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Why the government should never promote theology

December 27, 2012

The argument for Separation of Church and State is made pretty clearly when you have religious groups clamoring to make illegal something that their faith and interpretation of their religious texts finds unacceptable, but other religious groups find perfectly acceptable, or even desirable.

The government is and should be secular, and as such should have no position to arbitrate on which of the thousands of contradictory interpretations of “god’s will” is the “correct” one. Especially when every single one of the thousands of subdivisions of the major religions happen to come to different conclusions, and yet all claim to be the correct one.

This is not an “atheist” perspective. Separation of church and state serves to protect your religious freedom from imposed legal intervention from other religious groups that you might consider “heretical”. Unless you are prepared to have someone else’s belief systems and worship requirements imposed on you under penalty of law, your first reaction should be to always oppose government promotion of any non-secularly-derived law.

From the Americans United website:

Believe what you like and worship as you please – but don’t expect the government to help you impose your views on others. Don’t be so foolish as to believe that the government can be an instrument for building a “Godly society.” In a country of thousands of faiths (as well as growing number of non-believers) there can be no consensus on what that term means.

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