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Mixup about church, state

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I was reminded recently about the issue we refer to as the "separation of church and state." I do not believe that there is such a thing. The term itself is a figment of our imaginations based on misinterpretations of the Constitution. Consider this:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." This is all that is written in the Constitution on the subject. People seem to think that it means that religious matters cannot interfere with or have anything to do with matters of state. All it means is that the state cannot set up, subsidize or promote any particular religion and that everyone has the right to practice his religion freely. Therefore, if the government cannot legally restrict the practice of religion, then how can it decide that one cannot pray in school? How can it decide that a judge cannot hang the Ten Commandments on the wall in his court? How can it decide that one cannot mention God in a classroom? How can it decide that students cannot sing songs about Christ at Christmas time? (After all, what do they think Christmas is?)What we have in this nation is not separation of church and state. Ideally, that term is not supposed to exist. Church and state are not separate; they are independent of each other. There is a subtle difference yet an important one. I fear that what we have is more of an "integration" of church and state.

It has been said that one day our great Constitution would hang by a thread. If that day is not here now, then it is getting very close.

Sean Peckham