Open Mic Night 4: Fighting Everyday Violations of the Separation of Church and State

As any ignorant theist will tell you, the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the U.S. Constitution.  This is, of course, technically true, but irrelevant. The First Amendment prohibits government sanctioning or endorsement of religion, despite not having those exact words. The problem is that we see violations all the time.  We also see examples where religion gets preferential treatment.  For example –

  • “In God We Trust” as the national motto and on our currency
  • Insertion of “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance
  • References to God in government buildings
  • Prayers at government functions
  • Christmas trees on government property
  • State license plates with religious mottos
  • Tax breaks for clergy and churches

The latter example would be social policy dictated through taxation.  In other words, the government is indirectly endorsing (or espousing) certain things through tax breaks (churches, home ownership) or hikes (“sin” taxes on alcohol and cigarettes).

As a government employee, I am keenly aware of these violations. I’ll post my thought later.

My question to you is: Do you care? Do these things bother you?  If so, which ones? Are there other violations that bother you? Do you do anything about it?

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Open Mic Night 4: Fighting Everyday Violations of the Separation of Church and State

  1. There is a woman in Kentucky trying to get a Christian Organization to stop handing out literature at after school events, she is also trying to stop the prayer at the school board meetings. She has followed all proper procedures but the school board refuses. They did say she could hand out atheist reading material at afterschool events which isn’t exactly what she was aiming for. She is fighting for separation of church and state. Now the entire Christian community in her area is lashing out at her. She has blogged about her experience and you can see the hateful responses in the comments on her blog. Please try and help her support the separation of church and state in her county in Kentucky. http://whattotelltheneighbors.blogspot.nl/2012/10/your-friendly-neighborhood-atheist_26.html
    Regards,
    Danica Martin

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