Politics

Palin And Biden On Separation Of Church And State

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She keeps on stumbling…

Doug breaks it down…

Palin’s statement is particularly interesting mostly because it ends up becoming a fundamental misreading of what Jefferson meant when he said that the First Amendment had erected a “wall of separation” between the political and clerical worlds — namely his assertion, widely accepted during the Founding Era, that true religious liberty required that the state and the church remain separate entities.

Just as the state should not get involved in or seek to influence matters belonging to the religious world, the church should not get involved in or seek to influence matters that are the purview of civil government.

Correct, it works both ways, although nowadays there’s much more focus around making sure the church stays out of the government’s space than vice versa.

  • http://whoswrongtoday.blogspot.com Mike

    although nowadays there’s much more focus around making sure the church stays out of the government’s space than vice versa.

    I think that’s debatable. Conservatives believe that they’re engaged in a fight to keep the government out of regulating how and where they can express their religious views.

    I’m not going to defend Palin in general, but as far as this point goes I don’t think her answer was that bad. The way I see it, both Palin and Biden expressed two reasons why the wall is important:

    1) Palin: Poeple have the right to believe as they chose and express those beliefs. So government needs to stay out of those matters.

    2) Biden: Governments that allow themselves to be ruled by religion end up in bad shape. So religion needs to stay out of government.

    Really, I think those are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have government involved in religion without also having religion involved in government. They are not two separate things.