Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Most Secular Document Composed . . . or is it?

Over and over in class I hear this statement. That the constitution of the United States of America is in fact one of the most secular documents composed. I for one am partial to secularism within the government realm because I feel that when it comes to religion human beings inevitably make it personal and emotional. After all religion is both personal and emotional and should be left to the decision of the person by the person not for others. But the question is not whether I agree with it but rather is it true and how do Americans feel about this? I feel that when American vote they take into account their morals and through this their religion. The question is although, is that what are founding fathers would have wanted us to do? When the United States was becoming just that did our founding fathers intend for us to make decisions of government nature using our religion as a crutch? Even more so it comes to mind that the founding fathers didn’t know about religions such as Scientology. I find it interesting that this article brings to life a point that many American overlook and should on the contrary take into account and use as a benefit. It states “If religionists better understood the concept of separation of Church & State, they would realize that the wall of separation actually protects their religion. Our secular government allows the free expression of religion and non religion. Today, religions flourish in America; we have more churches than Seven-Elevens.” This is such a wonderfully worded statement that appeals to twenty-first century Americans. So many people believe that America has a “secular constitution” and they automatically insinuate that it is a negative aspect of the country. But on the contrary it is what makes us free. What gives us the opportunity to believe what we want and have that right protected by the government of the country we call home? Think about different countries around the world that do not let their citizens do so. For example, here at Georgia State University I am able to attend Catholic mass during our school wide lunch break, I can go to confession with the priest and we pray the rosary before the actual mass. In Honduras it has been a tradition for decades to have mass during lent. The students are by no means obligated but they can go if they please. The country’s new government has declared it unconstitutional to have this continue arguing separation between church and state. I feel lucky to be able to attend mass at Georgia State where I am sure that the population is not ninety some percent Catholic and Honduras who’s is will not allow their students to willingly practice or have the option of mass at school. This is where this article comes in. Bottom line is that the United States constitution was not created to get rid of religion but to allow it to flourish. One religion will never be favored over another, not because they disregard religion in general but because they respect them all equally. Aid will not be provided to one religion over the other. Not because the government wants the religion to fail but because it should be a fight for the followers to allow it to flourish and in the process enrich them within it. A demonstrated by this statement; “Although many secular and atheist groups fight for the wall of separation, this does not mean that they wish to lawfully eliminate religion from society. On the contrary, you will find no secular or atheist group attempting to ban Christianity, or any other religion from American society. Keeping religion separate allows atheists and religionists alike, to practice their belief systems, regardless how ridiculous they may seem, without government intervention.” The constitution was created to establish order and as a basis of our country’s foundation. Just as we respect its content we must acknowledge that it was created to help us respect each other.

1 comment:

JoeyM said...

I like this post. Grammatically it is a bit scary, but who am I to talk? I agree the law is in place to protect religion and not government. The problem is not putting religion into government, but instead keep religious views as a personal guide within government. If I had it my way the government would start a revival and that would be the end to the world as we know it. But sadly I don't have it my way. God always has it his way so I am excited to see what he does in the government. I am sure that they don't always make the right choice, but I am sure that there are at least a few honest politicians. The constitution is not a secular document. I believe that something as powerful and influential as the constitution was moved by the first mover. I know that He is the real writer of this document. So is the constitution secular. NO