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The religious leanings of our politicians are almost as prevalent as their stand on the issues – which are often impacted by their religious beliefs.

Separating church and state

In December, a bill was filed in Indiana and referred to a state education committee. The bill in question, State Bill 89, would require that schools teach creationism alongside evolution. Incidentally enough, this same issue has been addressed in the Supreme Court case of Edwards v. Aguillard in 1987, where the courts ruled against schools being forced to teach creationism and evolution in a biology class.

States often have to revisit their education standards. Texas and Kansas are other examples of having to deal with the creationism and evolution teachings. Which asks the question: how many times will state educational departments have to revisit this issue, especially now that creationism has been redecorated as “intelligent design”?

This brings me to the First Amendment, specifically the issue of religion and government. The Edwards v. Aguillard case isn’t the first time that the Supreme Court has had to deal with issues of church and state, nor will it be the last. This becomes more evident in the current political climate when the religious beliefs of politicians are often at the forefront of their campaigns. This becomes a problem when their religious beliefs are imposed on those who don’t share them.

The religious leanings of our politicians are almost as prevalent as their stand on the issues – which are often impacted by their religious beliefs.

Take Michelle Bachmann for instance. She touts that her relationship with God is primary in her life. Then she goes on to talk about how women should be subservient to their husbands and how gays should be in therapy. These are all statements that she credits to her religious beliefs.

Mitt Romney’s religious faith has been attacked by backers of his GOP opponents who called his Mormon faith “a cult.” Let’s not forget the mistaken belief that President Obama is a Muslim, even with no evidence.

Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield has been advancing his agenda against homosexuals by introducing a bill that prohibits the teaching of anything other than heterosexuality in elementary and middle schools, all based on his religious beliefs.

No one is saying that religion has no place in society, or even in politics. However, when religion is being used by politicians to suppress anyone, be it women, gays, blacks, Muslims; then we need to take a step back and question whether we are allowing abuse through religion.

Most every religion being practiced today talks about acceptance and love. If that’s the case, then why are acceptance and love not being practiced by our political leaders? Were that the case, then we wouldn’t have to worry about separating church and state because then we wouldn’t be keeping people under the thumb of either religion or the government.

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