Occasionally discussions about blog posts do get out of hand, or they twist off into unintended directions.
Such was the case involving a recent item I posted on this blog involving the teaching of creationism in Texas public schools. Here’s the link:
But in the comments responding to the blog as it appeared on Facebook, a couple of the respondents decided to declare that the Constitution doesn’t state categorically that there must be a “separation of church and state.”
I’d like to clear the air a bit on this matter.
I agree that the Constitution doesn’t use the words “church and state separation.” But as with a lot of principles contained in that wonderful document, the interpretations of what it actually says are quite clear.
The First Amendment says, among other things, that Congress shall make no laws that establish a state religion. I’ve read it, oh, about a bazillion times in my life. I know what the Founders meant when they wrote that. They intended to keep church business out of state business. They didn’t want our government to be dictated by religious principles.
They created a secular nation.
There well might have been plenty of debate among the Founders about whether to allow a state religion. It doesn’t matter, in my view, what they debated. What matters now, more than two centuries later, is what they approved when they sent the Constitution out for ratification by the 13 states that comprised the United States of America.
Thus, church and state separation is implied in the Constitution’s First Amendment, just as the “right of privacy” is implied in the Fourth Amendment.
What’s more, Texas happens to be one of 50 states that now comprise the U.S. of A., even though it once seceded with tragic consequences. My point about the candidates for Texas lieutenant governor wanting to teach creationism in our public schools still stands.
Teach science in schools and religion in church — and keep church and state separate.