The purpose of Our Conscience weblog is to facilitate a greater discussion and understanding of church and state separation in our community and in others. Underlying this is the value that each individual should be allowed to follow the dictates of his or her own conscience without influence, coercion, or direction from the State when it comes to matters of religion.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Arrogance in the Ozarks

In an oped in the Springfield News-Leader Joan Covington of Springfield Missouri makes the case that morality is not possible without her religious beliefs.
Stop and think, folks. Since Bible reading and teaching have been removed from our public areas, crime has increased at an alarming rate. They (the ACLU and others) are greatly responsible for this horrible turn in the minds of people who have no conscience.
Look at what happened the next year when in 1989 the Supreme Court ruled that a Christian nativity scene display at Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburg was a violation of the Establishment Clause:

Of course, another graph and court case could be found to support the opposite conclusion. Other factors likely account for greater movement in the national crime rate than upholding the First Amendment.

But, imagine the ethnocentrism and arrogance you have to have in order to make such a strong connection with ones own religious beliefs and the morality of a nation. It was a connection our founders knew well not to make:
“The number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church and the State.” ~James Madison, Father of the Constitution
Of course, Joan just couldn't help passing the misinformation that fundamentalists and their conservative allies have been spreading for years. American citizens can pray in public whenever they like. They can read the bible just as they can read anything else. What has been unconstitutional is the actions of the government in making laws and taking actions that promote or favor various religious viewpoints.


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