Sunday, 20 March 2011

Religion: Addendum

In a twist of chance (not faith, not the will'o'gods) I have a small addendum to my previous post...

As you may - or more likely may not - remember, I ranted about what Americans tend to call the "separation" of church and state, but which, for most intents and purposes, just isn't. Because, prayers - of any kind - in a state institution, be it a school or a state Senate, just isn't compatible with the notion. And now, I have found a reason Americans should know and value much better than anything I may offer. It was James Madison, one of the principal writers of their own Constitution who had to say this about the usual effect of religion on state business:
In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of Civil authority; in many instances they have seen the upholding of the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberty of the people.
Should be plenty enough for all, not just Americans...

Hat tip to one of my favourite Economist blogs, Democracy in America.