ONE MORE COMMENT ABOUT SEPARATION OF CHURCH & STATE IN AMERICA

ONE MORE COMMENT ABOUT SEPARATION OF CHURCH & STATE IN AMERICA

A news article prompts this post. In my last post I set out my views about why I think it is important to maintain a separation of religion and public government in America. I believe that  because our country has developed a very large mix of spiritual and religious beliefs in the last couple of decades so that any government imposed religious views are discriminatory towards conflicting religious views. We are all citizens. We have religious freedom. We have the right  not to have someone else's religious views imposed  upon us by government. Whenever government adopts a position favoring a religious viewpoint it violates the rights of other  citizens.

With that in mind I read that a group of parents who belong to the Seventh Day Adventist Church are suing the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association over alleged religious discrimination. Their complaint is that the tournament takes place on Saturday and their church believes Saturday is the  Sabbath Day. They argue that their children can't participate as a result and they complain the Association refused to restructure the state volleyball tournament in Yakima. So, should a public agency of government revise a schedule to accommodate a particular religious belief of a religious group?

I am reminded that in 1965 the great Sandy Koufax refused to pitch in Game One of the World Series for his team the Dodgers because  it was Yom Kippur, a Jewish holy day. Instead, Koufax  attended synagogue. Without their pitching ace they substituted Don Drysdale instead and he had to be pulled from the game. The Dodgers lost to the Minnesota Twins 8 -2.

Note that Sandy exercised his religious rights not to play on a religious day because of his beliefs. He did  not insist the schedule of the World Series be  changed to accommodate his personal beliefs to the discrimination of everyone else with different religious beliefs. Consider all of the differing beliefs  of Catholics,  Protestants, Hindus, Muslims and all the conflicting ones within each  of these religions. Should government be obligated to structure itself so as to not conflict with any of these religious ideas? I  don't  think so. However, nor should government have the right to force people to do things that are contrary to their personal religious beliefs unless it can be demonstrated there is a significance to the  rest of us. There should not be allowed the right to drive 100 mph on highways because there is a religious belief because it endangers everyone else.

I think this lawsuit illustrates  why we should not mix religion and government.

One thought on “ONE MORE COMMENT ABOUT SEPARATION OF CHURCH & STATE IN AMERICA

  1. thanks Joel. The real dilemma is what to do. The president appears to be treading water until his term is over but the real choices are (1) you send 100K troops to Syria (they have maybe 30K) and you wipe them out or (2) you stop bickering with Putin and you join in propping up Assad, arming him and supporting him to defeat ISIS. Those that argue to the first don't explain how we extricate ourselves even if we can "defeat" them why it won't end up exactly like Afghanistan and Iraq where we are stuck forever or abandon them. Those that argue the second have to tolerate continuing the role of a proven monster of a dictator and assume he is capable of accomplishing the victory. The real problem is there is no really good solution. We never learn. Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq – no one can convince me we shouldn't have been involved to start with.

    Paul

    paul@luvera.org
    Cell: (206) 930 6000
    http://www.paulluvera.com
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