For Once, I Agree With Vjack
I normally bash what Vjack has to say, but in this case, I think it’s perfectly justified.
Christine O’Donnell, from everything that I’ve read about her, is making Christians in general look bad. She tried to argue that the phrase “separation of church and state” isn’t in the Constitution, so it’s not a valid concept.
The First Amendment says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
What’s clear here is that the Founding Fathers didn’t want any one religion to be the religion in the United States, but I don’t think that they meant to clean all references to God and religion out of the government. They wanted the governing authorities to remain secular and not tied to a specific church or denomination. Different denominations within Christianity often have very different ideas of what constitutes the greater good. To remain free to serve the diverse religious beliefs within the new republic, the government would have to remain clear of heavy church influence.
Since many were religious refugees from the Anglican church, they wanted to respect the rights of other religious refugees to practice their own religion when they emigrated here.
The main problem with O’Donnell’s argument is one of consistency. I’m assuming (dangerous, I know) that she would believe in the Triune God, since she is a Roman Catholic. Well, by opponents of the Trinity, it has been repeatedly asserted that the word “Trinity” is found nowhere in the Bible. That’s one of the main arguments against the Trinity. Yet, the Trinity can be supported with numerous Scripture passages, even if they make no direct reference to “Trinity.”
So it is with separation of church and state. The phrase itself may not appear, but it can be deduced that this is the intent of the Founding Fathers. They didn’t want a single religion or denomination to dominate politics. To support a free exchange of ideas and to arrive at what is really the common good, denominational in-fighting has no place in government.
The Bible tells us to submit to the governing authorities (Rom 13:1; 1 Pet 2:13-17). Nowhere can I see that we are called to be the governing authorities. Rather, Peter tells us:
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Pet 2:15-17)
So, Christians should fine with separation of church and state. All the more reason to witness by our lives that have been changed for the better by Christ, for Christ. Live up to Christian values and morals, leading by example.
Posted on October 29, 2010, in Bible Thoughts, God, Morality, Religion, Roman Catholicism and tagged Christine O'Donnell, church-state separation, First Amendment, Religion, Trinity. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.
I hate to disagree with you Corey. If you parse the wording in 1st amendment, it has to do with the making of law, not the actions of the state per se, of which the making of law is only one type. Judges have been forced to remove the 10 commandments from their courtroom. Los Angeles was forced to remove the cross from its official seal. Stuff like that, all in the name of “separation of church and state”. Yet, in neither case was a law being challenged as unconstitutional; in both cases however, a law was passed or interpreted against the display of a historically religious symbol. Admittedly, the free excercise of religion was not exactly hampered by these anti-religious actions, but neither did these actions truly protect us against the establishment of religion through law; there was no law being challenged. This is why statements such Christie’s are so important: we have a group of people “defending” the country in the name of the separation of church in state, when the constitution wants us defending the country against laws establishing a state religion. But, because there are no such laws, and the church is not trying to pass any, anti-religious zealots must advance their agenda by ignoring the narrow “establishment of law” wording of the 1st amendment, and cling to the unconstitutional interpretation of “separation”, which they consistently applied with a much broader meaning than the constution actually says. Please reconsider your position. One day, the word God in any government-related artifact or event will be ruled unconstitutional… and the Fathers will be turning over in their graves.