I recently had a lengthy Facebook discussion with a group of people regarding the place of religion in government. This was sparked by the Democratic Party nearly removing the word God completely from their party platform. Holding to their indoctrinated belief of “separation of church and state”, those I debated with believed that God had no place in the running of our country.
First of all, this is a result of indoctrination. Our society has allowed the removal of God from nearly everywhere, in an attempt to adhere to a Supreme Court case. In Reynolds v. U.S. in 1878, the Supreme Court referenced a personal letter written between Thomas Jefferson and the Danbury Baptists. Using this, not the U.S. Constitution, they established “separation of church and state.” For well over one hundred years, this idea of Constitutional separation of church and state has been spread as gospel, not as purely an opinion of the Court. Nine people on a bench defined religious culture in politics indefinitely.
However, their beliefs also come from the perspective religious law. They believe that policies should not be dictated by religious teachings. For example, a law should not be established based on a teaching of Jesus. This all stems from the battle over social issues and the scripture-based response by those opposed to gay marriage and abortion. They believe that those that adhere to a religious belief as a basis for the way they vote are closed minded and stand in the way of progress. It’s the free thinkers versus Bible believers.
What is obviously missing from this ideology however is the fact that all beliefs stem from some sort of teaching. Many people walk into the voting booth and vote based on the principles of Karl Marx or John Locke, John Keynes or Milton Friedman. While they are attacking someone voting against abortion based on religious scripture, they are voting redistribution of wealth based on the scripture of the Communist Manifesto. There is no difference and the beauty of America is that people can vote based on whatever teachings they choose.
The dangerous part of it all is the attack on God though. While fighting to remove God from America, they are causing more harm than they may could ever imagine. The words of the Declaration of Independence shed a lot of light on this:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
What is clear here is that there was never a belief in establishing one particular religion as the basis for government. For example, the Bible nor the Quran would be the basis for the rule of law. However, what was established was the principle of “Nature’s God.” A higher power where the rights of man are derived, as supposed to the all powerful King. This is called natural law.
To explain this, I reached for the Jurisprudence textbook from college. It has the following to say about natural law: “The adherent of natural law believes that beyond, and superior to, the laws made by man are certain higher principles, the principles of natural law. These principles are immutable and eternal. Man-made laws may vary from community to another…but with regard to the highest matters, man-made law should be in accord with the principles of natural law.”
In laymen’s terms, natural law is the belief that there are certain truths greater than those of man. A belief that though one community (the Nazis) deems murder as acceptable, there is a greater authority than them and it is inherently wrong. Combining natural law and the Declaration of Independence, you see that it was so important for God to protect our rights. Rights, that are derived by natural law. Certain freedoms that man can easily take away.
So while there may be different gods, and different beliefs and teachings, there should not be the removal of God. Without God, the giver of our rights, rights will be purely subjective to those that control them. Before you jump on the anti-religion bandwagon, think carefully about who you entrust your rights to: man or God?