Separation of Church and State

Let’s get it right….

One of the issues to arise in the debate in Texas over school curriculum and textbooks is the Separation of Church and State as mandated in first Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

Those who are against the inclusion in textbooks of any mention of God, religion, or the Judeo/Christian foundation of our country use this mandate as their trump card. If the State is not to be involved in religion, then we need to sanitize everything that our children are exposed to in school.

What these folks fail to realize is that they are trumping with a card that grants people the freedom of religion: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution (part of the Bill of Rights) prohibits the making of any law “respecting an establishment of religion”, impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

The key phrase is the “free exercise of religion,” and that freedom is given to everyone. If I believe in God, I am free to say so. If you don’t believe in God, you are free to say so. I can’t make you shut up, and you shouldn’t have the right to make me shut up. I shouldn’t try to force my beliefs on you, and you shouldn’t force yours in me. Simple as that, until the PC police get involved.

Banning any mention of God or religion is not going to make either disappear. And by including pertinent reference to religion and our Christian heritage as a nation, children are not being forced to believe in God or religion; they are merely being exposed to some facts. And if those children return to a home that is Jewish or Muslim or some other religion, or headed by Atheists, the parents can clarify that those beliefs they read about in school are not the beliefs of this household, but they are to be respected.

Share your thoughts here, keeping in mind that we will respect diverse beliefs.

7 thoughts on “Separation of Church and State”

  1. I have no problem with religion in the schools–as long as it’s a comprehensive study of religion in general, not a reason to trumpet any one religion in specific. If you’re going to discuss Judeo-Christianity, you need to study Hindu, Tao, Pagan, Native American, Voudun, Santeria, etc. If they’re going to teach Creationism as part of the curriculum, it must be from a great many religions viewpoints. Otherwise, they’re espousing and promoting one religion which is definitely against the 2nd Amendment.

  2. Interesting article, Paul. Thanks for sharing the link. I hope everyone takes a moment to go check it out.

    When it comes to teaching about the founding of America on Judeo/Christian beliefs, it is not promoting religion. Just presenting the facts of history.

  3. Nice post—very thought provoking

    Teaching about religion has been controversial for many years. (Since the Scoops Monkey Trial –The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes in 1925) I have always taken the approach that both sides should be presented in the two areas people have the greatest passion for, war and religion. We live in an age were all too often personal agenda/beliefs are taught instead of facts. Teaching is all about getting students to think and learn and make their own decisions. I have taught for forty years, talk about religion when it comes up—always try to present all sides/beliefs. Have never had a parent or student tell me I was unfair or pushing my agenda. By the way in my state (Wyoming) local boards, schools and teachers still choose their own text books and curriculum. The Equality State full of Cowboys—we have to do it our way.

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