Friday, October 26, 2007

Is the strict separationist wall between church and state coming down?

One of the more insidious political doctrines in our public life is the distorted notion of the strict wall of separation between church and state. Some belief this artificial wall is coming down.

I would argue this is a very good thing for all concerned even though radical secularists and strict separationists at places like the American Civil Liberties Union would strongly disagree.

An interesting book as come out on this topic, written by a law professor at the University of Duquesne, Bruce Ledewitz. It's called, "American Religious Democracy: Coming to Terms with the End of Secular Politics". In an interview with World magazine he says the strict wall of separation of church and state is coming down and that's not something to worry about. He points to recent Supreme Court decisions and the make up of the Court, recent public policy positions motivated by religious concerns, e.g. gay marriage, embryonic stem cell, faith-based initiatives, and the fact that more people are voting for religious reasons than in the past.

He had some interesting things to say on theocracy versus a democracy. He said if the people enacted the book of Leviticus that wouldn't be a theocracy but a democracy. A theocracy is where a group of religious leaders can veto or enact public policy. That isn't the case where religious folks lobby and enact laws consistent with their religious convictions.

What interesting about Ledewitz is he's not a Christian conservative. He's Jewish and was the western Pennsylvania campaign coordinator for the presidential campaigns of Gary Hart and Al Gore.


History Matters said...

I am trying to address much of the misunderstanding of the First Amendment in my blog, which is:

It is fairly new, but I am trying to add information every day. The topics will cover our historic roots, the creation of the First Amendment, court decisions, opinions by the founders and other historic figures, and examples of misapplication of the amendment.

I am simultaneously adding content to a similar forum, but the forum is organized by a topic hierarchy rather than the date-driven blog format. The forum is here:

Patrick Roberts said...

interesting... an unintended, genius aspect of democracy is that the state of the government will represent the state of the people. We needn't impose any particular religion on our government. Whether or not our government is morally stable will reflect the moral stability of us, the people. So how are we doing?