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- Separation Of Church And State

The issue of separation of church and state is a tough one because there is so much conflicting information out there about what it means. For such an important subject to be so misunderstood and taught with conflicting information is troubling to say the least. Does religion need to be protected from government? YES, this is obvious to most people, particularly the right wing Christians. Although the liberal, religious left like to use the pulpit to further their agenda when it benefits them. Nancy Pelosi is on record saying that she has instructed clergy to promote immigration reform from the pulpit. John Kerry is on record justifying cap and trade by having faith based support. We see all around us churches promoting social justice which is really just the liberal influence for socialism in churches today. All churches under the IRS 501c3 is under a gag order from speaking freely about political issues without the threat of losing their tax exempt status. The IRS can shut a church down or easily bankrupt it for this if it chooses. So the tax exempt status that is already guaranteed in the constitution is nothing more than hush money to the churches. And unfortunately most churches have taken the bribe and thus given their 1st amendment rights away. So the government can now silence churches they don’t agree with and support the churches that promote their propaganda. Government has set up clergy response teams to calm down and control their flocks in the event of a national emergency like hurricane Katrina when US troops were patrolling the streets and confiscating fire arms from the public. This is what Hitler did with the clergy of his day. Hitler had the clergy preach, out of context of course, Romans 13 so that the people would obey whatever they were told to do by the authorities. So there is government influence today in the church. The church of England is one example of why religion needs to be protected from government influence. Many of the ancient empires controlled the religion of their day according to however the emperor saw fit. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon forced all his people to worship the image of gold he set up or be killed. Caesars of the Roman Empire claimed themselves to be god and forced worship of himself on his people. When ever the ruler changed, the religion changed with it. So government control of churches has throughout history resulted in disaster.

On the other hand, is the more controversial question. Does government need to be protected from religion? I say YES to this also. This is obvious to left wing, liberal Christians who don’t want fundamentalist views shoved down their throats. But right wing Christians claim that removing God out of government is the main cause of our problems today. They say that the principles of Christianity need to be the driving force behind government in order to have God’s blessing on our nation. But if you lobby the government to forcefully implement your own religious beliefs on others at the expense of others freedom of religion, that sets the precedent for others to possibly do this to you. And if mob rule democracy is the law of the land where 51% can oppress the other 49%, who is to say that the true values of God will be the majority? The founders original constitutional republic(not democracy) grants equal freedom of religion to all people. We have to protect the rights of even our enemies in order to protect our own rights. God doesn't need the help of the state to advance his plans. Religion should promote itself through the lives of its people and the examples they set, not through government force. Look at the disastrous results of having the Islamic religion control government policy in the Middle East today. Think back to the Dark Ages when the Catholic Church controlled government policy during that time period. The inquisition and the crusades caused more deaths than anything else in human history and it was all due to religious influence on government. It’s interesting that this history of the Catholic Church is largely ignored today. Some, including myself, will claim this same power is the hidden power controlling governments today. Yes this influence claimed to be working in the name of God, but this was not the case. That is the problem, if religion is allowed to control government policy, who is to say that man will get it right and implement the correct will of God. So keep religion and government separate from each other, enjoy your freedom of religion while allowing others to enjoy theirs, and uphold the constitution. If a pastor wants to talk politics from the pulpit, he should be allowed to whether we agree with it or not. The government should not limit the speech of pastors. And government should follow the constitution at all costs, no matter what religious lobbying groups may lobby for. It sounds so simple, but human nature has never been able to allow this to happen for any significant length of time throughout history.

So now as our economy continues to spiral downward, people always look to religion when times get tough. Now imagine a grassroots, Christian movement that wants to “take our country back” and restore the country to a Christian nation. The truth is we were never meant to be a Christian nation, but instead a nation with equal religious freedom for all people. Now imagine this movement begins to control government policy much like the Catholic Church did in the Dark Ages. The government then forcefully enforces laws that appease the masses, but trample on the religious freedoms of minority groups. Well this is all fine so long as you are in the group of the majority. But what if this brand of Christianity is different than your idea of Christianity? Or what if it's not even calling itself Christianity and it's another religion altogether. What if one of these laws requires you to disobey what you believe God commands of you? Will you do as you are told as, they will tell you, Romans 13 suggests you should do? Or will you obey God rather than man? King Nebuchadnezzar commanded Daniel to worship his image of gold, but Daniel refused even with the penalty of death. Daniel had no assurance that God would save him. He was willing to die rather than disobey God. The government’s law conflicted with God’s commands, and Daniel chose to obey God over man. Hopefully we never have to make that decision. But the best way to avoid that is to keep church and state separate from each other so that one doesn't corrupt the other. Promote religious freedom not just for your beliefs but for all people. God doesn't need the state's help.