The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Flames of the Torch: One nation under God?

The recent compromise by the Obama administration on the issue of insurance coverage of contraception has, of late, been a highly-debated topic. One of the leading forces opposing this legislation has been the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church is an organization that does not believe in contraception, and the voice of that community deserves to be heard. However, the Catholic Church is not the only voice that needs to be heard, and certainly not the only one that should be listened to.

The United States is often viewed as one nation under God, despite the fact that many disagree on the definition or even the existence of God. Although the concept of the separation of church and state has been ingrained into our nation’s fiber, there are some who deny this essential principle.

There are legitimate moral dilemmas on both sides of this issue. The issue of birth control and other forms of contraception has engendered massive debate between religious conservatives and secular liberals, with those in between caught up in the crossfire.

Wherever you fall on this issue, it’s important not to forget America’s core principles: liberty and justice for all. The American government is tasked with taking these principles to heart and making the difficult decisions for the betterment of Americans from all walks of life.

These principles apply to those among us who do not share our beliefs. Yes, the vast majority of the country is still Christian, but that does not mean that the unique Christian worldview should dominate how America is governed.

Although faith will usually play a large part of a person’s beliefs, allowing a single faith that isn’t used by all of the country to be such a large influence can be very dangerous. It may not be possible to completely isolate one’s faith from politics, but it is necessary to be willing to look beyond a single belief system when
others outside of those beliefs are affected.

And on the contrary, although a majority of the country supports the Obama proposal, that does not mean that Catholic and evangelical concerns should be swept aside.

Although faith will usually play a large part of a person’s beliefs, allowing a single faith that isn’t used by all of the country to be such a large influence can be very dangerous. It may not be possible to completely isolate one’s faith from politics, but it is necessary to be willing to look beyond a single belief system when others outside of those beliefs are affected.

When it comes to issues like birth control and abortion, too often the debate devolves into little more than ad hominem shouting matches with each side attempting to demonize the other.

The freedom of speech is covered by the first amendment of the United States Constitution, and is often held aloft as a shining beacon of what makes the United States such a great country. The freedom to have an opinion and express it is a basic human right, and this right is evenly distributed to all citizens.

However, the disrespect of others’ beliefs in order to further one’s own agenda is a tactic that the
American public has become all too familiar with. Instead of pursuing the greatest interest for Americans for all walks of life, many debates merely come down to which party or group can win the shouting match.

The opinions of individuals are often swept away by tidal waves created by political parties or organizations in order to further their own personal causes instead of the well-being of the American people.

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