Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Something for your lunch table.

As I was driving to work today, I saw a vacant lot with a sign proclaiming it to be the "Future home of [some] Church of Christ." The first thing I thought was, "aren't they all Christ's churches?"
The second thing I thought was, "There goes another ratable." Another currently taxable property is being turned over to a group who will develop it, use our resources and not pay taxes on the property.
That started off the chain of thought that wondered about (a) why it was necessary to build another church and (b) the whole separation of church and state thing.
The phrase separation of church and state is generally traced to a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists, in which he referred to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as creating a "wall of separation" between church and state. The phrase was then quoted by the United States Supreme Court first in 1878, and then in a series of cases starting in 1947.
Supposedly, we separate secular government from religion. That's the idea, anyway.
Why then, do religious groups like so-called Christian Evangelicals and Catholics have a say in who is elected to political office in this country? Shouldn't they, by order of the U.S. Constitution be told to "shut up and sit down?"
Bring it up around your lunch table at work. Let me know how it goes.


Handsome B. Wonderful said...

Yeah if they talk politics from the pulpit then they should be fined and/or have their tax exempt statue yanked.

junior alien said...

In Europe, it was in the Age of Enlightenment that the idea of separating state from religion became more widely known. Yet one of the leading philosophers of that age, Immanuel Kant, doubted that the ideas of secularization would spread among the people quickly. He said that a reform of thinking could only work on the long run. "For the individual, it is difficult to overcome sheepishness, because sheepishness seems normal to most people."

Do you think a lot has changed since then?

Kant died in 1804.

Anthony said...

junior: In some ways, I don't think much has changed since the wheel was invented.
Sheepishness is normal. Anyone who steps out and says or does something is considered an anarchist or worse. It's social anathema to wander outside the path.

Anthony said...

HBW: I think they should pay taxes like the rest of us regardless of their politics.

Kate Michele said...

i most certainly think they should pay taxes... non-profit my ass. do you know how much a Christian speaker gets to just speak at a venue.... yeah i don't want to know the exact number either :P