Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A Bridge Too Far

I'm an ardent proponent of the separation of church and state. But even further than that, I support the premise that a person's religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) are a personal matter and should not be tainted by pressure from the government or from proselytizers. If you come knocking at my door carrying a Bible and literature, you'll be promptly and courteously turned away. But this works both ways. If you're a non-believer, I respect your position. But don't try to convince people of faith to abandon their beliefs.

There was a full-page ad in the New York Times today from an outfit called the Freedom From Religion Foundation (below). It urges Catholics to leave their church because of the pedophile scandal. I find that ad distasteful at best.

Yes, the Church has a serious problem and it's not being adequately addressed by their bureaucracy. And I support the government's prosecution of religious leaders who break secular law.

But the problem infecting the Catholic church will not be resolved by urging people to leave it. It will be resolved by a combination of internal pressure and prosecution of offenders.

I'm a card-carrying member of Delaware Valley Americans United for Separation of Church and State. AU is supportive of religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) but does not urge people to adopt either option. And while I support FFRF's aim to keep government and church separate, proselytizing AGAINST religion goes beyond the pale. I can't support FFRF on this.