religious liberties have already been infringed on in some areas. Catholic orphanages in the Northeast closed their doors and ceased adoption processes when they were required to consider gay coles. The Catholic church is still fighting parts of Obamacare, which forces their organizations in the U.S. to provide women with contraceptive insurance.
The infringements may disregard religious liberties, but too many people believe religion has stifled their basic human rights. The ensuing conflict between the two sides only serves to create discontent and future conflict.
As public opinion shifts further and further into a secular mindset, the religious must back off if they want to save the religious liberties they hold dear.
They must reestablish the wall separating church and state as a protection for themselves; otherwise, the state will have no qualms in squashing those religious liberties when the majority of the public is in their favor.
Separation of church and state was never just about protecting the government from religion’s ideology: It was also about protecting our religions from government interference.