The first pilgrims and settlers came to the New World to escape religious intolerance and persecution. They wanted to practice their religion free from government interference. In America they found that freedom and millions came here to enjoy it. They were fleeing the Old World where religion was a state-run enterprise, to establish a New World with a clear separation of church and state.
The secular Left now threatens to take us back to the bad old days of 16th Century England and Europe where state and church were intertwined and the state was the ultimate authority on all religious questions. In 1530 King Henry VIII wanted to divorce his wife Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. The Pope in Rome refused to grant him an annulment of his marriage to Caherine. Henry’s solution was to break with the Catholic Church and establish the Church of England meaning that he, the King, controlled the church. That is why the founding fathers of the United States made it the first priority of the new government, stated in the First Amendment of the new Constitution, that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, nor the free exercise thereof.”
Recent events perpetrated by Gay supremacists and their fellow travelers on the Left will, if not checked, again unite church and state.
As a people, we sailed away to escape a country that had annihilated the concept of separation of church and state. The secular Left in the United States often stresses that separation, but ironically only a strong central government can use force to bend religious people. A government that suppresses religious belief is one that enforces a particular religious belief. We have a government in search of a church that will fit the government’s purpose versus a higher one.
This puts us back to where we started, as the separation of church and state narrows by the day. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act and First Amendment don’t exist just to protect some people. They protect all of us from a state-run religion. Without the capacity to run independent religious entities, we only have the individual and the state. This will eliminate religion, not balance it with the public good.
Cutting people off from finding their own spiritual path and forcing them to accept the one the government allows is not progress. We are retreating as a nation, reverting to a lesser form of government with less vitality. Much of what makes the United States exceptional lies within the space we carved out for independence from the state. To sacrifice that now means settling for a diminished future.