Religion and the law - 04/15/2004
"Religion [is] the basis and Foundation of Government."
- James Madison, known as the 'Chief Architect of the Constitution'
This is not in the constitution and never should be. Government can exist without religion quite nicely and so it should. The separation of Church and State is continually put to the test in the courts and the Church continuously loses. Religion has no place in government, in fact religion should stay as far away from government as possible if we as a country are to continue to enjoy the freedom guaranteed in the constitution. When will those people realize the breaking down of the walls between church and state would lead to such untold violence and loss of personal freedoms?
Thanks for reading
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Hi Rob. Thanks for writing to us. You're right that James Madison's statement is not in the constitution. We never claimed it was. It IS important to understand the attitudes and opinions of the constitution's framers, though. They were not anti-religion, as activist judges and you seem to be. You mentioned "separation of Church and State." That's not in the constitution either. The first amendment contains an establishment clause, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," and a free exercise clause, "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." when it comes to religion. It makes no mention of a "wall of separation." Thomas Jefferson coined that term to let the Danbury Baptist Association know that the government would not meddle in church affairs.
You said "Church continuously loses" in courts. Well, first let me say I'm not sure what you mean by "Church." What court cases are you referring to? If you're referring to religious liberties in general, then you're partly right. There have been several cases in the last few years when activist judges have denied people the religious freedoms granted to them by the constitution. Yet the courts have also upheld religious freedom over its attackers in recent cases. We track these things, and we can cite you cases if you wish.
Your last sentence really has me perplexed. First, what walls between church and state do you wish to protect? Secondly, what "untold violence and loss of personal freedoms" do you fear? Finally, on what do you base that fear? How likely is that outcome? I think your fears are unfounded. The same people who granted us individual freedoms by drafting our constitution and bill of rights were overwhelmingly men of faith. Their faith played a large role in how they drafted our constitution. We can all thank men of faith for guaranteeing us the freedoms we enjoy. It sounds to me like you view the constitutional freedoms of secularists as more important than those of people of faith. Is that so? I hope not.
Ben and Jennifer Rast