Sunday, July 14, 2002

Compromise!

I'm told that there is a wall of separation between church and state, meaning that we can't say things like "under God" or "in God we trust" on officially-official things done by our government. I think this is stupid, but I'm often wrong. In any case, it seems to me that if this is going to be a wall rather than a one-way door, we need to clarify things. The government should no longer have the right to get any money whatsoever from religious groups. Anything advocated by a religion as dogma should be barred from state-supported schools. I suppose if some denomination really wanted to remove the teaching of the theory of evolution from classrooms, they could "take one for the team" and put it in their official doctrines. Priests should be immune to prosecution for anything done on church property. Churches should be able to form binding agreements with other nations, no matter what the Constitution says. If atheists want to try that old sleight-of-hand that is the "religion or non-religion" phrase, I suppose we could also ban interactions between state and non-church as well.

As you can see, this is silly, and more importantly, stupid. There never was meant to be any such wall. The only indication that there might be one was from a letter by Thomas Jefferson, the same man who set aside land for Catholic schools in Ohio. On the same day Congress approved the First Amendment, they also appointed a chaplain for themselves. These people were thus either monumentally hypocritical, stupid beyond belief, or didn't believe that there was a wall between church and state. If they were as hypocritical or stupid as they would have to have been, then why is what they say even worth the paper its written on? For more on this, check out my letter to the editor from a few months ago.

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