By BJ Bjornson
A nice little article from McClatchy on the importance of Church/State separation. Unfortunately quite likely to be ignored by its main targets, as in the GOP field, but nice to see as part of the conversation in any case.
The separation of church and state in American public life is essential to ensure that U.S. citizens retain their civil liberties and that the nation retains its exceptionalism in the world, a group of experts told a forum Tuesday at the National Press Club.
As the 2012 election season heats up, the experts voiced concern over the view held by some that the First Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion, allows religion to be mixed with governance, which they said is incorrect. They said that American exceptionalism stems in no small part from religious liberty.
I admit that I�m not entirely certain just how American exceptionalism relates to religious liberty, as I�ve normally found its expression to be a healthy dose of the unhealthy kind of �we can do no wrong because we�re so great� thinking that also infects the worst of religion, but I would say that much of America�s greatness comes from its ability to ignore the worst tendencies of religion and govern based on empirical principles. Part of the reason the Republicans� insistence of turning everything, including things like Climate Change and opposition to renewable energy, into matters of faith is such a scary phenomenon.
I did quite like this paragraph though.
"When we are dragging religion into politics, then we are not searching for truth, but we do it to support our agenda in order to preserve our position, so the necessity for separation of church and state is essential" he said.
Which I think pretty much sums up every position ever taken by the religious right, and a good reminder why the criticism of religion is also a necessity for a decent society.