Church and State

December 16 2004 17:13 (+ 10 - 6 )

An alarmist is said to have stated that the ACLU is out to establish no religion in this country. In other words, the ACLU is trying to have the government ban religion. While their actions in recent years (perhaps since they were founded) seem to point in such a direction, I don't feel ready to concur with an alarmist. On the other hand, alarmists are sometimes well ahead of their times...

It is no secret that the ACLU does not like the inclusion of anything Christian in anything public. It is all done under the guise of political correctness and a separation of church and state. They believe that protecting civil liberties means offending no one (a hopeless task), and so they seek to be politically correct (on a side note, they are sometimes so politically correct that no one knows what they are talking about). They believe that protecting civil liberties means protecting the public from religion, namely Christianity (really, have you see them in a suit against anything Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist?).

Now, there is news out of Canada that Christian churches there are prohibited from preaching against homosexuality. Canadian laws stipulates that homosexuality is to be tolerated and accepted. This, then, extends to Christian churches, too. It extends to any religion that holds that homosexuality is a sin; a sin that is expressly forbidden in its scriptures (okay, so some religions claiming to be Christian accept homosexuality as normal...I don't know what they're reading, but it isn't the inerrant Word of God we call the Holy Bible). It may be that the first steps only are being taken in this direction in Canada, but there is legislation specifying this kind of behavior, and some of it has passed; it's only a matter of time before our generally liberal "friends" to the north go all the way, so to speak.

What does this have to do with separation of church and state. Well, exactly that, I suppose. The ACLU holds up the First Amendment of the United States constitution in their defense that Christian symbols and words should not be used in or on anything public. They state that the First Amendment says church and state are to be separate. Of course, this only applies to Christianity, for the First Amendment explicitly states that the Christian church and state are to be separate.

I beg to differ. The phrase "separation of church and state" are found nowhere in the constitution, least of all in the Bill of Rights (also known as the first ten amendments to the constitution for those who flunked American History). Let's take a look at the first phrase in the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

From there, it goes on to freedom of speech, press, and assembly. I say that the First Amendment actually protects a Christian's rights to be Christian in the United States, to have the freedom to express that Christianity wheresoever he or she pleases. Congress (read, United States Government) can make no law prohibiting the Christian from doing so. In fact, should the alarmist's prediction hold true, that same amendment the ACLU seeks to use as its ally becomes its enemy; for in his alarm, he states that the ACLU is pressing congress to enact a law prohibiting the free exercise of (a) religion. The ACLU's actions, in this case, are unconstitutional.

What does the situation in Canada have to do with this? Well, many fear, myself included, that we are headed in a direction when some entity--be it government or some offended group or individual--will seek to silence the cries against homosexuality (and other things, such as abortion) from orthodox Christian bodies. Should that day come when the government is hearing such a complaint, I hope they throw the book, mainly a single document, at the party issuing the complaint. That document will say, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The First Amendment protects the Christian preacher as he is preaching against all kinds and manner of sins--those things his Scripture speak against--including homosexuality and abortion. By way of the First Amendment, the government cannot prohibit the Church from calling a sin a sin.

May we never get to the point where it is thought to repeal the Bill of Rights...

one comment:

Stingray [() (link)] December 21 2004 17:04
In addition, the First Amendment states that congress shall make no law. The whole idea of "separation of church and state" is an issue of government or government entities showing favoritism or support of one religion over another. What this means, in my interpretation, is that any government building can legally display a crucifix or menorah. Schools can legally sanction nativity scenes and Christmas trees. They are not enacting any laws saying people must be Christian (or Jewish). They are simply showing their support for Christianity, something the First Amendment says nothing about. If that offends people, they can look the other way...