Church and State
The following is a response I wrote on Moonbatty's blog about the separation of church and state. References to what other people have said are a response to the comments made on her blog.
The Constitution says nothing about the separation of church and state. It's a term that was first used by Jefferson in a letter to a Baptist church. What Jefferson meant by the phrase is that the government would not interfere with the church.
What the Constitution does say is simply that the government is not supposed to establish a religion. It simply means that the government is not supposed to have an officially enacted church organization. Examples of countries that do are England, Norway, Iran and many more.
What the Constitution says about establishment of a religion had NOTHING to do with ENDORSEMENT or RECOGNITION of religion, particularly the Christian religion in its various forms and denominations.
From day one, the very people who wrote the Establishment clause endorsed the role of Christianity in the government. That wall that Jefferson talked about was only supposed to operate one way. As was mentioned above, pronouncements of days of prayers were there from the beginning.
The government was not meant to be devoid of religion. It was never imagined that the government wouldn't or shouldn't pass laws based on Christian principles.
Gay marriage is another issue altogether, but it's only a corrupt government that gives legal credence to marriage at all; it's another method of control. My religion should define whether I am married or not, not the law.
If it were not for the fact that government has 'legalized' marriage at all, we wouldn't even have this debate because other than it being enacted in to law, the majority of the public would not accept the change in definition of marriage from being between a man and a woman to 'two people'.
Historically speaking, there is far more precedent for polygamy than there is for homosexual 'marriage'. Homosexual marriage is not marriage at all, it is something else. Homosexuals can form relationships etc. including legal contracts that, in essence give the same rights as marriage already but it's still not marriage because marriage means something other than what they are practicing.
Back on topic.
The government passes laws based on Christian principles but it does not force anyone to practice a particular religion. Someone above mentioned that removing parking meter restrictions accommodateto accomodate church parking is forcing people to practice religion. HUH? That's asinine. Do you also refuse to take Christmas off of work because it's a Christian holiday?
The government is perfectly within its right to ENDORSE religious concepts. Let's say that Congress tried to pass a law making Ramadan a national holiday. They would end up getting kicked out of office the next election or even getting recalled. The American people don't WANT Ramadan to be an official holiday. They do however want Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving (a religious holiday) to be officially recognized. If you want that changed, petition your Congressman. This applies on the Fed and State level. It's simply not going to happen. As long as the government doesn't establish Islam as a religion, any recognition it might give to its creeds is not unconstitutional regardless of how offended I would be by such a recognition. As near as I can tell, being offensive is still legal in this country.
All that being said, I believe that 'faith based initiatives' are a really bad idea. This is primarily due to the fact that the way the government operates now is already outside of Constitutional boundaries and these initiatives are just extensions of unconstitutional programs. The government shouldn't hand out money to churches for social programs because it shoudn't be handing out money to ANYBODY for social programs. These faith based initiatives are nothing more than socialism wrapped in religious garments. They need to stop. But it's not the religion that's the problem, the programs shouldn't exist to begin with.