Separation of church and state. Coherent idea or no?
What is supposed to distinguish civilized countries from uncivilized ones is respect for the rule of law.
Yet Trump, left wing activists, and pretty much everyone else in secular countries appeal to the rule of law when it serves their political ends but argue that the law should be changed when it doesn’t serve those ends.
The assumption is that just because something is legal doesn’t make it morally right and just because it is illegal doesn’t make it morally wrong.
So ultimately, it’s those underlying morals that are all determinative, not the rule of law.
But what are those morals supposed to be based on? If those underlying morals have such an important role, shouldn’t there be more discussion on the moral level, on the level of good and evil, human purpose and aspiration, sanctity and depravity?
But we don’t find discussions happening on this level because moralizing is what religion is about and we all know that secular countries are not supposed to allow religion to influence law.
But that brings us back to the original dilemma. What morals should underlie the law?
There must be some morality down there somewhere. But no one talks about it. It only comes up in context of people protesting “unjust laws,” but that only raises the question of what is justice itself. And that is not a question that can be answered without appealing to some theory of right and wrong, good and bad, etc.
Of course, there are such theories. They’re called “religion.”
To be fair, there are theories that are godless, but they’re no less dogmatic than theories that proceed from a Godly source. Even without appealing to God, these godless theories still prescribe what people should or should not do, how they should or should not live their lives, etc.
So is there any functional difference insofar as it pertains to lawmaking whether the law presupposes a godless morality or a Godly one?
Personally, I prefer the latter. And I recognize that not everyone will agree.
But at least do me the courtesy of recognizing that, as someone living in a secular state, I have to submit to laws and state structures dictated by a godless morality which I have significant problems with, that I don’t believe in, but is nonetheless imposed on me with no less force than what is imposed on nonbelievers in a theocracy.
If that simple fact can be recognized and all this empty rhetoric about “freedom of religion,” etc., can be dropped, that is all that I ask.
Separation of church and state is a farce.