Updated: Aug 2, 2020
The role of the state is simple – defend the country, administer law and order, and provide goods and services that would be difficult for the individual to purchase on their own (i.e. roads, bridges, education, etc.). The role of church is simple too – personal morality. Although both are separate concepts, they directly influence one another. The Founding Fathers understood and relied on this important relationship when they drafted the Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Freedom of Religion, Rather Than Freedom From Religion
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." In simpler terms, the federal government must not establish a national religion. The intent of the distinction was to allow freedom of religion, rather than freedom from religion. This makes sense, since the framers of the Constitution were creating a republic, not a European monarchy that dictates which religion its subjects must serve. Once again, this intent is made clear in the Declaration of Independence, which states:
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
Settled for 160 Years
This understanding was settled for 160 years - until it became unsettled in 1947 with the 5 to 4 Everson v. Board of Education, Supreme Court ruling that neither a state nor the federal government could “pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.” The Supreme Court doubled-down in 1962 with the Engel v. Vitale Supreme Court ruling that generic school prayer violated the 1947 ruling. Since that time, actions interpreted as religious morality have been removed from the public eye, including crosses, bible verses, and prayer in school. In its place, political correctness has taken root. Now, the state not only tells you that something is wrong, political correctness dictates that you must believe it is wrong, too. The metamorphosis is now complete. There is no longer a separation of church and state. On the contrary, the state has become the church, as follows:
With the metamorphosis, simply abiding by the laws of the state is no longer enough. Now, individuals must espouse that the laws of the state are correct - political correctness. Essentially, faith in the church has been transposed with faith in the state. Ironically, the invisible God has been replaced by the visible hand of government.