As a person of faith, I have a hard time understanding the zeal of some to have government embrace a particular faith, because when that happens, our precious freedom of religion is lost.
Today's Telegraph included an article by Amanda Creel, once a staff writer with the Robins Rev- Up, the base newspaper for Robins Air Force Base here in Central Georgia. Creel's husband is active duty, and they are deployed to England where she writes that her four year old was recently able to participate in Christmas play about the birth of Jesus at his publicly funded school. He even got to be Joseph. Unlike the United States, Creel writes, in England, "a play depicting the Nativity scene is an annual event for the reception program." They don't get hung up on that pesky separation of church and state thing. No joke.
I can just imagine the negative publicity and numerous complaints a public school in the States would get if they attempted such a thing. It made me realize just how consumed some Americans are with the separation of church and state and how the political correctness surrounding it isn’t necessary.
How ironic that it is from England that Creel pens her column. There's a good, sound historic reason Americans are "consumed" with the separation of church and state. Many of our founding fathers, and mothers, were persecuted because they dared to freely practice religion. It is arguable that were it not for the fact of the state's establishment of a religion in England and the persecution of those who did not wish to support the state sponsored church, the American colonies might still be colonies. Indeed, separation of church and state is viewed quite differently there than it is here in the states. The have a state church, the Church of England. And their monarch is also considered the head of the church, a structure that has literally caused a few heads to roll. This country was founded by pilgrims who came to this new land seeking religious freedom. I am Baptist, and the founders of my faith were among those persecuted in England and here in the colonies because of their beliefs and their refusal to pay taxes to support the Crown's choice of minister. While things have changed in England, that country does not enjoy separation of church and state in the same way we do, and those who suggest that the government adopt a policy of disestablishmentarianism still face criticism.
While I am most appreciative of the Creel's sacrifice to protect our freedom, including our freedom of religion, I disagree that separation of church and state isn't necessary. When a government embraces a particular religion by using tax dollars to support the views of any particular faith whether it be Christian, Muslim, Jewish or something else, then that fundamentally American freedom is lost. Sphere: Related Content