Monday, September 20, 2010

Wall of Separation

‎"The wall separating church and state has functioned as a one-way wall, primarily restraining government and doing little to restrain religious individuals or religious organizations that are accorded the same rights to free speech, publication, association, a redress of grievance that other secular entities and individuals are accorded. So that has allowed religion to robustly serve as a moral code to the conscience of the country. No restriction on the ability of religion to speak to political issues, nor should there be. The limitations that are built in come the other way. The government cannot impose religious views on any person. Cannot choose up between religions, cannot choose religion over a nonreligion, can't endorse religious messages or oppose religious messages. It definitely shouldn't be funding overtly religious activity."
Rabbi David Saperstein, quoted in "The Holy Vote" by Ray Suarez

So I have to say: I agree with this guy. He states what I've tried to say numerous times quite simply and eloquently.


yukio ngaby said...

The problems is defining the difference between what is overtly religious and what is not.

Should the fed not give funds to a charitable organization, one that's trying to help the homeless let's say, because it has religious roots?

Liberty said...

I think the answer lies in "overt". If they're feeding homeless people, then perhaps government funds should be given- even though I don't think that's the federal government's job. But if they're running an evangelistic program to soulwin to homeless folks, then that shouldn't be funded.

You're right though- it is a tough line to draw, but one that needs to be before things get out of hand. ^.^

Wes said...

Maybe the Government shouldn't be funding charities at all. Maybe the tax deduction for charitable contributions should be a larger fraction than what it is, so people will be encouraged to give more to charities. Taxes may go down, but then, Government spending would be down by what it doesn't give to the various charities, so it would even out.

I think that when people pick charities and donate time or money they are more personally involved than if they simply assume their taxes will take care of it and don't think about the charities at all. I think that's better for a community when more people are aware of the needs within it.

Teresa said...

I disagree with Ray Suarez's assessment. For far too long, religious speech has been infringed upon in so many ways, while all other types of speech has been encouraged. There is a double-standard where for some reason religious speech is seen as unacceptable while secular and even anti-God or anti-religious speech is seen as acceptable in our society today.

Liberty said...

Teresa- there is a trend like that among certain portions of American society. But as Christians, should we care? Should disapproval keep us from speaking out? It didn't stop Jesus or Paul. Nor should it stop us?

I think the problem is that far too often, Christians don't want to be mere participants in the system: they want to run the system. That makes people angry, especially nonreligious people, because they see themselves being crowded out. So they push back.