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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Time to cut ties between church and state

The debate between the separation of church and state always reaches a fever pitch with the mention of abortion and gay rights.

However, these hot button issues are only some of the things that will be affected by the separation (or convergence) of church and state.

The United States was founded on the ideals of democracy with freedom of religion as one of its underlying rights. Immigrants continue to come to this nation to escape their theocratic countries for religious freedom.

On the other hand, to say that the United States is a country free of any religious influence would be na√ÉØve. For all its grand standing on having the First Amendment protecting religious freedoms, the United States has a complicated relationship with the church.

Not only do we have God’s presence on our money and in our allegiance, but many of our customs are based on the presence of a heavenly father.

Many of our mundane customs are related to Judeo-Christian beliefs. For example, one of our national holidays is Christmas Day.

While Christmas provides a day off for everyone, it is essentially in place to allow Christians to free their time to celebrate their holidays. Why don’t all men and women of faith have days off for their individual holidays?

In addition to tax exemptions, much of the government’s stance on giving federal money to “faith based” groups has muddled the understanding of the separation of the church and the state.

According the White House website, www.whitehouse.gov, the current administration has “eliminated regulatory and policy barriers that have kept faith-based organizations from partnering with the Federal government to help Americans in need.”

This action by the government can be seen as a charitable one; the government is helping out poor people any way possible.

On the other hand, once the government gives taxpayers money to these “faith based” organizations, there is little a taxpayer can do to stop this unjust cash flow.

It is not enough to separate church from state because there are more religions than just Christianity and Judaism; many people are affected when the church and state decide to sweeten their relationship.

It is not enough for America to just accept religious freedom; the government should be free from religion as well.

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