Monday, October 20, 2008

Separation of Church and State

The separation of church and state only bans the government from promoting or opposing any religion. For example, the government is not allowed to conduct prayer in a publicly funded school, however, the government is also prohibited from restricting a student’s right to pray in school as long as it is not disruptive to the educational process, i.e. the student could not stand and pray out loud during class. Public schools are not allowed to teach or promote religion, however, students may and often do form religious groups and hold meetings in the school, when and where such non-educational activities are held, and promote new membership.

Every citizen is allowed to take any matter important to them into consideration when deciding how to vote. It is the government that must govern only according to the Constitution. Our government is obligated to consider all citizens equally. Therefore, legislators cannot enact laws that would enforce the dogma of a religion since it would impose that dogma on citizens that hold to a different belief. Therefore, a religious wedding ceremony is outside the jurisdiction of the government. The constitution does not prohibit two people of the same sex from living together as a couple and consequently the government should guarantee all couples the right to do so. I believe in same-sex civil unions and that same-sex couples should have the same legal rights as any married couple. However, religious organizations are allowed to limit the definition of marriage as their beliefs dictate, recognize only such marriages that are conforming and deny, if they choose, membership to persons that do not comply.

Elected officials are obligated to execute their jobs without religious bias. They must decide on such matters as abortion and marriage according to the Constitution without regard for their own personal religious beliefs. A juror must do the same thing when deliberating. The juror must limit the deliberation to the evidence presented in the trial, with respect only to the applicable laws and without regard for the juror’s personal opinion. Our politicians are obligated to govern in the same way.

I believe that many of our elected officials fail to perform constitutionally and obviously many of them actually make promises to religious groups in order to get their votes. Such conduct in my opinion is unconstitutional regardless of my own religious beliefs.

1 comment:

karen said...

As a Libertarian, I just think our Constitution has been trampled and stomped flat. :-(
Good essay, my friend!