Saturday, May 29, 2010

Separation of Church and State

Though the American Revolution was a political revolution based primarily on economic issues, a component of  the "change" was religious freedom. Many were unhappy with the Church of England. Though they didn't always see eye to eye, and weren't always treated fairly, the population of the Thirteen Colonies was made up of  Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Quakers and Shakers, Lutherans, Moravians, Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists, and Catholics and Jews. And probably some atheists and agnostics. A majority of the population was able to unite for a common cause without requiring all others to accept the beliefs and constructs of their particular religion less they not receive the "blessings of liberty." America was formed as one nation under God, with the key being a God of the individual's understanding.

Thomas Paine, who was a key figure in the birth of our country,  wrote and spoke with the fervor of an old fashion preacher. He said this about religion: "I strenuously support the right of every man to his opinion however different that opinion might be to mine....The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind and monopolize power and profit."

I am a deeply spiritual person and I do believe in God. But I cannot help but notice that some are using their religion, either sincerely or falsely, to justify the exploitation of many,  mask their true motives and greed, and destroy the fabric and jeopardize the future of this country.

No comments: