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.

Monday, December 12, 2005

SWMO Locals Refute an Arguement that was never made, Dishonestly

Galen McKinley of Joplin (Globe, Dec. 12th) recently expressed concern that the Pledge Protection Act would conflict with our government’s separation of powers by limiting the jurisdiction of federal courts to review specific types of cases. Rather than having a healthy debate about this, some local on-line readers attacked Galen (and liberals in general) for trying to “force the word ‘God’ from everything in this country.”

Not only does that not relate at all to what Galen was saying it distorts a position that Galen did not even express. Social and civil libertarians that support a strong separation of church and state do not generally oppose religion or prayer; they oppose the government’s involvement in them.

We would much prefer that people insert “under God” in anything they like and the government not force teachers to recite what they have chosen to make religious with the force of law. Religion will always be more vibrant when the government leaves its vitality to the people.


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