Church and state role has been twisted

Church and state role has been twisted

Church and state role has been twisted

Julie Lybarger

There is a relatively new debate concerning the separation of church and state in this country. For almost 200 years of our nation’s history, we held a purist view of our Constitution and its meaning. Why, after so many years of success, would we change such a view?

In 2005, the Supreme Court denied the people of Kentucky their right to display the Ten Commandments. However, there were several members on the Supreme Court who had dissenting opinions. One of them, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, had this to say concerning the ruling.

“The interest of the overwhelming majority of religious believers in being able to give God thanks and supplication as a people, and with respect to our national endeavors.”

These are trying days: days of warring factions, starving people and natural disasters. Why have we pulled away from what our forefathers spelled out in plain English – religious freedom? Even the Declaration of Independence was written with strong religious language. Why, after more than 200 years, are we pulling away from what the majority of Americans say they still believe in? Now, after so many years, we are having the government tell us where we can and cannot pray.

It becomes a slippery slope when we begin asking the federal government to veer from the founding principles laid out in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. How long before the federal government becomes involved in our love lives as a way to control STDs? How long before they tell us which jobs we can or cannot have?

Did the Supreme Court really need to hear this case at all? In the past, if someone found the displaying of the Ten Commandments offensive they would start a petition and hold public vote on the issue. They would do the same for prayer in schools.

Do we really want to ask the federal government to make laws governing our personal rights? We came to this country so we could have religious freedom. Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines freedom as “The absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.”