Separation of Religious and Secular

August 24th, 2006 / 0 Comments

One of the benefits to working at a law school is the exposure to some of the nuances of law While I could really care less about tedious discussions of business acquisitions, my attention becomes honed when issues like the establishment clause and free exercise are debated. Some in the legal academy are particularly passionate about promoting distinct separations of church and state within society and particularly public education. From a constitutional perspective, I can concede to certain limitations, or censorship, of religious instruction, such as the coercion of youth into jihadist’s, however, I find the belief in some neutral, objective, secular position as quite absurd.

The idea of isolated, objective, sterile state sponsored instruction or curriculum is absurd because it is impossible. More accurately, what the state argues is non-religious (or secular) is really only an alternative authority or set of standards to what is culturally understand as a religious position.

For example consider the near sacrament-like reverance with which many of these public values are held and promoted:

  • The Constitution
  • Patriotism
  • Democracy
  • Capitalism
  • Inalienable Rights
  • Tolerance

Now consider Christian alternatives to what is currently defined as secular:

  • Scripture
  • Worship of the Trinity
  • Authority of the Church
  • Generosity
  • Responsibility to the other
  • Forgiveness

While many in the Evangelical church are concerned about the removal of Christian religious values from public institutions, what concerns me is the penetration of secular religion into the life of the Church. Perhaps Evangelicals should be less concerned about their democratic influence on the State, and more concerned about America’s influence on the Church.

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