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Senator Hatch and a misunderstanding of church/state separation

November 5, 2015

Looks like the “War on Christmas” myth is rearing its head again… ’tis the season, after all.

It’s one of the arguments that Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) used in his speech on Nov 4th on the Senate floor as part of his speech addressing… well, nothing really related to Senate business, but apparently it’s a big enough deal that he feels the need to spend time discussing how church and state separation is just another example of religions being persecuted in the US today.

And he also raises the myth of “no prayer in schools”.  Sen. Hatch needs to actually go to a public school one of these days and provide us some documentation on how these kids are forbidden from praying, because they seem to be doing fine without his help, especially before math tests.  He just needs to make sure he doesn’t force any of the kids to pray, because as a public official, that wouldn’t be appropriate.

“The erroneous wall-of-separation doctrine has narrowed the role of religion in public discourse, fueling the view that religion is a private matter rather than a fundamental precept of American civil society”

See, one’s religion IS a private matter, Senator: one in which the government generally has no say other than to make sure you are not infringing anyone else’s rights (and no one is infringing yours) while practicing it.  When you talk about a “fundamental precept of American civil society”, the concept you are really thinking about is “religious freedom”, which the concept of separation of church and state is there to protect.

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