I’m beginning to suspect that a lot of us are confused about this whole separation-of-church-and-state thing.
In fact, a lot of us are acting like spoiled toddlers. When it comes to the government’s relationship with religion, we want to have our cake and eat it too.
We don’t want the government telling us what we can and can’t believe, what we can and can’t say/do, what we can and can’t practice. And we DEFINITELY don’t want them trying to impose upon us someone else’s religion, whether it be through education or health care or any other public service.
But on the other hand, we are perfectly happy, and in many cases even seem to EXPECT, to have the government promote and support our own religious views and activities, prescribing them for fellow Americans who do not necessarily share them.
As I said in a post on same-sex marriage a couple of months ago:
The beauty of America, the thing that has made it unique among nations, is the great degree of freedom we have here to live exactly as we see fit. It is true we must reach consensus on certain issues if we are to live peaceably, but beyond those essentials we must all – for the sake of our own interests – adopt the motto of “live and let live.”
For what if the tables were turned? What if you were in the minority?
You may feel your point of view on life, your chosen life-style, is the best and most right. And many may agree with you. But those who don’t, hold their own beliefs with equal conviction and earnestly. Why should another’s way be required of you if yours is not hurting him nor impeding his ability to live out his convictions? Why should yours be imposed on him?
If you value your own freedom to believe that homosexuality is not a good way to live, you must value the freedom of your neighbor to believe the opposite.
If you value your right to pursue life, liberty and happiness in whatever way you see fit (within the bounds of civil behavior, of course), you must value the right of your neighbor to do the same.
I don’t think I can really say it another way.
America was never intended to be a Christian nation, nor a Muslim or Buddhist or Atheist one. It was meant to be a free nation.