What is the separation of church and state? What does it mean and where is it actual written in any way?
I'm going to be honest, quite honest, and say that I'm not very well educated in matters of politicks.
I see this topic come up now and then and it gets VERY frustrating for me. I KNOW in my heart that the way "separation of church and state" is used today is NOT how it was intended in any way.
First, here's a story that got this idea spinning in my mind today...
http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/to ... -poem.html
A SIX year old girl wrote a poem to be read to honor veterans. Six years old. Her poem honored her grandfathers and mentioned "He prayed to God...." Someone heard about it and decided maybe it was a bad idea to mention God in a poem that a child was going to read publicly. The teacher talked with the principal and vice principal and decided that "God" must go. The child was told to remove it from the poem. This was to err on the side of caution as to not violate the constitution when it comes to the separation of church and state.
I find this absolutely ridiculous. Insane. This is the way our country is going these days though.
So, armed with only my own beliefs and common sense, I decided I better at least check out wikipedia to find out how it all really started.
SO, please read this part of wikipedia's page about the separation of church and state:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation ... ted_States
It started with something Thomas Jefferson wrote:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
This was in a letter, not yet part of any law... but his idea was that the government should NEVER make any laws "respecting an establishment of religion"(hmmm, how is it obama wants to tell the catholic church what to do?) OR "prohibiting the free exercise thereof"
Again, this was just a letter. So the law?
The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
What happens is we have people that are SCARED of Christianity. Somehow the belief in God and Jesus threatens them and they feel it is necessary to silence it any which way they can.
And so we have "officials" in different places that feel if a child, yes a six year old child, mentions the word "God", and it is tolerated, that MUST mean that the school is endorsing that religion, and somehow that is against the law.
First of all, it isn't. Our country and government is so messed up right now, people are believing that God and prayer are not allowed in Schools. For a LONG time, Christianity was a BIG part of the actual IDENTITY of this country. (United States) That was who we were... how we were known by others. For a LONG time, very few questioned it. Very few were offended enough to be brave enough to stand up and try to silence Christianity. Once upon a time, prayer was a part of EVERY day life in schools. The bible was actually taught in a lot of schools. Nobody questioned or whined about it. Nobody thought prayer was going to harm them. People prayed. Lots of people prayed. God WAS a part of our schools. He was allowed in our schools at one time. And this did NOT break the constitution or the law in any way.
The real idea behind the separation of church and sate was simple. It was to keep the government OUT OF RELIGION. It was not to keep Christianity silenced. It was not to remove God from every government affiliated building. In fact, the majority of people that came up with many of our laws would be appalled by what we've done with them.
Our nation, again, WAS a Christian nation. It was who we were. And it makes me SO sad that I have to write that in the past tense.
The whole idea had nothing to do with stopping free speech. The law was written so that the government had NO authority over YOUR and MY beliefs OR our words. It was written so that the government could NOT tell religious organizations what to do in ANY way. The catholic church as I mentioned earlier... they've had to fight with the government over the new healthcare bill. Because the government feels they can tell an ENTIRE religion or company(pray for Hobby Lobby) that their beliefs aren't important and they must go against their beliefs or pay fines. At the same time, a 6 year old is told she cannot say the word "God" in front of other people at a school function.
This is disgusting. I am disgusted. You should be too.
The words in the constitution... "Congress shall make no law....."
How does the government's inability to create a law translate into silencing a 6 year old child? If she stood up and spoke those words, what law would she be breaking? What law would the school be breaking? None.
I'm a little overwhelmed with my feelings and the many thoughts at the moment so I'm going to wind things down for now.
There are many things that have led to the position we are in, as a nation. We're on a downward slope in many ways... especially all the ways of morality. We've pulled God from every thing we can.
It's overwhelming, it really is. The weight of it all, I imagine for some, is similar to the feelings and pressure our founding fathers felt in their need and desire to separate from England.
We live in a society where people fight for their right to own things... to purchase things... to not be judged by others in ANY way... But too few are willing to stand up and stand firm. We keep our religion to ourselves. We're too scared to offend others, so we sit silently and watch the world change around us. I'm going to dare to say that Christians as a whole are at least partly to blame for the downfall of our country. The country we once pledged our Allegiance UNDER. That is but a memory...
Don't be afraid to live your faith. Don't be afraid to offend. Don't be afraid to be offended. We're a nation of cowards. Nobody likes being mocked. So we settle for conformity. That is the way of our country. Go with the flow......
Live you faith FULLY... not just within... not just inside your own little head... or your own bedroom, or home, or bubble... Life your faith FULLY in ALL you do and all you are.
If you believe in God and don't like the way our country is headed... and if you just keep it to yourself... you're doing far more harm then good. You are part of the problem. Stop being part of the problem. Even if you can't be a part of the solution... even if there is no solution. STOP being part of the problem.
There were people in the Bible that were beaten and even killed for their faith. There are people even today in different corners of the world that are STILL killed for their faith in Jesus. LOTS of places where you can be killed for being a Christian. And here in the US, we're afraid to have someone make fun of us... or stop being our friend. or, whatever.
I'll confess... All through middle and high school and even my first attempt at college. I didn't tell anyone that I went to church regularly. I was a coward. I still am, but I don't let it stop me from being who I am anymore.
Be who God created you to be. Are you a Christ follower? Do the people that meet you each day know that? Does anyone outside of your family and church know that? Are you living it?
Just like the Jews of the Old Testament, the Church of the United States, the church as a whole that is, spends far too much time being part of this world and far too little changing and shaping it.
I did not intend for this posting to get preachy... Not at all... but, I truly believe that our country is in serious danger and I VERY much believe that the church is a bigger part of the problem than they are a solution most of the time.
And it's not just the church. It's YOU and ME. Individuals. We cannot sit back and say "well, my church is donating money to feed the homeless and sending missionaries to other countries" etc.
What are YOU doing? How are you a part of the church? How are you changing the world?
I'm going to admit some more... that I don't do enough. I share on here from time to time. I post on facebook. I am who I am and I cannot hide it. I will not hide it.
"what will people think when they hear that I'm a Jesus freak...."
The way the world views us sometimes... the way some of you might even see me as you read this note. But, I'm proud of that. I will not live in fear. I will not change who I am or hide who I am just to fit in.
The truth is there are FAR more Christians in this country than we are aware of... simply because the majority of them are silent.
When I view our country it makes me sad. I often feel like Christianity is fading. I feel that the MAJORITY of people have little belief and faith left. All is quiet. Nobody speaks up.
But not long ago while chick fila was being attacked, a TON of people stood up and supported them. That encouraged me a bit. There are FAR more Christians out there than I realize.
Our religious freedoms are slowly being taken away from us. It is happening because too many of us sit on our hands and just hope things get better. It's like someone has a hold of our tongues.
Whatever your fears or beliefs........ Do not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you are ashamed... if you keep silent out of fear... if you're not giving Jesus your all... you're hurting yourself and everyone around you. You hurt yourself when you don't share your opinions and beliefs as they don't get counted. The more Christians keep quiet, the fewer Christians people think there are out there and, the less our opinions and beliefs will be respected. Even in politicks. Lots of people have beliefs when it comes to laws... marijuana, alcohol, etc... if you stay home and don't vote, your voice and your belief no longer bears ANY weight at all. So all you have to say on the issue in the privacy of your own home is meaningless. You've given up any power you have by not voting. You're leaving the decisions to the will of whomever does go out and vote.
It is the same thing with your daily life. If you keep who you are to yourself, then nobody will hear your voice. People around will just ASSUME that there aren't many Christians out there. Even in keeping silent, you're helping shape and change your own future.
But when it comes to your faith in Christ, your silence carries an even greater responsibility. What opportunities will you miss? What lives will you fail to change or save?
Up until a year or two after highschool, I had NO impact on the world around me.
I can remember being at work at a pizza place... the guys would comment on EVERY girl that walked by the window. Because I kept silent, they started to ask if I was gay. Simply because I did not participate in their ogling. Right there, they saw a difference. I was, in a way, living differently than them. I behaved differently.
Unfortunately, I failed myself and them by not explaining WHY I did not participate. Why did I not join them in their drooling? Because I was taught to respect women. Because the way they acted was perverse and against what my bible teaches. Because I believe in God and choose to live a moral life to the best of my ability.
I don't remember what sorry excuse I gave them but I failed them in that. I gave them NO opportunity to learn about my love for Jesus.
A couple years later I worked for a company with a lot of crude men. They knew I was dating someone and asked if I was sleeping with her. When I said no, God was kind enough to open the door for me to be a little braver when one man asked "why not, are you religious or something?" A simple "yes" was enough to open things up for further conversations. I don't believe I had much of an impact on those men... but one of them did sincerely ask me to pray for him once and I would not have had that opportunity if I didn't DARE to live out my faith and not hide who I am.
Okay... I'm going on and on now. I'm very passionate about this. I feel that the church as a whole, or people as a whole, are failing... we're failing ourselves and failing the people around us.
Live your faith. Don't let the enemy silence your voice.
A 6 year old should never be afraid to say "God" in front of others. That's certainly not the world my grandfather grew up in. But it is the world we live in now. What is coming may even be worse. How things go and how YOU deal with things is up to you. Your voice matters. Your faith matters.
to quote a kids song... "don't let satan blow it out..." "hide it under a bushel? NO!!!"
Let your light shine before ALL men.
I am sorry if the length or preachyness of this is a burden on you in any way but it is what it is. I am who I am. I am very upset that such a young child was silenced in this way... and I feel there is a LOT going on with that and I just had a lot to say about it I guess......