The War on Religion

Image via LA Times

Was yesterday’s destruction of a statue of the Ten Commandments just one example of the growing animosity towards religion?

On Wednesday, June 28th, Michael Tate Reed drove his car straight into the freshly erected monument of the Ten Commandments on the Arkansas state capitol grounds, broadcasting the entire episode live on Facebook. He was promptly arrested and is in police custody.

He says he was defending the separation of church and state.

Separation of church and state is, in my opinion, the most abused phrase in American politics. The Founders of this nation, whose individual religious beliefs are, of course, up for debate, led an extremely pious country, filled with people who viewed their homeland in a divine light.

Waging some sort of crusade for a completely secular nation would have been an idea so foolish that even the most faith-hating skeptic at the time would have feared a trip to the gallows for making such a suggestion.

The phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the constitution. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” does.

The mother country, the British Empire, established the Anglican church as its official religion. And to this day the British monarch is the head Bishop of the church. The Founders did not want this in their young country, as intertwining religion and politics dirties both. So they enshrined this clause in the first amendment.

But that is a far cry from all of the religion-hating, secularizing efforts that are starting to make their home on the left side of the aisle. A statue of the Ten Commandments, objectively a vitally important foundation of modern law and morality, does nothing to establish a state mandated religion nor enshrine our President as a Bishop.

There is a blatant anti-religious strain beginning to run through liberal America, perfectly showcased by Bernie Sander’s recent grilling of political appointee Russell Vought for holding basic Christian beliefs.

The left needs to aggressively and completely distance itself from this type of behavior. If they do not, they will continue to lose the already dwindling number of religious people remaining in their ranks.

And that brings me to this incident of the destruction of the Ten Commandments monument. I ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, would you like to start now?

This the perfect opportunity to do just that. This man was undoubtedly inspired by the increasingly widespread anti-religious rhetoric in the United States.

Enough is enough. A hateful man was so emboldened that he drove his car into a statue. Both parties must unanimously condemn this type of behavior, which actively threatens religiously-minded Americans. 

Matthew Jacobs, a graduate of Texas A&M University, is studying for his Master of Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He writes about the intersection of religion and secularism in the United States.

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