Church and State

While mindlessly surfing the net as I typically do during a little break at work, I came across this article: Church and State. I have always been a firm believer of the seperation of church and state, that this country was founded on secularist notions and not on Christian values. I’ve been looking for more evidence to back up my beliefs on this manner, and I am currently reading a book called Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan Jacoby that gives specific examples of the secularist beliefs of the Founding Fathers and of many other historical American figures, past and present. I’ve only skimmed the introduction so far, but after I finish the book I’m currently reading (The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan), I’ll dive into Jacoby’s book with a passion.

The author of the above article, Neal Pollack, talks about how the current administration has incorporated their personal beliefs into this secularist government. He speaks of how after September 11, a deputy undersecretary of defense “started making the rounds of evangelical churches preaching that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein would ‘only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus.’“, and also claims that “‘George Bush was not elected by a majority of voters in the U.S. He was appointed by God.’“. I’m definitely not cool with those statements.

I have nothing against Christianity or any other religions or personal beliefs. If a person believes what they choose to believe, more power to them. I personally do not adhere to any religion, and I do believe in some sort of higher power that may or may not be the divine figure in any of the major or minor religions. I also do not have any issues whatsoever with the beliefs of our country’s (and any other country’s, for that matter) state and federal leaders, as long as they don’t let their beliefs carry on through how they run the state or country. I have no problem with George W. Bush going to church every Sunday and praying every night. However, I do have a problem with Bush dictating that “the Bible is the ‘guidebook’ for federal social policy“.

All in all, I like the article, even though the author tends to be a bit vague in parts and overdramatizes a few points he makes. (The subtitle of the article? A lunatic Christian cult has the run of the White House and the ear of the president. Yeah, I think that’s a little dramatic, though he does admit to that sentence being a hyperbolic, paranoid statement a few paragraphs into the article.) Still, a good read in my eyes.