Separation of Church and State is an idea that is quite fundamental to the United States. Indeed, it’s even somewhat written down in the Bill of Rights. However, there is an easy case to be made that the United States government does not completely separate Church and State; evidence of this ranges from the phrase “under God” in the pledge of allegiance to criminalization of prostitution to defunding of Planned Parenthood. I will argue that, from both a religious and a non-religious point of view, some amount of Church and State collaboration has its merit.
I think everybody would agree that our government should act morally. The thing about morality is that there is no one definition for it. Hitler may have (probably) thought that he had been acting in a moral sense. Terrorists consider themselves martyrs, fighting for a good cause. So where should our government get its morality from? Even ideas that may seem to be universal are not actually respected by the government. For example, there is the accepted idea that “killing is bad”, yet the U.S went to ‘war’ with Iraq quite recently. Where, then, can our government find an explicitly defined morality? In religion.
Of course, having a fully religous state has many negative consequences that are a subject for another essay. Nevertheless, let’s remember a quote from Churchill: “Democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried.” Likewise, there’s an argument to be made that mild collaboration between Church and State is the worst form of collaboration, except all others that have been tried.