The Ridiculousness of Separation of God and State
This is the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States adopted on December 15, 1791:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Some are surprised that the words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the Constitution. The First Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights and we Americans have a right to freely exercise religion in any way, unencumbered by our government at any level and in any way. Furthermore, the government cannot give preference to any religion – nor can it stop anyone from being religious nor force anyone to be religious.
But there is one paradox that is impossible to ignore: atheism and anything like it as defined as a rejection of belief in the existence of deities (gods). Atheism is a religion because it requires faith that no god exists. Do not confuse an atheist with an agnostic. Agnostic people simply have no faith that a god exists or not.
It is not possible to separate God and state – even by those who choose not to participate in their “free exercise of religion”. The unalienable Right to have Liberty (defined in the First Amendment as freedom of religion) comes from a Creator. Deny the Creator and you deny the Liberty to have the religious freedom.
In the same First Amendment is also the Right to free speech. The same logic can be applied. The unalienable Right to have freedom of speech comes from a Creator. Deny the Creator and you deny the Liberty to have the freedom of speech.
If someone chooses not to exercise their First Amendment right of free speech, there is no provision to keep others from exercising their free speech. That would be a ridiculous argument. So how is it that we should accept an argument against freedom of religion from people who choose not to exercise their freedom of religion? That would be equally ridiculous!
If somehow we want to retain our unalienable Rights while denying the Creator that is said to have endowed us our Rights, then our Rights are merely endowed to us by a social contract or by consent of man. Our charter document, The Declaration of Independence, would then be made invalid in premise and we are put right back to our position when we were ruled by a king. And if Rights were given to us by man, they can be taken from us by man. Monarchy, republic, democracy, executive order, ruling by the court, passed legislation – there are numerous ways a government can take rights away. Rights granted by man are only unalienable only as long as he doesn’t change his mind -- or collect enough votes.
Separation of church and state is a good policy to have in our government. No religion ought to be promoted or favored. But there is no way to deny a Creator or Nature’s God in the United States of America. “In God We Trust” is an appropriate motto – the beauty of the great American melting pot is that everyone gets to decide for themselves who God is and how much or little they choose to recognize Him. The sooner we can all get on the same page to remember that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”, the better off we’ll be. If you need inspiration to consider the matter further, watch the movie God’s Not Dead – it just left The Strand @ 38 Main but it’s now out to rent.