Separation of Church and State

Trump wants to repeal the Johnson Act which would allow churches to become political advocates and enforcers and changers of government. Lest this sounds good to you, we must always remember that government when ruled by religion, becomes the oppressor where everyone suffers. Most often these countries oppress women.

I just reread the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 on separation of church and state. It appears to mean that we want the government to stay out of church affairs, but we want to retain the ability to enforce religious restrictions on congregants. Read this sentence “A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power. You know what that means? It means men can have as many wives as the church decides. It means that if we wanted to have slaves, we could do so. It might not be popular, but we could. If we want to ban Blacks from our church houses as we once did, we still can. In other words, it means that the church is above civility in matters such as human rights. The church has stepped aside from multiple wives and from slavery, but it retains the right to hinder women in any way it chooses, in defiance of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which gave women the same rights as men.

Separation of Church and State in the BF&M 2000 means that in the name of religion, the church can go back to undoing any civil rights they do not agree with.

Look at those countries where religion rules. Many are Muslim where women have few rights, cannot drive cars, cannot attend school, and where a man can have four wives at a time. Israel is ruled by religion and women cannot pray beside men at the Wailing Wall, cannot ride on certain bus lines (The High Court of Justice ruled Thursday that public bus companies could continue the practice of gender segregation on dozens of lines serving the ultra-Orthodox sector, as long as there is no coercion or violence involved. 2011).

Roman Catholics ruled during the Inquisitions where thousands of women were burned or killed because of religious fanaticism. Mexico sought to break from the Church’s influence on schools and government. However “A major change came in 1992, with the presidency of Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988–1994). In a sweeping program of reform to “modernize Mexico” that he outlined in his 1988 inaugural address, his government pushed through revisions in the Mexican Constitution, explicitly including a new legal framework that restored the Catholic Church’s juridical personality.”

Over 50 years ago, preachers were preaching that America was no longer a Christian nation. That was before Roe vs Wade, before same-sex marriage, before women had the same legal rights as men. If, as those preachers said, we were not a Christian nation before those changes, what makes us think we lost our Christian nation status after those laws were passed?

It is 2017. Do you want the church to rule? Christ came to turn upside down the restrictive rules of religion.  We have not followed His example. If you think it is time we try to become followers of Jesus, will you stand up and say so?

 

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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2 Responses to Separation of Church and State

  1. Nancy2 says:

    BF&M 2000 …… exactly! I hear complaints all the time about the SBC not having enough weight in government and politics; while in the same breath, they speak about keeping the government out of the “church”!

    Like

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