States Should Not Define American Values

Politics & Views 53

California_state_capitol-fisheyeThis country was founded under the idea that church and state shall remain separate; let’s hold American government to its promise. That promise is that  American values should be left to the individual citizens rather than having laws or government define them for us.

The fabric of this country is made up of vastly different values from household to household.  We are a country rich in diversity in our backgrounds, religious beliefs, and values. Since the values are so different, we should avoid having the state reconcile any differences in the varying definitions that we may have. When the state gets involved in defining moral conduct, it then becomes a decisive stance on which value will be honored.

The obvious example is the debate about  same sex marriage. Same sex marriage debate trickles down to the conversation of adoption, health care, and so much more.  

For example, only 18 states allow same-sex couples to adopt children. Even though many conservatives oppose laws such as these, Romney has stated with regard to gay adoption that “[i]n [his] view that’s something that people have the right to do, but to call that marriage is, in [his] view, a departure of the real meaning of that word. Obama is also a supporter gay adoption and recently made history when he stated that gay marriage was something he supported. Even though we have both nominees for president supporting gay adoption, many states still have laws in place that prevent the adoption.

By keeping state and church separate, we can have confidence that our constitutional rights will not be infringed upon. Allowing American values to be decided amongst individuals honors and respects the individual beliefs of the diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures of all Americans.

This post is part of a weekly conversation with our Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. To see the original question and what the other writers have to say, see "How Do We Best Sustain American Values?"

Image via ProComKelly/Flickr

2012 election, religion


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KWnav... KWnavywife

You need a history lesson. The reason our founding fathers wanted church and state separate wasn't so that church couldn't have anything to do with govt but so that the govt could force people to attend a certain church. If you really want your argument to fly, then the govt should take no stance either way on moral issues.

bills... billsfan1104

Then lets do away with murder, rape, stealing and so forth. Because some of our laws were based off the ten commandments.

nonmember avatar Kristi

Yes bills, because we can't figure out that those things are bad without someone's religion as a guidepost *eyeroll*

kelti... kelticmom

Hmmm, funny how Native Americans, Hindus, Africans, Asian cultures, etc all have had laws against murder, rape, theft, etc either ever even hearing of the ten commandments. Funny how entire civilizations ever functioned without Christianity telling them what to do. There are common sense moral absolutes that civilizations govern under, then there are Theocracies that tell people how they should live according to one religions particular tenants. That never ends well.

kelti... kelticmom

*without ever even hearing. Stupid autocorrect.Lol

cecil... cecilmansmom

States Should Not Define American Values


and neither should you as you don't speak for everyone.

bills... billsfan1104

Keltic, we are talking about our country. Many of our laws were based of the ten commandments. Why do you think so many of them use to be courthouses?

NatAndCo NatAndCo

Anyone else feel like this read like a freshman essay test answer? A poorly written one at that? Where are all the editors?

kelti... kelticmom

I know that billsfan. However, those laws are not exclusive to Christianity. In fact, they predate it. And if you really want laws/constitutional amendments that sync up with the Ten Commandments, how about this little gem: Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery? How about laws against adultery and divorce if you want to protect the "sanctity of marriage"? Seeing as how those things are forbidden in the Bible both OT and NT several times. Sucks to cherry pick what religious laws to follow. And it's a dangerous slope. Which is exactly why religion should NEVER be a factor when determining civil law.

Tracy Peterson Taylor

Billsfan... morals and ethics, on which laws are based, needn't be ascribed to one (or any) religion.  They are foundations of society that exist outside of religion.

KWnavywife... government will never, ever be out of moral or ethical decisions or laws, or we'd be lawless. The goal is to keep it limited as the Founding Fathers (I believe) would have wanted it.

NatAndCo... yes, this is very basic.

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