Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Separation of Church and State

From the Times Dispatch of 7/3/07

A letter to the editor by Amil Kohli on 7/3/07 sparked this reply. Entitled “Democracy Requires Separating Religion, State,” Mr. Kohli creates a false view of our Constitution, first by the very title of the letter, and second by the false premise that separation of church and state is written into the Constitution.

Democracy requires citizens that conform to the laws of the land that establish democratic principles of governance.

There is no “separation of church and state” clause in our Constitution. The “Establishment Clause” in the 1st Amendment was intended by the founders to prevent the federal government from setting up a national church with the President as a divine presence, or from restricting any sect from worshiping as it saw fit. To the extent that the Supreme Court has interpreted this clause to mean secularization, the Court has liberalized our laws somewhat, and thus has moved them further from the original intent of the framers of the Constitution. (The ACLU, of course, has striven mightily to create the separation of church and state in fact, with some success in the courts.)

The framers, however, fully intended that religious morals be used by our individual representatives as guidelines for legislation. Thus they remained silent on the issue of the use of religion by the federal government and its legislative branch. This, in turn, left the issue of religious practice to the States or to the people. Indeed, many States have reflected that same fact in their Constitutions, most appropriately here in Virginia (Virginia Constitution, Article I, Section 16).

Therefore, the final authority for use of religious morals in daily behavior, and in governance, lies with the individual citizens and officers of the state, and not with some presumed pillar of law. The pillar that does exist resides in the free will, conscience, religious devotion and common sense of the people themselves, and their acceptance of the laws of the land.


interesting... an incidentally genius aspect of democracy is that the state of the government will represent the state of the people. We needn't impose any particular religion on our government. Whether or not our government is morally stable will reflect the moral stability of us, the people. So how are we doing?

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