What does it mean: A Separation of Church and State
I think we have all heard the statement: There should be a separation of Church and State. Where did this statement come from and what was it’s original meaning.
I’m not writing this as an argument nor do I want to come at it in an apologetic way. What I would like to do present my thoughts and ideas about this issue, and then hopefully either get clarification or insight from my readers. This post was spawned from reading “Christianity Matters” Casey’s article can be found here. In this post he presents his thoughts on the matter based on his viewpoint. He asks the question: How do you think of and apply the separation of church and state?
I’d highly advice that before drawing any conclusions one must look at what Thomas Jefferson was referring when he wrote this in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association. Why was this letter written, who was it intended for, and how it should be interpreted. Here are two links to investigate for answers. Here and here.
My Answer came in two separate responses as follows:
First response: They are two parts of the same brain. They exist together – make decisions together, yet they are separate parts of the same whole. It’s no different from mind, spirit, and soul, they operate together for the benefit and health of the body.
Second response: Casey, A body has many functioning parts, correct? If you move in a direction that not good for the body it let’s you know, correct? If you have a thought doesn’t your spirit confirm it, if it’s correct or not? They may be separate but not truly. If you follow your head and not listen to your heart something is wrong, correct. This means that they are linked, inseparably. Separation of Church and State is only possible in a secular society that doesn’t truly want to follow God. The founding fathers understood this. In fact if you know your history this statement came up as a result of a letter between himself and the Danbury Baptist Association.
To summarize the letter in these terms meant that the state or government should not govern as to which religious sect a person should follow [it must be understood that the policies of English government disallowed any other religion that wasn’t under the government sanctioned church] – The Church of England. The wall Jefferson was talking about was to allow the freedom to choose which Judaeo-Christian religion a person wanted to follow without persecution (this is why the pilgrims left England).
Those discussions—recorded in the Congressional Records from June 7 through September 25 of 1789—make clear their intent for the First Amendment. By it, the Founders were saying: “We do not want in America what we had in Great Britain: we don’t want one denomination running the nation. We will not all be Catholics, or Anglicans, or any other single denomination. We do want God’s principles, but we don’t want one denomination running the nation.”
The result of court decisions made from the beginning were based on these same principles until the 1950’s. The courts continued on this track so steadily that, in 1958, in a case called Baer v. Kolmorgen, one of the judges was tired of hearing the phrase and wrote a dissent warning that if the court did not stop talking about the “separation of church and state,” people were going to start thinking it was part of the Constitution. That warning was in 1958!
Today the government is ruled by secular humanism, thus America is no longer a Judaeo-Christian nation but a nation of Secular Humanism. Obama was and is correct when he said, America is no longer a Christian nation.
So back to my original statement – A Judaeo-Christian nation is governed by a inseparable Church/State belief. One body, One mind, One Spirit this is how a Christian nation is to be lead.
Anything else will lead to destruction.
Not being satisfied I felt I needed confirmation of my thinking. This led me to Anselm (were I got the name of this blog from) the route to getting there came from R.C. Sproul’s statement.
Though God pardons sinners and makes great provision for expressing His mercy, He will never negotiate His justice. If we fail to understand that, the cross of Christ will be utterly meaningless to us. R.C. Sproul
Following the trail this then led me to Anselm, his beliefs were: He believed that we can discover for ourselves the truths revealed in the Bible if we just think through the issues carefully enough. This was radical thought back then, today after 500 years it still holds true, or does it?
I believe the missing link or key if you will wasn’t that Anselm was wrong because in many ways he was correct. The failure I believe comes in joining what was once separated. A reasoning mind, and confirming heart should be the cornerstone of all beliefs. We are called to be a single body in line with God – separation is a tool of the enemy. The proof is in the garden of Eden.
In closing I’d like to state that the issue of “Separation of Church and State” was never to divide the two, it was intended to allow all Christians regardless of their denomination the right to worship God as they chose. The danger today is not this issue, Secular Humanism is true separation because it leaves God out of the equation.