A clear example of why there should be a complete separation of church and state occurred in the last few days with the continued brouhaha over the proposed mosque in New York near the ground zero site. That ground zero site is where the two world trade buildings were brought down by those cowards flying planes into them on September 11, 2001. We all know what “9/11” means. We don’t have to say anything else.
The brouhaha for weeks now has been over the building of a Muslim mosque near this now-hallowed ground of the trade buildings. It was ramped up with the recent comments from President Obama who seemed to try to state that while the Muslims have a right to build the mosque, dependent upon local zoning laws and regulations, perhaps it was not wise.
Naturally, the Constitution provides for the right of this construction, but the wisdom of this from and for all sides is at the least highly questionable.
Then Friday night, there was a White House iftar dinner celebrating the Muslim fasting holiday Ramadan. President Obama was presiding and made some additional comments about the right (remember – the Constitution!) of such a building. News reports noted that since the President was honoring the Muslim religious holiday, he felt that it would be perhaps disingenuous to not mention the continued controversy and the constitutionality (only!) of building the mosque.
The point is that if there was a clear – absolutely clear – separation of church and state, then the President – any President – would not have a celebration or recognition of any religious date or holiday of any religion, there would be no White House dinner and there would be no need for anyone in the government to say anything about any religion.
The whole New York mosque controversy could be handled by the appropriate permits and licenses for such buildings, and hopefully by wise heads on both sides of this deciding what is best for further understanding and healing.
The same could and should apply to other aspects of church/state dealings. We should remove the statement “In God we trust” from money, abandon starting and ending governmental meetings with prayer of any type, remove quotes of the Ten Commandments from courts, governmental buildings and public owned property, keep vocally “approved” prayer out of schools, etc.
Realize that none of this would prevent court systems from working, school children from praying silently in or out of school, Senators, Representative, state delegates and such from praying on their own or forming small group prayer or Bible studies.
Removal of Christmas/Hanukah and Easter/Passover would also make them what they really are – commercial events parading under the guise of religion. It is something to think about, particularly for us skeptics of anything religious.