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LIBERTY: Rights & Tolerance | February 5, 2005



A Comment in "That Colored Fella's Weblog"

In Response to a Post on the IRS, NAACP, & Focus on the Family

Reason and religion have been at odds since at least the Renaissance (Remember the fate of Galileo?).

Ironically, some of the greatest strides in human history have come when they have joined forces, often in the cause of human rights -- at least one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, as I recall, was a clergyman; and who has done more to advance the cause of reason vs. prejudice than the Rev. Martin Luther King?

Nonetheless, as we on the Left continually, rightfully assert, there must be a strong wall between Church and State, for the security of each -- if history (as known all-too-well to the founders of this country, who established that wall) is any indicator.

Laws must respect that separation; and although some argue that religious organizations should not, thus, be tax exempt, it invites all manner of mischief (to say the least) if the state has power of taxation over religion.

The bottom line to me is two-fold: Religious and other organizations that enjoy tax-exempt status must remain "apolitical" (even though they may have strong "social" views), out of respect for the law as well as their own security in the long-run; but the state has no right to prosecute or persecute any individual or organization selectively, regardless of the legality of conduct involved, if the concept of equal justice for all is to have any meaning.

Individuals, private organizations, and the government each have unique rights and responsibilities, which should check and balance one another. When they don't, then it's good that we have such forums as this to try to set things back into balance.

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