Rethinking Separation of Church and State

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Liberals argue all day about how we need a separation of church and state. Here’s one area where I agree: we need to separate charity from government.

My religion teaches me to care for the poor. In fact, my religion’s God says, “Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” In other words, God considers the poor, sick, hungry, and naked to be his brothers, and when we help out the least among them, we are actually helping God.

However, our government has somehow taken upon itself the role of providing clothing, food, and shelter to the needy. This is obviously a religious thing—and religion and state are supposed to be separate?

To settle the matter, let me propose something that isn’t new but may sound new to you. I propose a complete abolishment of all programs in the government designed to help the poor, sick, hungry, or elderly. That’s right, all of them. That means Social Security and Medicare. That means welfare and food stamps. All of them.

I’m doing this because I believe in the first amendment, and I believe that providing these things for the poor, the government is establishing a religion. Separation of church and state, right?

When a politician says we need to care for the poor, I am going to say, “Why? Is it because of a religious belief you have? In that case, separation of church and state means you can’t involve that with government.”

Of course, I’m really doing this because by having the government rob us and distribute that money to the poor in our behalf is costing us our own salvation. We no longer have the means to help the sick and needy among us, and so we are left to pursue our lives selfishly without turning our thoughts to the poor in our day-to-day activities.

If I didn’t have to worry about paying taxes for the social welfare part of our governments, I’d have a far higher income and a far greater take-home pay. What would I do with that money? My goal is to build schools and hospitals, to provide members of my community with real means to climb out of their poverty. My goal is to see the elderly cared for in their own homes with their own families, with community organizations there to support that care with education and resources. My goal is to see medicines and medical procedures and equipment developed that will prolong our life and ease the suffering of the sick. These are all blatant religious things, things that I’d like to do because I care about where my soul ends up in the eternities.

If, on the other hand, liberals cry “Foul!” because this is the wrong kind of separation of church and state, then we will re-open the debate on how much and what kind of religion is allowed in government. I am sure this will be an interesting debate, because I believe we all have a religious duty to teach the upcoming generation right from wrong, the stories in the Bible as religious stories, and to teach them the fallacy of “believing” in evolution. I also believe we should organize our society under God’s law that was revealed in the Old Testament, including the bits about stoning those who worship idols and commit adultery, and the bits about not keeping the Sabbath Day holy.

Oh, you don’t like that? Then let’s agree to keep religion out of government, both the good bits and the bad bits. That’s the common ground where we can and should agree.

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