Separate Religion From Government
“Separation of Church and State” aka separation of Religion from Government… a philosophical overview.
Given the dangerous potential of Religions to punish “beliefs” that contradict their own unprovable “belief” system, I say… separate the “power” of Religion from the “power” of the Government at every turn, every juncture and at each and every opportunity. The power of the Government must never include the power that religious organizations embrace… the power to punish, ostracize or shun individuals for what they “believe.” Our freedom to be free and to freely pursue “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” requires (no… make that demands) the separation of Religion from Government (aka Church from State). Our “unalienable” God given rights include “free will” and the freedom to use that free will to… (1) respect, yet reject, the religious “beliefs” of others or, alternatively, (2) to be free from being punished for our own “beliefs”… no matter how bigoted, short sighted or irrational our own beliefs may seem to others… at a given point in time.
So, we must stand and demand… separation of Church and State. Put your religious symbols on your lawns, in your windows and on your roofs (along with Santa Claus and his reindeers), and I will fight to the death for your right to place your religious symbols on private property no matter how offensive I or others might find them to be. But, keep the symbols of religion out of the public square. Those religious symbols serve no purpose in the public square… other than to give a governmental venue for religious groups to tout the claimed superiority of their unprovable “beliefs” to the rest of the world.
RELIGIONS DICTATING AND PUNISHING BELIEFS
Religion dictates “beliefs”… unprovable “beliefs (repeat for emphasis “unprovable beliefs”), with every Religion touting the superiority and the exclusive truth of their own particular “belief” system. Religions then punish disbelievers asheretics or infidels. That also bears repeating… Religions have a long history of punishing people for what they “believe” or “don’t believe.”
(1) Jesus of Nazareth was crucified because he harbored the “belief” that he was God and the “Messiah”… a violation of Jewish law against blasphemy. Therefore, the Sadducees, the religious leaders who ran the Sanhedrin (the Jewish judicial system), condemned Jesus to death via crucifixion (with the necessary approval of Rome from their local prefect, Pontius Pilate). With the separation of Church and State, Jesus would never have been crucified… at least not for “believing” he was the Messiah or God. But, in the Jewish State, Government and Religion were under the same umbrella, so Jesus was crucified for what he “believed”… the “blasphemy” that he was God and the Messiah,” a religious heresy in the eyes of the Jewish Sanhedrin (and with the Romans only to happy to see that rabble rouser and agitator, Jesus of Nazareth, gone).
I do not single out the Jewish Religion. I love and respect their Holy books, their culture, their history, their strong willed, long-suffering survivors and my many dynamic Jewish friends who taught me the fundamentals of financial survival through risk-taking and entrepreneurship. And, I especially love the story of Rabbi Hillel who was confronted by a gentile who told Rabbi Hillel that he would convert to Judaism… if the good Rabbi could explain the entire Torah to him while he stood on one leg. Rabbi Hillel accepted that challenge, and, while the gentile stood on one leg, Rabbi Hillel said… “That which you don’t want done to you, don’t do to others. The rest of the Torah is merely commentary.” As I say, my comments do not single out any one religion, but rather are addressed to all religions.
(2) Think of Galileo who (following Copernicus) “believed” the Sun was the center of our Universe (really the solar system)… another religious heresy, with the Christians telling Galileo that his scientific “belief” contradicted the Bible (“from the rising of the Sun to the going down thereof”… meaning the Earth was at the center of the Universe). Therefore, Galileo’s scientific “belief” put him on the horns of a dilemma: (1) either be a victim of Capital Punishment for harboring and proclaiming his scientific “belief” that the Sun was the center of the Universe or (2) recant his heresy and save himself by accepting the “unprovable religious belief” (of the moment) that the Earth was the center of the Universe… a dilemma that arose because the Christians put the power of Religion and the power of the Government under the same umbrella. Ditto for the Salem Witch Trials… 20 Capital Punishment executions, mostly women, all based on the hysteria of the moment and the false premise of witchcraft.
(3) Think of ISIS (who also combine Religion and Government under the same umbrella), and who, therefore, continue to administer Capital Punishment to non-believing infidels because those infidels don’t “believe” the same unprovable “beliefs” that ISIS holds near and dear to their corrupt and vicious hearts.
(4) Think of the never ending battle of Shia versus Sunni Muslims across the globe, both of whom put Religion and Government under the same umbrella and use State sponsored Capital Punishment, jail, torture and other punishments to punish each other’s “beliefs”… century after century after century. And, the real enemy in the Middle East and the biggest offender of issuing death warrants for non believers??? No, not Iran, but rather our allay, Saudi Arabia, whose citizens brought down the Twin Towers and, most recently… their Crowned Prince, Mohammad bin Salman (a Sunni), had journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, tortured and murdered at the Saudi embassy in Turkey because… well, because Khashoggi’s “beliefs” expressed in his journalistic writings differed from the “beliefs” of the Crowned Prince and the Royal Saudi Family.
(5) Think of the Taliban in Afghanistan who combine Religion and Government under the same umbrella and who use State sanctioned, Capital Punishment to eliminate… who??? Afghan citizens who “believe” that women should have the right to an education, citizens who “believe” that music is good for the soul and citizens who “believe” that centuries old, mountain carvings are fine art.
(6) Think of George W. Bush who tells us that his “preemptive strikes” and invasions brought “Democracy” to Iraq and Afghanistan. Not true!!! The right to vote does not constitute a “Democracy” where the Constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan specifically allow the Mullahs’ “subjective beliefs” of what the Koran (supposedly) says… to trump the Constitutional rights and freedoms of its own citizens, because, again, Religion and Government are under the same umbrella aka a Theocracy.
THE STATE PUNISHING ACTIONS…
The power of the Government aka the State is… to punish “actions,” not “beliefs.” That is an awesome power to unleash against an individual’s “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”… limited only by the presumption of innocence and the burden of proof on the accuser. The Government (aka the State), unlike Religion (aka the Church), does not and should not punish our freedom to “believe” to believe whatever we want believe… “Communism,” “Socialism,” Capitalism,“ Koran, Bible, Torah, Global warming, no Global warming etc, etc, etc.
So, I close. Keep the power of Religion (aka the Church) to punish “beliefs” and the power of the State (aka the Government) to punish “actions“, separate and apart… if you treasure your “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Thank heaven for those Supreme Court Justices who interpret the “fill in the blanks,” cryptic language of the First Amendment Establishment Clause in a fashion that protects all of us lovers of freedom from the power of Religions, who, if you do not continue to stand on guard, will start exercising their power to punish our mere “beliefs” that differ from their own “unprovable beliefs.” As far as humanly possible, guard against mix of Religion and Government and stand up for “Separation of Church and State.”