Politics and religion rarely co exist

See my letter to the local paper below and here

I shudder to think what would happen if the separation of church and state were eliminated. States could set up compulsory religious practices.

Utah, Arizona, Idaho and Nevada might become the Deseret States – as envisioned by Brigham Young – and outlaw anything other than Mormon practices.

The old South, Baptist? Minnesota and Wisconsin, Lutheran or Catholic?

In Texas, the fight would be between Baptists and Catholics. Massachusetts, Congregational?

And which would be the Methodist states?

I hope we are better than that, but there are radicals in Christianity who would never back down – and while we typically don’t resort to violence in making political statements, we have. The Civil War. The Ku Klux Klan. The backlash against desegregation.

Given enough power, how much like the Taliban might the fringe right look?

And Muslims – or any religion – once gaining a majority could enact as law their scripture if the wall vanished. The five million or so Muslims in this country are just about the same as the Mormons; in concentration, they could control one or more states.

Would we have wars between the Catholic, Protestant, Mormon and Taliban states? Would the country survive? Would we recognize it if it did? Would we want it?

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, Thomas Jefferson said, not the establishment of Christianity. Doing so, he knew, would doom the religion so elected, and make it the subject of political whim.

Mix politics and religion, they say, and what you get is politics.
Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/article.aspx?subjectid=62&articleid=20120415_62_G2_Ishudd737835

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