""The real transgression occurs when religion wants government to tell citizens how to live uniquely personal parts of their lives. ... the proper role of religion is to appeal to the conscience of the individual, not the coercive power of the state."
Senator Ted Kennedy
In my opinion Ted Kennedy was corrupt but to each his own.
True, religion should not dictate policy for a nation. However, as protected in the sacred writs of this nation, we as citizens have the right to band together, protest and petition the government on behalf of that which we feel strongly about or cherish. Whether as an individual or even a religious organization we have the right to influence and persuade the hearts and minds of our government leaders.
On the flipside, government is to stay clear of religious rights and practices. The Judicial branch has no right under the Constitution to rule on moral issues. Only the states can do that. The Congress has yet to grow a set of nuggets and exercise their power, as part of checks and balances, to halt the Judicial branch from ruling on moral issues. This is why the Fathers put the term "exceptions" in the Constitution when expressing the role of the Judicial branch.
I mised the clause in the Constitution that says the States can rule on issues 'moral' that the Judicial branch cannot?
The courts on a State or Federal level don't rule on 'moral' grounds. They rule on matters of law. 'Moral' is the value you place on an issue and morality has a place in the home and in the church you select. It's not an appropriate criteria for making LAWS.
"How Should Lawmakers Balance Religion and Statecraft?"
IMO they shouldn't, at least ideally. However realistically, politicians all want to be seen as being religion-friendly because that gets votes.
Lawmakers are charged with making sure we maintain freedom of religion but beyond that, they have no related role.
There is now a local dispute brewing b/c a closed church is being moved back onto the property tax roles (since it's no longer eligible for a religious exemption). It'll be interesting to see which side our lawmakers choose.
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