There is much discussion today about separation of church and state. Whether there is something in the constitution about such separation is frequently discussed and even bantered about contentiously. I contend that any relationship between our government and a church or religious group ( e.g. the “religious right”, the “moral majority”), is not only against the spirit of what the founding fathers proposed for our country but is also dangerous.

Article I of the Constitution provides congress with the power to tax, regulate trade, coin money, establish post offices and roads, and maintain a militia to protect the people—and nothing more. It does not provide congress the power to establish morality, righteousness, or any other behavior that it might deem correct. Such behavior should be taught in the home, in the church, and in schools but not be legislated by politicians, most of whom do not know the meaning of moral. We must not let our government become like fatherly King George and the 18th century British parliament that purported to know very well what was best for their lowly subjects—and demand it of them.

In 1930’s Germany, the Third Reich created close ties with churches, mostly in Germany and Italy. With the help of clerics—and here is a good example of the dangers of collusion between state and church—they established a new moral order that punished homosexuals, prostitutes, and pimps but also led to the torture and murder of communists, Jews, and other groups that didn’t conform with the ruling government’s concept of propriety and divine law. The Holocaust wouldn’t have been as easy a task had the church’s moral dictators not cooperated with Germany’s Nazi party government.

The above is the opinion of the author. For more on these issues, read Descent from the Hill and make up your own mind about these issues. Are we becoming more like National Socialist Germany of the 1930’s by trying to legislate morality, family values, and propriety? Should we allow our politicians to veer from what Article I provided them? Can the people really depend upon government to help them establish a new morality? And finally, is it realistic for the people to expect moral behavior from greedy power brokers?