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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

No Religious Test

As long as I live, I will never really understand why anyone would oppose the separation of Church and State. It seems like the best thing for both parties. I understand that it isn't specifically stated in the Constitution, but certainly the fact that it never references God and makes quite precise prohibition of religious tests implies that its authors thought this a good idea. Regardless of your religious beliefs or non-beliefs, it doesn't do your cause any good to mix organized religion with democratic government. Of course, as a citizen, you will bring whatever faith you practice to the table when making political decisions. I accept that as the unalienable right. But I get really nervous when my President starts bandying about his faith as justification for war or the appointment of "common sense" Supreme Court justices. And I get really, really nervous when public school teachers discuss their faith with students.

A teacher in Trenton, NJ did just that recently. In this case, an offended student caught the whole thing on tape so I'm sure the teacher will be reprimanded or removed. Still, the students may be losing an otherwise fine educator, simply because he or she can not keep his or her mouth shut about things that ought to be personal. As I read it, the teacher claims to have been answering questions from students and did not deliberately broach the subject of religion. Still, it is inexcusable. I doubt very much that the teacher would answer questions concerning personal sexual activity, and the at least the same amount of discretion should apply here.

This won't be the last time something like this happens. I know that. I just don't understand why.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I think there is a significantly large group of people (ie: christians) who have no interest in separating church and state because they're arrogant and afraid.
They're arrogant in thinking that their way to live and their ideals are superior and proper (though, who doesn't?), and should, therefore, be inextricably linked to our nation's government. After all, you and I consider our own beliefs to be common sense and the way after which our government should be patterned. We could be proven wrong at any moment with something as quick and simple as an apocalypse.
Second, they're frightened that relinquishing too much control in government or simply allowing their next-door neighbor to do what she/he wants will deteriorate society and/or corrupt their own children. Because, I think, more so than themselves, they seem always concerned that their children might be tempted and find an eternity in hell.