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National Day of Reason

May 2, 2013

Our words today in the MN Capitol for the National Day of Reason.

On this Day of Reason 2013 I would like to quote someone who took issues regarding separation of Church and State very seriously . Many years ago, in a very famous and oft-quoted speech, he illustrated how important it is that we leave secular issues to be decided within the realm of the secular, and religious issues to be decided within the confines and framework of those whose interests are in deciding and promoting those issues. Now, I never met the man, but I like to think that he would have agreed with the current arrangement we see here today: people of faith gathered in prayer, but very significantly outside the halls of secular law. Inside these walls, the place where reason should and must be considered paramount, we are separated in this case both physically and literally in space by the walls of the building; but also, and most important, metaphorically by the wall of separation that exists between our purposes.

The person I would like to quote understood the need for this wall, as have many of his followers. He said very clearly that this distinction must be maintained, permanently, for the good of both our groups. I refer of course to Jesus, who very clearly and unequivocally stated in Matthew 22:21 that you must render unto religious consideration that which is religious, and render unto the authority of reason that which has the secular law as its proper domain. Of course, he said “unto God” and “unto Caesar”, but I like to think that was just the terminology of the time.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State stands here today, as we did last year, in support of the reason and secular purpose underpinning our system of law, as well as our freedom to worship and practice (or not) our faith (or lack thereof) where and when we see fit, including outside these walls, without inference or instruction from the government. And we stand here also to thank you for supporting these walls, whether they be physical or metaphorical. Thank you.

If this makes sense to you, come and join us in the MN Chapter of Americans United!  Happy National Day of Reason.

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