Saturday, July 08, 2006

Government and Religion

I do not believe a government can exist without some basis of morality. Every government has to have some basis of morality or natural law, etc. for its power and authority that comes from without itself and the people it is governing for that matter, whether that morality be right or wrong. Even the Nazi governemnt had a moral system, wrong yes, but still they claimed some basis for their actions. A couple of day's ago on Independence Day I was reading through the Declaration of Independence and I noticed some probably frequently overloooked parts in the beginning.

"When, in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the spearate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them..."
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men..."

The Declaration of Independence mentioning God and the Creator, surely this document is unconstitutional. Although this is not the constitution, the founding father of America wrote and signed off on this. (Granted it was not for the most part the same people signing the Declaration of Independence who signed the Constitution. However, I think most who signed the Constitution agreed that declaration. Furthmore, notables like Washington and Jefferson signed it.) Even they, who were establishing among things a government protecting freedom of religion saw some sort of morality and religion as a necessary basis for government. And additionally, they rightly recognized these self-evident truths as self-evident only because of God having made them. If there are any morals which are true and thus worth holding they have to come from a higher power, God.

As such, it is ludicrous to think that we can have a governemnt making and enforcing laws without morality. Everyone has some sort of morality, even secularists. It may not be in the form of organized religion but is still is morality. If Christian faith can't play a role in politics then neither could the morality of secularists, and we would be at an impasse and no laws could be passed. Government would break down. Why can't secularists be honest and say that they are trying to pass laws according to their own personal morality systems (which they have the right to attempt) just as religious people are trying to do the same? Let us not make the mistake of pretending to be relying on as a basis for laws some common sense, commonly recognized by all, self-evident natural law that is not from God when none exists.

Indeed, in the Constitution there is no mention of "separation of church and state." The 1st amendment does say that "Congress shall make no law respectiong an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise therof;..." So no, we cannot have a state religion, nor would I ever want one, but this is a far cry from religion being able to play a role in politics and government.

Let me go further, not only without morality, but without God there is no basis for government. If atheists were right, then all morals, both those of the religious and their own, are fictitious, and there is no basis for government. The only rule would be the rule of power by might, the survival of the fittest. So not only is it acceptable for religion to have a role to play in politics, it is all but necessary when possible for faith to play a role in politics. If some moral system has to be used as the basis of governement and laws, then it might as well be that of Christianity as it is the right one over that of atheists whose moral systems if they honestly examined them closely and logically would fall apart. However, I would never go so far as using the government to force Christianity on the populous or establish it as the national religion, and would protect the right of people of other religions or lack their of to provide input into government just as it is the right of Christians in these United States of America.

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