COLUMN: The grey side of things
It’s a simple concept really: separate church from state.
But as history has proven, some of the greatest concepts (communism, trickle-down economics, credit cards) fail in the real world because of human elements.
Most people are impacted and, dare I say in some cases, defined by their faith. During last week’s vice presidential debate, however, there was a brief moment of hope for the cause that while one can be committed to a faith and it can affect their decisions, it is ultimately the individual who pushes their ideals on others.
Now, before we get into an argument about “this nation was founded on Christian ideals,” let’s get the facts out of the way.
Of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, 49 were Protestants, two were Roman Catholics and the rest were deists. Yet, in 1797, the United States Senate ratified a treaty with Tripoli that stated in Article 11: “…as the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
Additionally, “In God we trust” was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956 in an effort to fight off the Red Scare during the Cold War period and was printed on money as early as 1864 reflecting on the war between the states. The Pledge of Allegiance, with the controversial “under God” line, is actually a rewrite made in 1954, with the original line being just “one Nation indivisible.”
Alright, so I understand faith has its part, but there’s the understanding that despite what your belief says, despite what you believe, everyone has the right to a choice.
Whether that’s the decision to decide who you want to marry or what to do with your unborn child, that is on you. It’s not for someone in power to decide, because their faith dictates that it’s wrong, because, as it would turn out, there are 4,200 (give or take a few) other faiths that will argue they are the most correct.
And I realize that on some issues such as abortion, it isn’t an argument of faith — it’s an argument of life. But the concept is the same; everyone is entitled to a choice, and by effect everyone is entitled to the mistakes and consequences that befall that choice.
I’m not asking for complete freedom here, and I’m not asking for a leader devoid of faith. I’m asking for an understanding, that when a circumstance befalls a leader and he is forced to take a make a decision, he can look outside his beliefs and understand how his actions, faith-based or not, impact those who view the world through different eyes.
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