Patroling The Line Between Church And State

Much has been said about the common goals shared by certain parts of the Christian church and the groups we would call generically, skeptics.  To be sure, they share view many of the same views as to what constitutes a good and just country.

Where these churches do carry their fair share of the load, in my opinion, is in patroling the line between church and state.  Yes, they often express the view that the two should not become entangled.  But, the groups stepping out in front to take the arrows seem to be the “godless” groups.

The ACLU is a goto group in this effort.  Local groups, such as our Red River Freethinkers engage it this effort as well.  It would help if more churches who understand the peril of churches getting into our government and its inevitable brother, government getting into our churches would speak up.

Patroling this line is not easy.  The line is not a clear one. Since it is not always clear, both politicans and church people find it in each one’s interest to step over the line. Advertising religion on public property, advocating religion in the military and a host of other issues need to be corrected.

The reality is that both churches and our government would be well served by more church resistance to these practices.  Until they can help, that civic task must be carried out by the most dislike groups in our society, those of no faith.

2 Responses

  1. Jason Schoenack

    The President of the American Atheists David Silverman had several interesting things to say this past weekend at the 2011 American Atheists Annual Convention in Des Moines, Iowa. One thing he drove home was that the Church is weak, and was getting weaker with each passing decade, and that it is the Church that needs the State, to prop itself up. Without the (tax-exemption and other) support of the State, the Church (as we know it) will fade away, and all of the positive things that the Church currently does (like helping the poor and the sick and the helpless and hopeless) will then be carried out by all kinds of unreligious, non-discriminatory, diverse, and accepting groups.

    1. Jason 1:35 Thanks, Jason. One does wonder what the Church would look like without all the tax exemptions it receives. The new mega churches with their mega parking lots, the absolutely astounding property holdings of the Catholic church, our church-owned hospitals–all property tax exempt. I can imagine the Walmart people down in Arkansas thinking, “Why not the Church of Sam Walton”? He did supernatural things in business. Then, all of our stores would be property tax exempt.

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