I’m getting tired of all of the arguments coming from the Left (and a few from the Right) about the “Separation of Church and State.” As time goes on, the debate escalates, and it has especially gone to a new level since John Roberts and Samuel Alito were nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court. The thing that disturbed me the most about the confirmation hearings of these two justices was the argumentation used by the Left – and I’m not talking about the personal attacks by the likes of blowhards such as Sen. Kennedy, I’m referring to the Judiciary Committee Democrats saturating the debate with this Roe v. Wade nonsense.
The first thing that upsets me over the Roe v. Wade debate is that we’ve been debating it since it was decided in 1973; and really, the debate has gone on much longer than that, because the abortion was being debated before the Roe case even came to court. But let’s face it: Roe is not going away anytime soon, even if conservative judges do dominated the Supreme Court. I believe that the outcry by the Left would be too much to sustain the decision to overturn Roe. Of course, my main problem with Roe is that it asserts that women have a Constitutional right to have abortions…maybe my copy of the Constitution was missiong that particular clause, but I don’t ever remember reading about that anywhere. When it gets right down to it, Roe is just another example of extraconstitutional power being userped by the Supreme Court.
But the other thing that got me upset over the Roe debate in those confirmation hearings is the presence of issues of such higher importance, such as the eminent domain debate (the Kelo case). For those of you not familiar with the Kelo case, here is what happened: a city in the North East (New London, Connecticut) wanted to condemn 115 residences and give their property over to a private company for the development of retail businesses, including resort hotels & shopping centers. Traditionally, eminent domain was used for things such as roads & highways – it was used for projects for “public use”. Specifically, the 5th Amendment to the Constitution states, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Basically, this means that the government can take your property to build a park or a freeway, as long as they pay fair market price for it. The main problem with the Kelo case is that the government of New London exceeded their power, condemning the properties of those people who wouldn’t sell and were essentially blocking these business’ building project. After their homes were condemned, these residents had no choice but to move out – and they were no longer offered “just compensation” for their loss – no matter what shape their home was in, or how valuable it was, it was now worthless, because the government had declared it to be condemned. And the most grevious breach of authority in the Kelo case occurred when the government of New London gave those properties over to private companies. The rationalle? The new businesses would increase tax revenues, and thus this abomination was taking place to give funds for ‘public use.’ The problem? Under this rationalle, any property could be taken from anyone just to be given over to a company in the interests of increasing tax revenues. And across America, this has been happening. There was a clause in the case stating that state governments could pass laws to outlaw this practice, but let’s be reasonable: this case gives state and loval governments unprecedented powers that they have never before possessed. Power corrupts, and these laws likely won’t be passed until the voters demand it…and it is very likely that by then, it will be too late.
I go through all of that to say that there were more important issues at stake than Roe. Teddy Kennedy, Joseph Biden, and Dick Durban knew, or could pretty reasonably guess how Roberts and Alito would vote on abortion cases, but they found it necessary to play to the cameras, showboating for an issue that shouldn’t even be the purview of the United States Supreme Court.
But the Church/State debate goes beyond Roe v. Wade and the Court’s userpation of power. Many on the Left are arguing that the arguments of religious people sould be shut down. The reasoning behind their arguments is that religious people should not be allowed to dictate morality to the rest of the nation. The problem with this argument is that, technically, every person on the earth belongs to a religious worldview. Strictly defined, a religion is a system of beliefs, whether or not those beliefs include belief in the supernatural, or a god or gods. The Supreme Court has affirmed twice in the past that Secular Humanism is a religion (see my first post for more details). By that standard, if it is unconstitutional to teach Intelligent Design theory or Creationism (or even mention that alternatives to evolution exist), than the teaching of evolution theory itself should be outlawed as an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.
The main problem with the evolution/ID debate is the intellectual dishonesty of many on the side of evolution: for one thing, Darwin himself rejected his own theory. For another thing, science has no opinion on the divine. Science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God, and for as much evidence as scientists may have gathered for evolution, there is just as much evidence for God’s existence. Science has the fossil record, radiometric dating, and the geologic record. Religion has miraculous healings and proven accurate historical records, as well as many, many prophecies written hundreds of years before their fulfillment.
The crux of the matter is this: the debate over the separation of church and state will not be solved through the eliminating or censoring the other side’s point of view – that will onlyescalate the debate. If secularists want religious Americans to back down, they’re going about it the wrong way. For millions of religious people across America, we see our way of life being threatened by a secular society that increasingly tells us that not only is our opinion illegitimate, but that it should not be heard at all. While telling us this, they seek to drive our views out of every aspect of public life, whether it be the removal of “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance (which children are not required to say) or the removal of displays of the 10 Commandments from courthouses (as if the mere presence of a display of a religious standard of law will somehow influence judges to turn America into a theocracy).
What happens when you back a wild animal into a corner? It becomes even more aggressive, and begins to take extreme measures to fight for its life. In the history of America, religious people have hardly fit the stereotype of a wild animal (with a few notable exceptions – the Salem Witch Trials being one), but no group is totally free of blemish. Overall, Christian America has been a stabilizing factor in American history. It is because of Christian America that the slide into absolute moral relativism has been slowed. But Christians are losing the fight, and have been, little by little, for some time. It is extremely disengenuous for secular America to complain about the pushback, when secularists and moral relativists have been pushing their lack of morality upon Christians for years, whether through the form of legalizing abhorrent behaviors, restricting religious freedoms and the expression of religious viewpoints (in schools & elsewhere), or by allowing America to be bombarded with immorality through the lifting of decency standards in media. Christians are losing, but we are fighting back. And if you have a problem with that, then get over it. We’re Americans too, and we do have rights.