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Wed, Jun 30 2004

Is There A Bigger Wall Behind This Man's Wall Of Separation Of Church And State?

It's June 30, 2004. It's the day of the beginning of the "implosion of the American empire". Gary North said so. Oh, really?

At first glance, Mr. North doesn't appear to be saying anything so very different from a lot of other critics of the current administration. He's been speaking and writing for awhile now, and has been giving (and selling) advice on investments to people for awhile now. But Mr. North bases his advice on some underlying principles that might be very disturbing to some folks. I happen to belong to a Christian denomination (Seventh-day Adventist) that keeps one entire department of the organization set aside for religious liberty issues. You don't have to be an Adventist to benefit from their legal advice and support. If you've lost your job (for instance) because of your religious beliefs, they will help you find a way to make it right with the offending employer. The goal really is to let everyone, as far as possible, have a choice in worship, both in thinking and in practice.

Gary North, who puts forth lots of financial advice, touts the idea of religious liberty as well. But there are distinctive differences in the way Mr. North views the issue, when compared with a lot of Americans. In a whole new twist on the ends justifying the means, he envisions a day when religious liberty is flipped 180 degrees, and the governing process is held in place totally by Christians (and that would be Christians as his particular interpretation defines them). Let me point you to Liberty Magazine's article from 2001, in which Mr. North is quoted. He openly reveals what his ultimate idea of separation of church and state should cause.

Forcing one's beliefs into the history books by the manipulation of political events seems to me to be the very practice spoken of in the Book of Revelation as a major character feature of the Antichrist. No, I'm not suggesting that Mr. North is the Antichrist. I would only encourage everyone to study the issues, and to base their own interpretation of religious freedom on something besides an agenda that "makes sure" biblical prophetic events are fulfilled. This sort of tactic is the very kind of thing that makes our current foreign relations with the Middle East (and other places) so tricky. Many other governments are based on thousands of years of religous practices that have melded with government controls. It makes for strong opinions, and even stronger action when someone suggests a more open, democratic approach.

Even in America, when religion becomes politics, and politics become the religion, the result is always going to be an attempt, on the part of some, to legislate (their view of) morality, which is impossible to do. Those who believe it must happen that way will be forced to force the rest of us to do things their way. We could put a lot of other labels on that kind of behavior, but we can't very well call it religious freedom, now can we?

posted at: 11:38 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

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