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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
10:33 AM Tue, Oct. 16th

Letters: Church and state

Editor:

A wall of separation between church and state. This is a very strong statement, very clear in meaning. First of all, it means that the government cannot make laws that favor one religion over any other, because it cannot make laws related to the establishment of a religion or the free expression of religious beliefs. Therefore, individuals can pray in school, but public schools cannot require people to pray. The government cannot endorse any particular religion — meaning there can be no copies of the Ten Commandments in front of schools, nor nativity scenes in government buildings, nor Buddha statues in front of government offices.

Religious leaders and their followers should relish in this wall of separation, rather than trying to knock it down. Why? Because it is there not only to keep religion out of government, but to keep government out of religion.

Of course, it is possible that many on the Christian right do not believe in freedom of religion and instead want America to be a Christian nation (by which they mean their particular brand of Christianity) that is intolerant of the beliefs of others, whether Buddhist, Jewish, Unitarian Universalist, atheist or anything else.

If that is the case, then they do not support freedom of religion and, thus, do not support the Constitution and the principles upon which the United States was founded.

Steve Hyman

Prescott