The Wall of Separation between what?

In Boise, ID, a girl was told she could not sing a Christmas song for the school’s Christmas program using the word Christmas. I guess it’s a religious word.

Unlike, say, Holiday, which she was told she could use. Holiday is a secular word you see. One that honors the Marxist doctrine of the separation of church (whatever that is) and state (whatever that is). Somehow. Because, unlike Christmas, the thing the kids get a break for, holiday is not religious. Or a holy day. or whatever.

http://www.2news.tv/news/79535307.html#IDCThread

Of course, the issue is loaded with intimidation and false arguments, but there is one at the very heart of things.

If we have a separation of church and state (why do my fingers keep wanting to type school for church?), that would mean that each of them – the church and the state – would have to have a defined role. Right? If they can’t do the other’s role, the roles have to be known.

So here’s a question. Can you have freedom of religion in a secular state? If religion has a tiny little irrelevant role, are religious people free.

It has certainly become obvious lately that many, many schooled Americans view religion with hostility. They want it limited. A great way to do that is to expand the state and give it the functions of the church.

So here’s a question. Who defines the roles?

The church? Then how are they separated?

The state? Then how are they separated?

If the state defines the role of the church, then it is ruling over the church, and vice versa. Surely separation does not imply being ruled by the other.

In a marvelous twist of irony, the only cultures that have ever successfully separated church and state have been Judeo-Christian cultures, because the separation of the priestly function (church) from the political function (state – the king) was required by the Jewish religion.

Saul lost his kingdom for violating the separation of church and state doctrine.

So the separation of church and state is a church teaching – a religious doctrine and not a secular one. Therefore, the only way you can have it is if the society accepts church teaching.

The secular practice is that the state takes over all the functions of religion (spiritual counsel – the state prefers and pays for Freud, marrying couples – the state; oh forget it, baptizing children – the state prefers the more efficient abortion, providing a metaphysical dream – the state prefers nihilism, etc.) and then tell the religious to honor the separation.

Therefore, if you use the secular approach to the separation of church and state, it is a historical fact that the state separates to conquer, which is exactly what is happening in our country and has been for 125 years.

Here’s why: if you are going to separate, you have to define (limit). Our constitution defined (limited) the role of the federal state in the United States.

So if our state does not stay within its boundaries, its defined role, then it will usurp the roles of other agencies, at least one of which will be the church and the other main one will be the family (there will be many others, such as local governments and organizations, business, etc.).

As the state usurps these other roles, it will continue to claim the separation of church and state, but notice what happens. Every time it calls for this wall of separation, we find the wall has moved deeper and deeper into the church’s (or family’s or business’s or whatever) domain.

Maybe the clearest example of this is our schools. In the 1840’s Horace Mann began the first state mandated and run schools in Massachusetts in spite of the fact that literacy was something like 98% when they began. So doing, he instituted a decline in learning in America that has been staggering and each step downward has called for more state intervention.

The state has vigorously expanded its role in education for 150 relentless years of what I can only regard as failure. It has used the public schools to create what many consider docile guinea pigs that it needs to keep on expanding.

Now we are told that in this vast boondoggle it calls education just to tantalize us and prove that we don’t care about the meaning of words, there is no room for the church.

So if a religious person wants to raise his children on his own traditions, he is told to either do it at home or at church, but to keep those traditions out of the school, where the child is giving his soul to the state for free, and where he will spend an inordinate amount of time in distressingly unnatural settings of just the sort dreamed of by spiritual desert dwellers.

I understand their argument. How can you have a religion class in a school where you have kids from 250 different religions. I’m sympathetic to their plight.

Just as I’m sympathetic to the plight of a man who jumps into the ocean without any equipment only to find himself surrounded by jelly fish and sharks and other confusing creatures.

I would like to rescue the person, but there’s no hope. Most people, I think, would simply cry out, “What the freaking heck are you doing in there?!”

And that’s what I would like to ask the state school system. Since you have outlawed education (you don’t allow your students to read the core text of your culture and the one that makes literature, history, and their own lives, such as the holidays they celebrate, comprehensible), why do you keep trying to do it? And why do you insist on doing it in a way that prohibits the people who ought to be doing it and could help you from getting involved?

Education is not the function of the state. The state cannot educate well. The state has never educated well. The state never will educate well. Instead, it will wrestle perpetually with non-educational issues for the simple reason that IT IS NOT AN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION.

If you are going to ask for separation of church and state, then you have to define the roles of the church and the state and insist that it live within those definitions. If you aren’t willing to do that, your words, not being defined, don’t mean anything. 

Which means that you cannot be trusted. You are using words for something other than communicating meaning. The only alternative is power.

If you want a pluralistic or secular culture, then you must have limited, defined government. The more the government meddles, the more homogeneous the culture will become. Maybe you’ll like that when it’s becoming your kind of radical.

But you have to remembe that governments change. When someone who doesn’t share your sort of petty tyranny takes charge, you won’t be able to undo the power structure you created. 

Remember that next time you sing the praises of big government.  

You are stuck though, and the world would be a better place if you could realize how very stuck you are.

If you don’t believe in religion, then your primary means to “change the world” is the state.

So you will, with the best of intentions, pave the road to the hell of tyranny, all the while scoffing at the “conspiracy theorists” and paranoids who can see a church by daylight and a tyrant, even when he holds out his hand with a wink and a smile, by night.

We know he isn’t winking at us. We wish you could see that too.

I would therefore appeal to our government to seriously separate church from state. Stop usurping the role of the church and go back to governing as your job description mandates. Give the church back its role.

Can you imagine what churches and the private sector could do with the $400,000,000,000 spent every year on our state schools?

Imagine. Let’s get seriously radical, instead of this mamby-pamby acid-driven fairy tale radicalism of the 60’s that couldn’t tell a radish from a hurricane and can’t distinguish love from self-worship.

Instead of singing about love, let’s love. Our wives and children. Our neighbors, not “mankind.”

To that end, let’s let kids in school read and think about and discuss this marvelous little poem:

Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,
And though I give my body to burned,
But have not love,
It profts me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind;
Love does not envy;
Love does not parade itself, 
Is not puffed up;
Does not behave rudely,
Does not seek its own,
Is not provoked,
Thinks no evil;
Does not rejoice in iniquity,
But rejoices in the truth;
Bears all things,
Believes all things,
Hopes all things,
Endures all things.

Love never fails.

I once smuggled that in to my British Authors class in 11th grade to show to a girl who had been broken up with by an unfaithful boyfriend. I’ll never forget her response when she came to school the next day.

“I’ve never loved anybody,” she told me, or something like that.

That is the beginning of wisdom. It makes me sad to think that hardly anybody in our country will grow up with those words resonating in their souls. We suffer greatly for that loss.

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2 Responses

  1. Thank you for this article. Appreciated boondoggle and mamby-pamby acid-driven fairy tale.

    Read you three times a week at work while my patients sleep. Use your thoughts as exercises in perspective, they are grounding. Can’t wait to have kids and learn um good. Been discussing some of the articles with my wife, hoping to plan a path for future little ones.

  2. “So the separation of church and state is a church teaching – a religious doctrine and not a secular one. Therefore, the only way you can have it is if the society accepts church teaching.”

    You move from secularism being a church teaching to being church teaching, and I’m not sure that this is warranted, without at least some qualifications. Since St. Constantine’s conversion the church has been tightly connected with the state, and the separation of church and state arose most notably from certain elements of Protestant teaching — and perhaps not even the mainstream of traditional Protestant teaching.

    In any case, the separation of church from state is far from being universally accepted:

    “Nor can We predict happier times for religion and government from the plans of those who desire vehemently to separate the Church from the state, and to break the mutual concord between temporal authority and the priesthood. It is certain that that concord which always was favorable and beneficial for the sacred and the civil order is feared by the shameless lovers of liberty.”

    – Pope Gregory XVI

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