This post by Allen Clifton originally appeared at Forward Progressives.
I’ve never been very outspoken on the subject of churches and the shield they receive from the burden of having to pay taxes. Though it’s definitely a subject that brings out quite the feverish debate. Then again this is a debate that’s been created by those religious folks who seem to obsess over their desires to have every American following the religious ideology that they follow. Once these people began sticking their nose into the political landscape, becoming activists more than simple church leaders, I believe they volunteered themselves for such scrutiny.
What they want is the best of both worlds. They want the protections they’re given for being under the umbrella of being a “religious organization,” all while interjecting themselves into the political process like a business or any other activist.
And I feel this push to get creationism in our schools is a prime example. See, it’s clear to me that these people don’t understand the difference between science and faith.
Science has an extremely detailed and rigorous process it must endure before it’s considered “accepted.” Heck, even history books are put through much of the same scrutiny.
The Bible is just a book without evidence, proof or any process by which it had to pass in order to be accepted. It’s like I’ve joked about the story of Noah. These people claim that the world is only 6,000 years old, and Noah lived for 900 years (or nearly 1/6 the age of the Earth), yet there’s no evidence of his existence – anywhere.
But if these people want to consider creationism as being on the same level as science (even though that’s utterly ridiculous), then I feel it’s time we tax churches and treat them as we would any other business or activist organization. Why should they be shielded as religious institutions when they’re acting more like lobbyists?
They want to influence policy like businesses often seek to, well then make them pay taxes. And these people can’t play innocent. You have heads of many of these right-wing churches going on political shows vocally expressing their political views seeking to influence politics.
Especially when it comes to something like creationism. It’s one thing to oppose a social issue derived from a religious belief (say abortion for example), it’s entirely something else when you’re trying to challenge overwhelmingly accepted science so that schools might be forced to teach your utter nonsense.
See, this is why we need a strict separation of church and state. Keep religion private, just as our Founding Fathers intended. Let’s let science be science, history be history and faith be faith.
Creationists just don’t seem to understand that there’s a huge difference between proven facts and faith. The fact remains, faith can be anything that we want it to be – science and history cannot.
Allen Clifton is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has a degree in Political Science. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, and author of the popular Right Off A Cliff column.
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