Do we believe that it is the role of the state to be the custodian of our faith in some public way? If you want to trace this argument go back to Emperor Constantine, where Christianity was granted official state protection and wedded to the state in a manner that gave it preference over Roman deities. The results of this marriage have been, at best, very mixed. Religious wars and major shifts in cultures have resulted from this arrangement. In America we separated church and state, primarily to protect the church from the state. Over the course of 225-plus years we have been working out what this actually looks like in a society that was predominantly Christian, at least in a cultural sense. When the state sponsors or supports any expression of faith, Christian or otherwise, what we get is civil relgion. Why do we fight so hard to protect this form of civil religion when the clear facts are that it is not working as it once did? Further, is civil religion really the friend of vibrant, prophetic, radical discipleship in public? I think not.
From John Armstrong posting over at Steve Brown Etc. (read the whole post)
What do you think?