Monday, April 20, 2020

What does “separation of church and state” really mean?

For those who are aware of this phrase, “separation of church and state”, and given a care;  the question to you:   “What does it really mean?”

One must look to intentions of “the framers”; those who framed this as the first among other the amendments. Stepping much further back in time, consider the following story of Jesus, a moment of reflection. 

When confronted with the Roman coinage, an actual “precious metal” embossed with the bust of Caesar, Jesus replied:  Give to Caesar what is his…and unto God what is God’s.”

What does this moment have to do with separation…? 

Everything…, for what Jesus clearly conveyed is that Caesar and God are two separate bodies, two distinct governments—of which the state's is a god of money (a manifestation of political and economic power) that has no place in the kingdom of God.  

As to politics (as the product of the state), Jesus made clear that he (God) was neither a nationalist (as the Pharisees...Israel) or a subject of Herod (bound to the Roman Empire).  

Jesus stipulated that God’s kingdom is “not of this world”.  Is it necessary to give account to "worldly treasures" too?  

Later, disciples (Peter and Paul) give attention and instruction to the church regarding their relationship with government, the state.   These scriptures offer guidance and instruction, bidding the church to pray for their leaders and to otherwise be at peace.  Consider the first Christian church, The Way, oppressed by the Roman Empire ostensibly because believers refused to recognize the numerous gods of Rome’s pluralistic, supposed worship.... 

Yes, be at peace, as possible with everyone (both individuals and institutions) even if oppressed, persecuted, death or not. This is tough one in part because our instinct may persuade a different response—even going as far as revolt and rebellion.  Again, The Way are called to love and to be at peace as much as that is possible.    

More to come...

No comments:

Post a Comment