Separation of Church and State: The Unbirth of American Secularism 

In June 2015, Gallup released a study detailing the “least electable” demographics in the United States.  This year’s big winner — socialists, who surpassed perennially disliked champion Atheists as the bane of the electorate.

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To be fair, socialists are scary.  They are essentially communists sans the unnatural undead-like long life of the more severe demagogues (Is Fidel Castro dead yet?).  More unsettling still, however is our country’s bigotry toward Atheists.

Historically speaking, it has never been a better time to be an Atheist (although it has never been a worse time to be a white person, so please consider this in a relative sense).  This is to say that Atheists have been persecuted for millennia; public disdain is a preferable punishment to stoning one for committing the thought crime of apostasy (but it is worth noting that this still occurs in some parts of the world).

But its not just public disdain when we are speaking of the electorate; at its core, this means that Americans are allowing religious beliefs to influence their political decisions.  Yeah, big surprise.  But because many people simply won’t vote for people because of their non-faith, their religion is informing the composition of our government.  So when the church decides the composition of the state for the majority of Americans, how can we pretend that church and state are separate?  Until we no longer have electorate “deal-breakers” based upon people’s respective creeds, which have been present since the inception of our union, we won’t be a truly secular nation.

This is not even to speak of the general prejudice that accompanies the non-believers, the heretics and the infidels.  I will save that discussion for another time, and leave you with this; imagine 40% of people didn’t want to vote for a Jewish candidate instead of an Atheist.  Welcome to Obama’s fourth reich, please this way to an Obamacare death panel.

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2 thoughts on “Separation of Church and State: The Unbirth of American Secularism 

  1. In a democratic society, I believe that an individual should vote on the candidates’ platforms rather than the religious affiliation of that particular candidate. If the candidates’ platforms are reasonable and are justified then yes, that is what a voter should base his decisions on. In regards to having religion influence voting habits, I believe that is a justified reason to vote for a particular candidate whose issues align with your beliefs. If one votes for a candidate who has environmentally friendly platforms because their religion promotes the wellbeing of the earth, is it wrong to vote for the candidate?

    Of course, there is a limitation to everything. One shouldn’t just vote for a candidate because their religion is the same as their religion. I believe that America is at the stage where they can vote for someone who isn’t of their religion. Obama won the elections twice regardless of the fact that he came from a Muslim father. JFK won elections even though he was a Catholic. Yes, religion was controversial to voters at the time but these men still won. To me, this signifies that voters are willing to elect someone who is religiously different then they are. Religion is reasonably important when deciding on who to vote for a candidate but there is a limit. The line is drawn when there is no fact behind what you believe and why you believe it.

    Just out of curiosity:
    Are there any truly secular nations?

    References:
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/03/obama-renews-openness-muslim-roots-ahead-egypt-speech/

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  2. I think you raise a great point. These statistics exemplify a fundamental problem in our society.

    Religion historically, was more rooted in the discourse of belief, however it now seems to be falling back on the philosophy of ethics. This is exemplified by the Pope disclaiming God as the immediate creator of human existence and rather suggests evolution and the big bang theory are the immediate causes. Religious people now insist the fundamental importance of going to church is to learn the ethics preached.

    With this said, it is understandable how church and state get convoluted. Voters perceive certain religions to be more ethical or perhaps aligned with their values comparative to other religions.

    An example of this is the the Islam religion. This religion stresses the ethic of helping your guest. This ideology can very easily be translated into a political platform based on current events. If constituents make a similar connection, it is understandable why these statistics are as they read.

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