Founders wise to separate church, state

James Maxson, Minot

Our founders wrote separation of church and state into our Constitution. Our Constitution is subject to interpretation. American religion is also subject to interpretation according to the actions of its citizens.

According to the Minot phone book, there are 44 different churches in Minot. There are 16 miscellaneous Protestant churches of various ideologies. Additionally, there are 13 Lutheran churches, 4 Baptist churches, and 4 Roman Catholic churches, as well as 2 Presbyterian churches, 2 Methodist churches and 2 Assembly of God churches. There is 1 Greek Orthodox church.

Although there are undoubtedly persons of Jewish, Mormon and Hindu faiths in Minot, they have no places of worship listed in the phone book. How many residents are persons of faith, but unaffiliated, is a matter of conjecture, but are probably numerous. How many persons who believe in a higher power, but are skeptical of organized religion, is also a matter of conjecture, but are also probably numerous.

That so many decent people having different religious opinions confirms the wisdom of our founders having separated church and state. The Christian faith is in the majority here in Minot. Whose definition of ” Christian” will prevail at the voting booth remains to be seen. Will it be “holier than thou”? Will it be the worship of an angry God or a forgiving God? Will expressions of faith by our candidates be sincere or mere talking points? Will our candidates believe that science and theology can coexist? Where will be the line drawn between sin and crime? Will we be our brother’s (and sister’s) keepers? Are faith, hope and love still in vogue?

These are questions that we need to be asking ourselves in the privacy of the voting booth. God only knows that elections have consequences.


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