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Hillary Clinton and the separation of church and state

Hillary Clinton and the separation of church and state

Hillary Clinton recently referred to the border crisis, in which adults are crossing the southern border with children, stating, “Jesus didn’t say, ‘Let the children suffer,’” recalling the verse, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” She is not alone; many politicians like to quote Scripture to supposedly chide their opposition into being shamed for their actions or to make a religious case for government action.

The fact that people of faith respond to those who espouse a mixture of faith and politics is a blessing, but it should not be abused. The concepts of religious liberty and of the infamously quoted but incorrectly applied “separation of church and state” are lost. Whether they are irrevocably lost remains to be seen.

Religious liberty means that you have the right to worship as you wish and there will be no law instituted by Congress to stop you or compel you. Even when religious liberty is correctly cited by some in politics, they often still believe there is a “separation of church and state,” which they cite, for instance, when a conservative politician decries abortion. It was alluded to in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, who had inquired as to why Jefferson didn’t call for national days of fasting and thanksgiving. He explained federalism and the Establishment Clause using the phrase “wall of separation.” That line was taken and used in the Supreme Court decision Everson v. Board of Education by former Ku Klux Klan member Justice Hugo Black, to the delight of progressives who use his interpretation without explanation for political gain.

At the same time, those same political leaders like to use religion to urge the government to act. The idea that anyone can compel government to act based upon a faith interpretation is wrong. Your religion is your business, and government is not a vehicle to spread your religious beliefs.

If Hillary Clinton thinks that Jesus Christ would allow the children breaching our laws and crossing the border, then she should invite them into her home, since that is the call she wants the rest of us to make, through coercion by government.

Ultimately, the concept is one of personal responsibility, and viewed in that light, it becomes clear why political figures who view government as the authority and the ultimate judge prefer to use government to enforce their purported religious beliefs.

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