Rep. Harris Condemns Separation of Church, State
Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) said this week that God did not intend for the United States to be a "nation of secular laws" and that the separation of church and state is a "lie we have been told" to keep religious people out of politics.Rather than comment on this myself I will leave it to Ed Morrissey
"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris told interviewers from the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention. She cited abortion and same-sex marriage as examples of that sin.
The founding fathers never intended for religion to be banned from the public square, but they certainly didn't create a theocracy, either. Secular laws allow for all people to unite in a just and open society, where all religions can practice openly without fear of government suppression. People of faith can and should serve in elected office, and of course they should apply their values to the decisions they make on our behalf, but that doesn't equate to rejecting secular law for temporal government.Thank you Ed - I mean it.
It's hard to understand what Harris means in her assertion that the founders never intended to create a nation of secular laws. The very first entry in the Bill of Rights states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion[.]" That doesn't mean that people have to be barred from religious expression in public, but it very clearly states that the new nation would stay out of the business of faith. The creators of the Constitution understood that this would bar them from passing anything but secular laws, and with just a century between them and the Roundhead revolt, that's exactly what they had in mind.
Besides, Christians aren't the only people who avoid sin, and not even all of us do that enough. Jews share the same sense of sin and atonement, and modern and moderate Muslims do as well. Atheists also understand the social issues involved in sin, even if they reject the concept of spiritual offense. In fact, if one wants to see what happens when someone puts a government in charge of stamping out sin, one only has to look as far as the Taliban.