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Monday, July 11, 2022

How ‘Separation Of Church And State’ Is Being Used To Rid America Of Religion

The Supreme Court recently (7/22) ruled that a football coach could kneel on the fifty yard line and pray.  The Court never asked what the coach was praying for, none of their business; but it decided that his expression of faith in no way compromised the Constitutional principle ensuring that no one religion could ever be enforced on anyone.  The Constitutional principle was based on the Revolutionary separation of England’s former colony from the King, his religion, and his opportunistic economic policies.  Never again would any power, international or otherwise, be allowed to impose its religious will.  The same principle was applied to the citizens of the new American democracy – no jurisdiction could ever establish and impose its own religion on those living within it.


A rather simple principle.  Churches abounded in the early days of the Republic, were responsible for social services and education, taxed and tithed their members to be able to do so.  The faithful of many denominations proudly and loudly proclaimed their faith and allegiance.  All through New England there were Methodist, Congregational, Episcopal, and Catholic churches everywhere.  Celebration of faith, prayer, and spiritual inspiration were universal; and there were enough sects and subsects to give everyone a place under God.

Image result for images 18th century New England Churches. Size: 150 x 224. Source: canarchspeaks.blogspot.com

Jefferson and the other framers of the Constitution were inspired by the Enlightenment, a movement based on logic, intellectual discipline, and reason organized to pursue matters of faith.  It was in many ways a reprise of the Early Church when Tertullian, Athanasius, Augustine, and others parsed every word of the  Bible to arrive at a consensus of faith.  Not surprisingly the debate took centuries to be resolved – after all the nature of Jesus, man, god, or both; and the mystery of the Holy Trinity not to mention sin, redemption, and salvation were not matters to be easily dispensed with.  Logic in the pursuit of faith.

Although the Protestant churches after Martin Luther changed the calculus and taught that one could more easily find God without the painstaking exegesis and logical analysis prescribed  by the Church, the Catholic Church retained the principle of logic and faith together as ways to find God.,

In any case, the Founding Fathers knew that religion was to be an important feature of the new Republic.  It was in fact the best expression of the new citizenry, the foundation of morality and ethics, and the guiding principle behind social behavior and justice.  While they remained adamant that no one religion, sect, or faith should ever impose its will on any other, they acknowledged and celebrated the widespread expressions of faith in America.

Today  those foundational principles are increasingly ignored or dismissed out of hand.  Religion itself has become suspect and a dangerous threat to the progressive ideal of an ‘inclusive’, ‘diverse’ society.  The idea of a supreme being is antithetical to the notion of secular progress.  The architecture of religion, whether the highly structured Catholic version or the far more loose and doctrinally free Protestant alternatives, has different goals.  The salvation of souls, the forgiveness of sin, and the all-encompassing idea of spiritual evolution have nothing to do with the restoring the black man to primacy, the disestablishment of traditional sexuality, the recasting of the nature of life and its origins, and the supremacy of women.  Religion gets in the way.  There cannot be two gods- a spiritual one and a secular one.,  Unless the divisive, intrusive, destructive forces of religion are confronted and rolled back, reaching a secular Utopia will be more distant promise.

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The Supreme Court has finally and loudly put an end to this absurdity and restored the legitimacy and place of religion in public life.  While the decision only ruled on the claims of one man, the implications are perfectly clear; and soon to be tested will be the insensible restrictions of other religious expressions – displays of the cross and depictions of the crucifixion at Easter, creches and Christmas trees in December on public land.  These restrictions will not stand. A display of Christian iconography at crucial dates of the calendar are in no way restrictions on the rights of other believers.  America is still a Christian country, after all, and Jews have never disagreed, have let Christianity have its say as long as their temples, seders, and holidays went unmolested.  Muslims are no different.,   If in areas of Michigan where there are significant numbers of Muslims, the call to prayer should be recognized, not quieted.

In fact the country will benefit and has always benefitted from a multiplicity of religious expressions. If the symbols of faith are prominently displayed and religious ceremonies publicly recognized, the country will return to its Enlightenment roots; and even more importantly the progressive secular juggernaut will be slowed if not stopped.  Society is not valued for the hodgepodge of race, gender, and ethnicity, but for its foundational values, its morality, and its overarching spiritual nature.  Expunging religion from the public sphere does ho good, but only allows for more secular meanderings.  Progressivism has lost its way and in no way resembles its early reformist nature.  It has become a debilitating force, a dissonant voice in an America which was founded on faith and which continues to profess it.

The victory the coach prayed for was not to be.  God does not recognize idle prayers or in fact reward any of them.  Prayer, according to Christian doctrine is a way to show one’s fidelity, respect, honor, and tribute to God.  In the more conservative Protestant religions, there is no way that anyone can influence Jesus’ heaven-or-hell decision on Judgement Day.  Election, it is called, and one can only hope that one’s life has been acceptable.

Image result for images dore judgment day

Which is why the Supreme Court wanted nothing to do with the nature of the coach’s prayers, for off they went into the ether with no one minding the store.  It was the expression of faith which mattered, no different from Friday prayers at the mosque, rocking before the Wailing  Wall, or writing in ecstasy finding Jesus.  So fundamental is it to the American psyche and soul, that nothing should be put in its way.

Image result for images american mosque friday prayers

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