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We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America - the religion of secularism. They are wrong.
I had Piers Morgan call me a bigot. Because I believe what the Catholic Church teaches with respect to homosexuality, I'm a bigot. So now I'm a bigot? Because I believe what the Bible teaches. Now, 2,000 years of teaching and moral theology is now bigoted! And of course we don't elect bigots to office. We don't give them professional licenses. We don't give them preferential tax treatment. If you're a preacher and you preach bigoted things, you think you're gonna be allowed to have a 501(c)(3) as a church? Of course not. No, this has profound consequence! To the entire moral ecology of America! It will undermine the family; it will destroy faith in America!
Sunday was the normal day for the political awareness session at sea. Ordinarily Putin would have officiated, reading some Pravada editorials, followed by selected quotations from the works of Lenin and a discussion of the lessons to be learned from the readings. It is very much like a church service.
This does not mean that scientists can't be religious. We can encompass irrational beliefs without regret and without obligation—I can, actually, look at my kids in a different way than I would an experimental subject under my microscope. I also do not pretend that I view my children rationally and objectively, untainted by emotion or history, and I'm not ashamed of that at all. So, a scientist should have no problem demanding one standard of logic and evidence in the lab, and dropping that demand when they go to church on Sunday.
Not one of the orthodox ministers dare preach what he thinks if he knows a majority of his congregation think otherwise. He knows that every member of his church stands guard over his brain with a creed, like a club, in his hand. He knows that he is not expected to search after the truth, but that he is employed to defend the creed. Every pulpit is a pillory, in which stands a hired culprit, defending the justice of his own imprisonment.
One trouble with all the churches is that they have too many incurable saints in them, men and women who pray too much and do too little, who cannot forget their own selfish salvation enough to look after other people's without feeling their own spiritual pulse all the time they are doing it. Of late I've sometimes suspected that it is nearly as debilitating to stay in the church all the time as it would be to stay in a hospital all the time.
The eye of the yeoman and peasant sought in vain the tall form of old Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley, as, wrapped in his laced cloak, and with beard and whiskers duly composed, he moved slowly through the aisles, followed be the faithful mastiff, or bloodhound, which in old time had saved his master by his fidelity, and which regularly followed him to church. Bevis indeed, fell under the proverb which avers, 'He is a good dog, which goes to church'; for, bating an occasional temptation to warble along with the accord, he behaved himself as decorously as any of the congregation, and returned much edified, perhaps, as most of them.
I associated much of Christian doctrine with children's stories because I grew up in church. My Sunday school teachers had turned Bible narrative into children's fables. They talked about Noah and the ark because the story had animals in it. They failed to mention that this was when God massacred all of humanity.