Friday, December 5, 2008

Tired Of It

Separation of Church and State has, for some reason, come to mean that when Christian worldview or morality comes into conflict with Secular worldview or morality, the former should yield by default and because of inherent inferiority. The ironic thing is that such a mentality is the exact opposite of actual Separation of Church and State because it shows blatant favoritism to the theological worldview of secularism and reduces religious believers to second-class status.

This interpretation of Separation of Church and State says to the person of faith that, "because your convictions are based in a religious worldview, you should have no political say in, or effect on, how the culture, in which you must live, work, and raise a family, will function." It is intellectual and philosophical tyranny. And it is wrong.

7 comments:

Mr. Davis said...

Wow! I am glad to see you post this! I agree!

Anonymous said...

Sadly, at a time when we need more church in our state many Christians embrace the falsehood of "separation" and call it practical.

Anonymous said...

I find that your opinions of Secularism are entirely illogical. In order for it to be true that religious persons do not have a say in a secularist state, it would have to be the case that religious persons lack the ability to vote or the ability to use their faith as a selling point for votes. You, a religious person, are still perfectly able to vote for political candidates based on their faith should you so choose. I cannot see how you can claim that religious people who are being oppressed today.

I think Secularism is best summed up thusly, "Don't pray in my school, and I won't think in your church." I realize the degrading nature of that statement, but beneath its insult, it points out the balance that is present in a Secularist state. The matters of the state, from education to legislature, should be concerned solely with principles that can be demonstrated in logic and science as these are the principles on which the concepts of civilization developed in the West since the Greek philosophers.

Matters of faith, which are entirely subjective and more often than not promote mutual exclusivity of believers, are detrimental to a government and its reasonably-minded citizens when they are not, by law, considered to be appropriate only in private matters.

I realize that it's going to sound like I'm just saying that my intellectual and scientific beliefs are, as you said, inherently superior to yours. Well, essentially, they are. My beliefs can be supported logically and empirically, whereas your beliefs are subjective, illogical, lack any sort of evidence and differ tremendously from the majority of other spiritual beliefs in the world. My point, in short, is that scientific reasoning is just plain logically and empirically superior to faith-based beliefs. Beliefs derived from scientific reasoning are, therefore, appropriate in governmental matters and religious beliefs are not.

Try to understand that you are essentially demanding that we make a tremendously illogical decision in allowing religious matters to determine the position of the state. Purely faith-based government actions would essentially be the cultural and societal equivalent of taking our national budget and throwing it down a wishing well and ignoring economics.

R. Ramsey said...

Hello Anonymous,

You go a long way to admit that you do believe that your beliefs are superior to mine and that people like me are being “detrimental to government and its reasonably-minded citizens,” if we bring our beliefs to the voting box. Which essentially proves my point. The “tyranny,” of which I wrote, is philosophical and burgeoning, not physical and fully implemented.

Secularist states are not balanced or neutral. They are often just reactionary to religious convictions, and this by no means brings them closer to truth by default. This has been demonstrated by the “de-Christianization” of France following their revolution, and the “eradication of superstition” implemented by Communist countries. Their States were fully secular and fully convinced of the objective rightness of their Atheism and Marxism. They too claimed their beliefs were empirical and logical. Clearly, there are times when religious convictions are more in line truth than secular convictions.

You seem to make a lot of speculations about what I believe and why I believe it, and, if you’re respecting a rebuttal at all, I suspect you expect me to do the same about you and your beliefs since you don’t tell me what you believe (though I'm sure your beliefs also "differ tremendously from the majority of other spiritual beliefs in the world.")

Why don’t we stick to a particular issue and see if the Christian stance is less logical and scientific than the secular one. It was actually the issue of homosexual marriage that inspired my original post. I’ll take up for the Christian side of that issue, if you want to take the Secular one.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree. Unfortunately, I'll have my spaceship to Mars fueled and waiting.
I guess the good news is that since God created us, and we are his by default, there is no real debate on whether or not he is real or whether we belong to God. It is simply a matter of whether we want to accept that fact. It's like every living being is playing an instrument, all playing a song together. you just have to decide if you want to be in tune or not.
Do I have anything relevant to add to this issue? i sorta think of it in terms of what my Grandpa used to say....
"If you are in a pasture, full of livestock, and you step in an unknown substance that looks like cow-crap, smells like cow-crap, and it sticks to your boots like cow-crap, its probably cow-crap. How much more proof do we need that doing things without God sucks?
-jwm-

Anonymous said...

I can't begin to guess at what a Christian could find illogical about gay marriage. No statistics suggest that gay parents do any worse job of raising children or remaining married than straight couples, so I can't see where a logical argument would come from. If you're inclined to argue against gay marriage, go ahead, but don't mistake homophobia for logic.

R. Ramsey said...

Very well, I promise not to mistake homophobia for logic, if you agree not to mistake logic with calling someone a homophobic. Crying “homophobic” isn’t an argument, it’s using an inflammatory buzzword in order to marginalize opponents and subsequently silence would-be dissenters. In other words, it’s a textbook case of argumentum ad hominem, which, ironically enough, is a logical fallacy.

As for statistics pertaining to the effects of homosexual marriage on children. First of all, have enough adults been raised by homosexual couples to enable such statistics to even exist? Second, do you always need to see statistics before “you can begin to guess” why anyone could have a problem with atypical marriages? For example, are there bodies of statistics detailing the negative effects that incestuous married couples have on their adopted children? Are you going to withhold your judgment on the issue of incestuous marriage until such statistics are available?

But since statistics are what you ask for:
Here is a statistic provided by “Statistics Canada,” which says “about 1.3% of [Canadian] men considered themselves homosexual” (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/040615/dq040615b-eng.htm). Combine that with another from Public Health Agency of Canada stating that 51% of their AIDS cases are homosexual men (http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/aids-sida/populations-eng.php). The fact that 1.3% of Canada’s men account for 51% of their AIDS cases is beyond alarming, and enables “reasonably-minded citizens” to logically, and easily, deduce that it is not in the best interest of a nation for its government to lend legitimacy to homosexuality.

For you, or anyone, to immediately dismiss Christian ethics (as “subjective, illogical, or lacking any sort of evidence”) on the basis that they are Christian, is foolish. If the Bible said “Thou shall not touch hot stoves lest thy hands become burnt,” it would not be wise or logical to deduce that, because you believe other Biblical claims to be unverifiable or flat-out wrong, there must be no merit to its prohibition of hot-stove touching. Yet this seems to be the typical Secularist response when the Bible places prohibitions on sexuality, even when it is clear that adherence to these prohibitions could prevent much harm. Such a response isn’t logical or reasonable. It’s just reactionary (as is calling someone a “homophobic” when they stray from the party line).