Church & State: How Separate? (Part 3)

In the two previous blogs I approached to the Constitution’s address of where religion fits into the civil society, as it was one the topics broached at the previous Republican Presidential Primary debate held in New Hampshire a few weeks ago. The final question of this series on the nature of the Constitution’s First Amendment is what good has been brought to the civil society when religion has been removed from the public sphere of life? 

There are many today in our society, through all levels of society, who believe or promote the notion that the Constitution’s First Amendment teaches the separation of church and state.  This opinion has lead to a modern day isolationist mentality where one’s faith should be kept private from the public arena.  However, a clause which declares “the separation of church and state” does not appear in the Constitution.  The First Amendment does say, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” but “establishment” and “separation” are two completely different definitions. 

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Church & State: How Separate (part 2)

In my previous blog I wrote in response to the understanding of the U.S. Constitution’s establishment of the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause.  The motivation for writing this came from CNN’s broadcast of the Republican Presidential Primary debate held in New Hampshire a couple of weeks ago.  John King, the moderator of the broadcast, asked Congressman Ron Paul, “Does faith have a role in these public issues, the public square, or is it a personal issue at your home and in your church?”  This brings me to the second part of this topic by addressing whether or not it is possible that any person’s core beliefs can be separated from other parts of their life?

 In the book of James there is a great passage which wrestles with this question.  It has to do with a person’s faith, which would embody a person’s core beliefs.  James 2:14 says, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him?”  If there is no action behind what we claim to believe, is our faith a true faith? 

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Church & State: How Separate? (Part 1)

Last night I tuned in to watch the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary debate.  It is not the goal of this writing to inform you of who to vote for, but to comment on the Constitution’s First Amendment of the separation of church and state, as this was a topic brought up at the debate.

The issue was brought to the candidates as a question from a member in the audience who asked of how the candidates understood the definition, and how it would affect their decision making.  In my opinion the second part of the question is rather negative as it implies one sphere of life cannot carry over into the other.  In other words, whatever your faith is, it should be kept in isolation, and kept separate from the affairs of government.  How else can this question be interpreted when CNN moderator John King asked Congressman Ron Paul, “Does faith have a role in these public issues, the public square, or is it a personal issue at your home and in your church?”

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