What does the sep­a­ra­tion of church and state mean and how does it af­fect us?

Serve Daily - - EMPOWERING LIBERTY - By Robyn Kimpton

What is the sep­a­ra­tion of church and state? A pop­u­lar teach­ing to­day “is that the Con­sti­tu­tion has a dy­namic mean­ing or that it has the prop­er­ties of an an­i­mate be­ing in the sense that it changes.” The rea­son­ing for this is called the “prag­ma­tist” view, which looks at per­ceived prob­lems from a present-day point of view, and the “in­tent” view, which at­tempts to jus­tify the prag­ma­tist view­point by say­ing that the Found­ing Fathers in­tended for our Con­sti­tu­tion to be a dy­namic, “liv­ing” doc­u­ment and there­fore wrote it in broad and flex­i­ble terms. (Orig­i­nal def­i­ni­tion from Wikipedia, Liv­ing Con­sti­tu­tion; in­ter­pre­ta­tion be­longs to the au­thor.) Of course, I pro­pose that these are both com­pletely false. Our Found­ing Fathers were wise men who were well-versed with many types of gov­ern­ment. They wrote our Con­sti­tu­tion to gov­ern by spe­cific prin­ci­ples. Our prob­lem is not that the Con­sti­tu­tion is vague, but in­stead that we, the peo­ple have not been liv­ing it. We have been eat­ing away at it since the day it was rat­i­fied.

From where and from whom do we get our rights? Ezra Taft Ben­son wrote a won­der­ful book­let called “The Con­sti­tu­tion, A Heav­enly Ban­ner.” I highly rec­om­mend read­ing it. It does a great job ex­plain­ing the prin­ci­ples upon which our Con­sti­tu­tion was founded. On page 6, he says that ei­ther “Rights are God-given ... or they are granted by gov­ern­ment .... If we ac­cept the premise that hu­man rights are granted by gov­ern­ment, then we must be will­ing to ac­cept the corol­lary that they can be de­nied by gov­ern­ment.”

It has be­come the pre­vail­ing belief that the sep­a­ra­tion of church and state means that re­li­gion has no place in our gov­ern­ment. This is not what our Found­ing Fathers in­tended. They came from a coun­try where re­li­gion was dic­tated by a king. They weren’t al­lowed to be­lieve in any re­li­gion they chose; the only re­li­gion open to them was the one the king chose. How­ever, they wanted peo­ple to be able to choose what they would be­lieve and how they would wor­ship. This is the rea­son for the sep­a­ra­tion of church and state. How­ever, the re­lent­less ef­fort to en­force the sep­a­ra­tion of church and state as per­ceived by those mak­ing this ef­fort has given us a new re­li­gion that is en­forced nearly as strongly and tyran­ni­cally as the re­li­gion in Eng­land was dic­tated by the king. What is this new re­li­gion? It’s called Athe­ism. Our Found­ing Fathers as­serted that our rights are God-given. They in­tended that re­li­gion in gen­eral would play an ac­tive part in gov­ern­ment. They sim­ply didn’t want gov­ern­ment to con­trol which re­li­gion a per­son could be­lieve in. There­fore, our rights are lim­ited to those that God would grant.

Our Con­sti­tu­tion was in­tended and writ­ten for a re­li­gious peo­ple. On page 33 of his book “To Pre­serve the Na­tion,” Scott Bradley writes, “... John Adams, the na­tion’s first vice pres­i­dent and sec­ond pres­i­dent, cap­tured the con­cept of the im­por­tance of re­li­gion to the na­tion most suc­cinctly when he said, ‘Our Con­sti­tu­tion was de­signed only for a moral and re­li­gious peo­ple. It is wholly in­ad­e­quate for the gov­ern­ment of any other.’”

A ben­e­fit of obey­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion as it was writ­ten is that it solves other prob­lems. Have you no­ticed that dis­obey­ing one true prin­ci­ple cre­ates a cas­cade of other prob­lems? Then we see the new prob­lems as new and un­re­lated when in re­al­ity, they’re sim­ply fall­out of dis­obey­ing the orig­i­nal prin­ci­ple. The same is true here. For ex­am­ple, when we sep­a­rate church and state in the way that is com­monly un­der­stood to­day, we get prob­lems like abor­tion, ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity, ed­u­ca­tion (we can’t teach con­cepts per­ceived as re­li­gious in the class­room) and even telling the truth on the wit­ness stand! (Did you know that in the early days of our coun­try, a judge wouldn’t al­low a per­son to tes­tify if he or she was an athe­ist? The rea­son­ing was that if a per­son didn’t be­lieve that he or she would be ac­count­able to God af­ter they died, then they wouldn’t feel any com­punc­tion about ly­ing on the wit­ness stand.)

Now, if we flip this to obey­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion as our Found­ing Fathers cre­ated it, we get back to a sim­pler life. We make judg­ments based on cor­rect foun­da­tional prin­ci­ples in­stead of prece­dent. We no longer need a law to cover ev­ery pos­si­ble ac­tion be­cause we have prin­ci­ples that en­cour­age honor and right ac­tion.

I be­lieve that our wise and inspired Found­ing Fathers gave us a Con­sti­tu­tion that will pro­tect us and cre­ate lib­erty and pros­per­ity for us — if we fol­low it.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.