Monday, June 27, 2005

Church and State

The Supreme Court ruled on the Ten Commandments cases. Actually, given how divided the court was and the results of the cases, I would say they didn't really decide anything. They basically said it's OK to display the Ten Commandments, but be careful where and how you do it. In other words, it has to be decided on a case by case basis. Makes sense to me.

The separation of Church and State is such a delicate thing in this country. It's kind of silly really, but it's something we're stuck with because of the way things are set up. We are a country founded by protestants who were compelled to include religious freedom provisions because of the nature of the revolution. Now we are stuck in this limbo where we pretend to be a government free of religious persecution but in reality are intolerant of non Christian religions. In other words, hypocrisy is a fundamental principle of American politics and has been since its inception.

I do not say that to be negative. It is just a fact of life that people need to admit exists. So how does that translate to practical real life decisions? As the Supreme Court said, it's a case by case decision. Personally I think the approach consistent with the founders intent and modern logic is to make sure all religions are present and given equal treatment. You can only place Ten Commandments up if you also put up other religious basic principles. Our schools should not avoid teaching religion, they should teach All religion. A class on Comparative Religion that explains all of the world's major religions and encourages tolerance and open minds should be required in every public school.


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