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Separation Anxiety

Have you ever had separation anxiety? Most likely you have, especially if you were ever a child (I’m pretty sure most of us were at some point…). Being a Sunday School teacher, I see this nearly every Sunday when some proud parent comes into my Pre-K room to drop off their child. The child may begin to cry, yell, or cling to the parent in a child-leg death grip. Sometimes they even run screaming for the door in a vain attempt at reaching it before it shuts them in. The child eventually gets over their fear of being without their parents for a time and begins to play quietly by themselves or join in with other children in whatever game is going on at the time. Such is the issue of the separation of church and state, with one big exception…Most of us continue to act as if the parent really never is coming back. The anxiety is real and there appears to be no solution to the problem other than to scream louder and longer.

My opinion on this subject is simply this: government should NEVER endorse one particular religion or denomination nor should it EVER exclude them. It’s fairly evident, in my opinion, when studying the founding fathers that they didn’t intend for religion to play no purpose at all. Coming from Great Britian where there was an official state religion and the problems that caused in that country at the time, they wanted the U.S. government to be different and show no deference to a single religion/denomination.

There are some extreme right-wing groups who, in all honesty, want to enact a defacto theocracy. When Jesus returns that point will be moot. However, living in a fallen, sinful world where men screw up consistently, I’m certain that we shouldn’t be turning our government over to the theological ideas of anyone, regardless of if I may agree with them or not.

On the other hand, there are those who believe religion or religious ideals should play no part whatsoever in determining public policy. This is not only a naive position, it’s entirely impossible to achieve. Whether they realize it or not, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., and even atheists ALL bring their beliefs to the table with them when determining what policies or laws they support. It’s an inherent part of their being that cannot simply be separated from their political self.

It is possible to affirm and practice belief in God while simultaneously practicing a rigorous separation of church and state. We can embrace and encourage the role of religion in public life while ensuring that the state remains religiously neutral. One’s faith is a matter of conscience, not a matter of law. One can believe in the separation of church and state without believing in the separation of religious activities and public policy. ” – Richard Land, from The Christian Post.

Let’s not act like that anxious child who can’t be without their parent. We’re better than that and ALL are welcome at the table.

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