Separation of Church and State: 3/25

This week I was in the group that analyzed the article “An Unsecular America” by Roger Finke. In the article, Finke argues that America does not fit into the model of secularization, and that religion is not declining because of modernization. This varies with the conditions of religion in Europe. European religious involvement is declining rapidly. Finke claims that  one of the reasons American religion is not declining like European religion is because “…European countries have traditionally had a close tie between Church and State, and continue to regulate religion, the USA has attempted to separate Church and State and minimize regulation” (Finke 247). The US does have legal restrictions preventing the merging of church and state, however, I do not think that these regulations are always taken seriously. Government legislation has increasingly been influenced by religious values. For example, anti-abortion arguments are often driven by Christian ideals. In addition, anti-LGBTQ+ proposed legislation is often made using religion as reasoning. Candidates for government office appeal to voters by saying that they have “Christian ideals”. People still swear on the Bible in court. I do not think that personal religious beliefs should dictate law. The founding fathers made sure to include the separation of church and state in the constitution to prevent one religion from dominating politics. When we value Christian beliefs and practices in politics over other religions, we are undermining the diversity of beliefs in America. I think that Finke was right about the US attempting to separate Church and State, however, I think that we need to make sure that the boundaries between the two are not blurred.