The War on Religion
Feb 13, 2012 by jacobsonlv
There are so many violations of our conservative values within society that picking one is a tough task.
The separation of church and state has been an area of controversy in America, and while the Constitution clearly defends against a national, mandated religion, the meaning of this statement has been skewed over the years. It is important that the GOP candidates understand the importance of religion in this country’s founding principles.
Countless questions have arisen about the faith of GOP front runner Mitt Romney, a proud Mormon, and one whom many feel is the Republicans’ best chance at reclaiming the White House in 2012. Newt Gingrich has picked up where Rick Perry left off, attacking the Democratic administration’s “War on Christianity.” A war that he claims has oppressed religious freedom within our nation, as he states during a recent debate.
Just this week, President Obama has come under fire from the Catholic Church for a mandate that requires employers to provide their employees access to artificial contraception, sterilization services and birth control pills through their existing health plans. According to the words of Newt Gingrich, this new mandate is “another example of President Obama and his promoting of anti-religious policies.”
Over the last few decades, the Ten Commandments have been removed from our federal buildings, prayer has been banned from schools and other public meetings, and marriage and life have been redefined. Not to mention our very own President Obama publicly declaring that America is “no longer a Christian nation.”
These things are not merely just good ideas they are truths that our nation stands upon and when we begin to remove or dilute them from their intended state we lose our identity as a nation. There are some reading this that will cite the argument over the words “Separation of Church and State,” however many fail to recognize this ideology of how the church and government should interact was taken completely out of context. This idea that our government should operate separated from the church was taken from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in response to a constituent in which he was stating the government has no ability to establish a national religion or interfere with religious activities, not to keep these activities out of the government. This idea is illustrated here in his response entitled the Danbury Baptists Letter.
“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
Over the decades many candidates hide or diminish their religious beliefs in order to avoid offending others and to give themselves a better chance of gaining election to their intended office. However, we fail to realize just how large the religious majority is within America. In the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey conducted by Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar of Trinity College, we find that over 76% percent of Americans call themselves Christians. If this is the case it would seem hiding ones Christian views in order to appeal to the masses would be counterproductive.
This is certainly not an issue that can be fully examined or analyzed in one column, however, I feel it is important we are reminded and for some enlightened to these realities. Our nation is under attack on many fronts however history has shown us that the Judeo-Christian beliefs our nation was founded upon are quickly becoming extinct. Not only as conservatives but as Christians, it is our responsibility to speak up and take a stand for what we believe in. We are blessed to live in a nation in which we have a democracy that allows us to elect candidates that reflect our views and beliefs, ones who will stand and fight for the values that make our nation great.
Jacob Harmon :: University of California at San Diego :: San Diego, California :: @Jacobsonlv