Time to Cry Tuesday – Separation of Church and State

Is this bothering anyone else? All this concentration on religion in government? Not because I am a Jew, for I don’t believe my Synagogue has any place in politics either. Or because I am a Democrat, because quite frankly I am none to comfortable with our President speaking about his faith or those who doubt it. It is completely irrelevant to running a government. Period.

Hey, land of the free and brave… Wassup?

The absolutely most horrifying comments of the week come right off the front page of the NYT Sunday paper:

Rick Santorum warned of the “dangers of contraceptives” and rejected JFK’s call for strict separation of church and state. He went so far as to tell George Stephanopoulus that Kennedy’s ideas are so terrible that they make him want to throw up. (lovely)

On the first point, let’s do one of those pros and cons lists for contraceptives and show me exactly how the dangers of using them compare to all those unwanted pregnancies. I get if you choose not to use contraceptives due to your religious leanings, I expect the same respect in return. Lose the fear mongering on dangers.

On point two… seriously? Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe that he gets to reject the concept. Since we, as Americans, have been kicking the idea of separation of church and state since around SINCE 18-friggin-02, why is this up for discussion now?

For those that might want a refresher on JFK’s speech in question from 1960:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute — where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be a Catholic) how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote. … I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish … where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials — and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

Yeh, I can see why he found that offensive, can’t you?!

Plainly put. YOUR religion, is YOUR religion. Not mine. Not my neighbors. Not the Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist… Atheist for that matter.

Ok, admit you are glad I did not get started on that slut Rush Limbaugh…

14 Comments

Filed under politics, Time to Cry Tuesdays

14 responses to “Time to Cry Tuesday – Separation of Church and State

  1. Okay, I have a serious question. I tend to agree but how can a person who has genuine convictions leave them out of the political arena? It would seem that such a separation presumes that faith correlates more closely with a hobby than a genuine conviction. Help me out here.

  2. Interesting take Spiritualsavant (great name, btw). Here is the thing. If one chooses to be a leader ‘of the people, for the people’ then there is no room for the influence of individual dogma. The rights of the people being lead are far more relevant than the personal belief system of any one leader. If there is an inability to separate out the dogma, perhaps leadership is not the right path.

    • How does a person distinguish rights from dogma? For instance, on the abortion issue, both sides would claim that they are defending rights. Who is right? Should one side be excluded from the debate? Is anyone really free of bias?

      • Ahhhhh… go straight to the most controversial of topics, I like that about you. no, everyone brings to the table their deal breakers in the ethics department. I will not fall down the hole of arguing who has more rights, the born or the unborn. Nor will i talk about how the greatest defenders of the unborn are far from supporters of taking care of them once they are here.
        What i will focus on is the point at hand… we, as a country, are far too diverse to allow ANY single belief system to control legislation. And since women are usually the ones who get the raw end of most of the deals being discussed; we have the right to retain our hard won freedoms, not have them compromised by a church of any kind.

      • Yeah, I see what you mean. It grieves me that religious groups tend to alienate others through their attempt to control policy. As a pastor, I apologize for our tactics- not just to you but to God. I feel that we’ve let him down by trying to keep America a Christian nation instead of going out to “love others as he has loved us” and “make disciples of all nations.” I’m sorry we’ve misrepresented him. I hope that you and he will forgive us.

        On the other hand, I know good and sincere people to who truly believe that they must take their faith into the public sector. These are the things I struggle with. I guess I just can’t be dogmatic either way 😉

  3. Joanne Florin

    Amen!

    • You see, I knew I liked you! And we can have a difference of faith, opinion, lifestyle… and still respect. You have nothing to apologize for, my new friend. I welcome your point of view anytime!

  4. Sherri Reddick

    Spiritualsavant, what if our leader was Muslim? Do we side step the constitution because that religion states that if a woman commits adultery she should be stoned to death?
    There’s a reason our forefathers wanted religion kept out of politics.

    • Wow, Sher, jump right in! I think he got the point but grapples because of his beliefs. That alone states why he is well suited as a pastor but problem not as a government official.

  5. Pingback: Separation of Church and State « Write on the World

  6. Frothingat Themouth

    Wowee…Isn’t this a love fest.

    here’s the hard news, for me,
    First on the Abortion issue, “Religion” and men have tried everything to deny woman control of THEIR bodies FOREVER.

    Religion is the “because I am the mommy” hammer that has denied logic and reason for centuries. I guess we should continue to debate creation.

    Oh , thats right we are.

    There is nothing warm and fuzzy in these debates.

    You cant agree to disagree with people who would use the bible as a definitive primary reference source.
    Otherwise we would be stoning gay people,
    Keeping women in hooded garments,
    Depriving them of the right to drive a car,
    Making them sit separate from men on a bus.

    Wake up chickees,

    The 19th amendment passed in 1920. Ninety-two years ago you couldn’t vote in this country. We allowed people we had enslaved for hundreds of years the right to vote fifty years before women.

    Seneca Falls New York, 1848,
    Does your daughter know that date?
    Does she know what happened there?

    Perhaps she is more familiar with the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas

    The great Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas taught that women were defective men, imperfect in both body and soul. They were conceived either because of defective sperm or because a damp wind was blowing at the time of conception . Leading scholars accepted Aquinas’s teaching that women had a higher water content than men and that this made them sexually incontinent . Since they were so watery, weak and unreliable it became a fundamental premiss of Canon Law that they were inferior beings. Following Aquinas , Canon law decreed that women could not witness a will. Neither could they testify in disputes over wills, nor in criminal proceedings. Generally they suffered the same sort of legal disabilities as children and imbeciles. They could not practice medicine, law or any other profession, nor could they hold any public office.

    Oh I guess we should have a new thought, something more recent, say about five days ago … SLUT

    March is Women’s History Month
    Say loud, say it proud.
    Stop the lunacy!
    Put your money where your mouth is and Vote !

    BTW , I am a man.

    • and one I love more than life itself (no this is not my husband and no I am not a slut… this week anyway)

      great rant. always a pleasure. here is the deal darlin, everyone is entitled to their opinion and their religion. they just can’t use them to govern our bodies.

      period. end of story. (ish)

    • Great comments. Thanks for the history lesson. It seems a hot button was touched. I only brought the abortion issue up as an example of the difficulty committed Christians have with distinguishing their personal faith from their public stance on issues. I know the idea offends you and others. I just don’t know how to disregard what I believe because it offends you. Make sense? So far, the responses have been very educational and troubling. Unless I misunderstand, it seems the advice offered is that because of my faith, I should just drop out of the dialogue.

      The truth is that every person on the planet derives their values from their deepest held beliefs, although not necessarily their professed beliefs. Policiy will always be the product of the dominant set of values in a society whether Nazi Germany, medieval Europe, or twentyfirst century America.

      If you really want to get hacked off, I suggest that you check out Ray Comfort’s 180movie.com. If nothing else, it’ll make great blog fodder.

      • I encourage you not to drop out of the dialogue. I find your very opposite POV on hot point issues incredibly respectful. But I think you are straying from the original point of this post. Every American is entitled to worship and live their lives freely. The separation of church and state simply makes sure that the belief system of one does not harm and hinder the quality of life of another.

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