The separation of church and state is necessary to our society

The United States was founded on the separation of church and state. But there has been an age-long struggle with the application of dividing the two, even in a world that now that allows for secular ideologies and more political activism amongst diverse groups of people.

But perhaps that combination of people and thoughts is the very reason that religious organizations feel it necessary to push their political agendas via monetary support.

In February, President Trump “renew[ed] his campaign promise to undo the law that bars leaders of some tax-exempt organisations from endorsing political candidates under threat of losing that status,” according to Politico.

Religious organizations should, under no circumstances, fund political campaigns for a couple of reasons.

When organized religions advocate for a certain candidate, it can influence their followers, perhaps because followers feel that their deity is in agreement with what the establishment supports – otherwise the pastor or rabbi wouldn’t back said candidate.

While this situation isn’t the case for every follower, the influence of the church has historically swayed people in directions they might not otherwise have gone.

Places of worship are tax exempt entirely because they have an established lack of place in government.  Using untaxed income to fund political campaigns is an immoral way of cheating the state to make sure the church or other religious organization still has a say in politics.  

It’s a real example of “having your cake and eating it, too” — that’s why it’s unfair economically and unethical politically.  

Followers of a certain faith could very well use some of the money their organizations collect in order to get elected and push forward religious-based policy, which is unfair to those who aren’t in accordance with that particular religion.  

If the U.S. were, however, to tax churches, The Washington Post estimates that would bring in $71 billion annually.

Religion and government are so drastically different — even if they overlap in their supporters or goals at times — that it’s unreasonable to expect the two to share space without pushing opposing agendas and risking tearing the other apart.  

Religion should be left to personal convictions and not interwoven with political campaigns and policy-making because policy shouldn’t directly affect people’s personal beliefs, and religion shouldn’t be forced on anyone.


Photo by Daniel Tseng on Unsplash

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